Chania area Gorges . Caves . Hiking . Outdoor

Kournas lake, the only natural lake of the island

Kournas lake near Georgioupolis Crete
Lake Kournas is well to reach within walking distance from Georgioupolis
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The southernmost lake in Europe

Kournas lake is the southernmost lake in Europe, formed by the not possible drainage of groundwater and melt water from the White mountains in the impermeable rock formations.

The lake is also fed by the source Amati in the south. Distance from the sea is 2.5 km, its maximum length 1080 m, the maximum width 880 m and a maximum depth of approximately 22 m. The water level of the lake fluctuates with the seasons.

Kournas lake was mentioned in antiquity as Korisia. It is believed that there was a temple of Athena Korisia on the shore. The current name of the Kournas lake in Arabic means tub and pond. So perhaps it was the Arabs who renamed the lake. The dark waters of the lake left already in past times the impression to its neighbors that it was bottomless. In fact, travelers also spoke with reverence of the estimated depth of the lake since the Middle Ages.

  • A walk around the lake is not possible, in spite of many websites telling so!
  • In the summer months, sun loungers, parasols and pedal boats can be rented.
  • The adjacent restaurants and cafes are open also during winter and offer local and foreign guests a traditional Cretan Cuisine with stunning views over the lake.
  • Of course, the lake Kournas is well to reach within walking distance from Georgioupolis on a 3 km long road through olive groves and fields.

Places nearby worth a visit: