Kournas Lake

Place description

Lake Kournas is the largest natural lake in Crete and is located in an enchanting landscape, between the western slopes of the White Mountains and the fertile plane of Georgioupolis. It is located near the village Kournas, 2.5km south of the beach of Georgioupolis, 43km east of Chania and 20km west of Rethymnon. Lake Kournas and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece, as the wider area of Apokoronas are one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year.

The name Kournas is believed to come from the Arabic word kurna for “lake” or “bath”. In ancient manuscripts, it is mentioned as Korissia, while it is believed that the area hosted a sanctuary dedicated to Korissia Athena.

Lake Creation

The lake is created by the accumulation of groundwater coming from the White Mountains. The water gushes from a spring called Amati or Mati (meaning “eye”), which is over the lake surface in the summer months, while it’s hidden below the surface during winter. There is a second spring, which is always underneath the surface. Essentially, Kournas Lake is a large pit that is fed from its southeastern side by water due to the porous grounds, while from the opposite side it is waterproofed due to the nature of the rocks.

The lake is small and circular and covers an area of 57.9 hectares, has a maximum depth of 22.5 m, a maximum length of 1080m and maximum width of 880m. The volume of water in summer is approximately 7.5 million cubic meters. The water is transported to the beach of Kavros via the river Delfinas. In some parts of the lake, overflow and drainage works can be seen, that are used for diverting water to the farmland.

Flora and Fauna at the Kournas Lake

The ecological value of the area has included the lake in the Natura 2000 protection network of protected areas. However, the surroundings have been degraded by human intervention, such as the construction of restaurants and other lakeside stores. The lake is set amidst an environment with rare aquatic plants and trees. The dark colour of the lake is due to the algae at its bottom.

Many species of aquatic birds such as moorhens, ducks, herons and cormorants are found here. Also, Lake Kournas has always been well known for its eels, which still exist in significant populations. The wetland also hosts water snakes and terrapins. Unfortunately, introduced populations of goldfish have raised in recent years and their growing population has significantly disrupted this closed ecosystem.

What to see and do at the Kournas Lake

Lake Kournas is a favourite destination for visitors of Crete and locals. It is an ideal place for relaxation and a walk. In summer, a stroll around the turquoise lake lasts less than an hour (3.5 km). On one side of the lake, there are cafes and restaurants overlooking the lake, however, they have spoilt the scenery. Adjacent to the cafes, small sandy beaches are formed during the summer, as the water surface reached lower levels.

Moreover, visitors could either pedal or kayak in the lake. This is an ideal choice for the afternoon when the colour of the water is beautiful and the lake is very calm. During winter and spring, the water level is higher and walking around the lake is difficult because the vegetation is dense on the bank. The beaches are disappearing and water overwhelms even the stairs located next to the restaurants.

Legends about Kournas Lake

The lake has dark water and inspires awe in everyone who visits it. Thus, in the past, locals believed that the lake is bottomless. However, measurements have proven that its maximum depth of it has been estimated at 22.5m.
A second myth states that there was a village in the position of the lake, where a beautiful girl lived with her father. One day, while they were walking to the fields, they stopped to rest for a while. The young daughter began to comb her hair and her father admired her. However, this admiration turned to erotic love and her father tried to seduce his own daughter. The desperate girl started shouting “Lake come and I will be the ghost of the lake”. The area immediately sank and flooded with water, creating the lake. The locals say that many visitors have seen a fairy combing her hair in the moonlight, sitting on a rock in the middle of the lake. They say that the fairy protects the animals and the ducks of the lake.

Another version of the myth tells that God got angry about the sinful behaviour of locals and caused flooding to punish them. The residents were all drowned, except the daughter of the priest, which is the fairy that has been seen by locals.
Finally, some believe that paranormal phenomena are caused by electromagnetic fields of the lake that either cause inconvenience or a positive mood.

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Stays near Kournas Lake

  • 9.9 / 10
  • Kournas

Minoas Villas Heated Pool has mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking, set in Kournás, 23 km from Archaeological Museum of Rethymno.

The villa provides guests with a terrace, sea views, a seating area, satellite flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and a private bathroom with hot tub and bathrobes. A microwave, a toaster and fridge are also offered, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle.

Spa and wellness facilities including a hot tub, a spa facilities and a fitness room are at guests’ disposal during their stay at Minoas Villas Heated Pool.

Both a bicycle rental service and a car rental service are available at the accommodation, while cycling can be enjoyed nearby.

Museum of Ancient Eleftherna is 47 km from Minoas Villas Heated Pool, while Historical – Folklore Museum of Gavalochori is 18 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chania International, 52 km from the villa, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

from

€664

/night

  • 200 m
  • 8.6 / 10
  • Georgioupolis-Kournas

Boasting air-conditioned accommodation with a private pool, lake view and a balcony, Villa Splendid, Kavallos, Lake Kournas presented by Ourvillasincrete is situated in Kournás. This property offers access to a patio and free private parking.

