kournas - the fresh water lake of crete

A panorama almost reminding of alpine mountain lakes presents itself five km to the south of Georgioupoli in the spurs of the Lefka Ori.

The above lying village of Kournas gave its name to the waters, which present Crete's single fresh water lake and serves mainly the irrigation of the surrounding fields.

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Fed from underground sources, it reaches a maximum depth of approx. 45 meters with a diameter of approximately 1.5 km.

While in spring the place is plentifully scarce on the banks, the eastern beach in autumn with clearly sunk water level offers a lot of place for the numerous day tourists who find their way here in the meantime.

The beach is to be reached comfortably from the street. In front of the two taverns there's the possibility to rent pedal boats and explore the lake and its inhabitants (geese, crabs, kingfishers and small sea serpents).

Kournas ViewKournasTerrapinTanning Terrapins

With some luck and with careful approach you'll even see the shy fresh water turtles which gladly "laze" in the sun on the small rocks in the southeast lakeshore, however rushing quickly as a flash into the water.

The lake with its highly transparent water is also gladly used as a drink by the numerous goats whose little bells are to be heard from the surrounding slopes sometimes.

A walk around the lake is possible only in the late summer and autumn with low water, because the drive leads only up to the pumping station in the south and complicates in the other often close undergrowth coming through.

Caution on the west bank, here it is swampy and sacking up to the knees is possible!

However, you shouldn't forget to take your swimming gear since the clear and pleasantly tempered water offers delightful refreshment.

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