The villa with a terrace and mountain views has 3 bedrooms, a living room, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with an oven and a toaster, and 2 bathrooms with a bath. Towels and bed linen are available in the villa.

The villa offers a picnic area. Guests at Villa Splendid, Kavallos, Lake Kournas presented by Ourvillasincrete can enjoy cycling and hiking nearby, or make the most of the garden.

Archaeological Museum of Rethymno is 23 km from the accommodation, while Museum of Ancient Eleftherna is 47 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 52 km from Villa Splendid, Kavallos, Lake Kournas presented by Ourvillasincrete.

  • 300 m
  • 9.8 / 10
  • kavalos Lake Kournas

Situated 23 km from Archaeological Museum of Rethymno, Lake View Suites offers water sports facilities, an outdoor swimming pool and air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony and free WiFi.

The villa provides guests with a terrace, sea views, a seating area, satellite flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and a private bathroom with walk-in shower and a hair dryer. A microwave, a toaster and fridge are also available, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle.

Lake View Suites offers a picnic area.

If you would like to discover the area, cycling is possible in the surroundings and the accommodation can arrange a car rental service.

Museum of Ancient Eleftherna is 47 km from Lake View Suites, while Historical – Folklore Museum of Gavalochori is 18 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chania International, 52 km from the villa, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

from

€395

/night

  • 360 m
  • 7.5 / 10
  • Λίμνη Κουρνά

Situated in Kournás, 22 km from Archaeological Museum of Rethymno, KORISSIA with Lake View (Georgioupoli) features accommodation with a garden, free private parking, a terrace and a restaurant. The 2-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The accommodation offers airport transfers, while a car rental service is also available.

At the hotel, all rooms have a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV. KORISSIA with Lake View (Georgioupoli) provides some rooms with mountain views, and every room is fitted with a balcony. At the accommodation rooms have bed linen and towels.

Guests at KORISSIA with Lake View (Georgioupoli) can enjoy a continental breakfast.

Museum of Ancient Eleftherna is 46 km from the hotel, while Historical – Folklore Museum of Gavalochori is 17 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 51 km from KORISSIA with Lake View (Georgioupoli).

  • 380 m
  • 9 / 10
  • Mouri

Peacefully located within 500 metres of Lake Kournas, Apple Villas offers self-catering accommodation with a herbal garden and a furnished terrace overlooking the lake and the countryside. Restaurants and shops are a 5-minute walk away.

The Apple villas consist of a living room with dining area, satellite LCD TV, DVD and audio stereo system. The bathrooms are stocked with hairdryer, bathrobes and slippers. There is a well-equipped kitchen with all cooking facilities.

Sun loungers are provided on the terrace. Guests can use herbs from the garden for their meals. Staff can arrange for a chef on request.

Kavros Beach is 3 km away. The villa is 20 km from Rethymnon and 43 km from Chania. Free private parking is offered at the property.

from

€268

/night

  • 440 m

Boasting air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony, holiday home, Kavallos is situated in Kávallos. This holiday home is 22 km from Archaeological Museum of Rethymno and 46 km from Museum of Ancient Eleftherna.

With free WiFi, this 2-bedroom holiday home features a TV, a washing machine and a kitchen with an oven and microwave.

Guests can relax in the garden at the property.

Historical – Folklore Museum of Gavalochori is 18 km from the holiday home, while Municipal Garden is 21 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 52 km from holiday home, Kavallos.

  • 460 m
  • 9 / 10
  • Eparchiaki Odos Georgioupolis-Kournas

Situated in Mouríon and only 22 km from Archaeological Museum of Rethymno, The Lake House features accommodation with mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking. The property was built in 2010 and features air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony.

The holiday home with a terrace and sea views has 3 bedrooms, a living room, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and 2 bathrooms with a walk-in shower. Towels and bed linen are available in the holiday home.

Guests can enjoy the saltwater pool and garden at the holiday home.

Museum of Ancient Eleftherna is 46 km from The Lake House, while Historical – Folklore Museum of Gavalochori is 17 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 51 km from the accommodation.

  • 470 m
  • 8.2 / 10
  • Kournas 730 07, Greece

Boasting sea views, Lakescape Villa In Kournas – Amazing View offers accommodation with a terrace and a coffee machine, around 22 km from Archaeological Museum of Rethymno. With mountain views, this accommodation provides a balcony.

With free WiFi, this 3-bedroom villa features a TV, a washing machine and a kitchenette with an oven and toaster. Towels and bed linen are available in the villa.

Guests can relax in the garden at the property.

Museum of Ancient Eleftherna is 46 km from the villa, while Historical – Folklore Museum of Gavalochori is 18 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 52 km from Lakescape Villa In Kournas – Amazing View.

  • 470 m

Things to do near Kournas Lake

  • 2.5 km
  • From
  • €335

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