Kournas lake is the only natural lake in Crete.
It is fed by the waters coming down from the mountains, and from two sources located in the southeastern part of the lake, while drained, through the river of Delfinas, on the beach of Kournas which is 2,5 km further north.
The abundant water throughout the year, makes the lake an important wetland area with a variety of flora and fauna, and so it is included in the Natura 2000 protection program.
Kournas lake is surrounded by hills, just a few kilometres away from the sea and at the boundaries of Chania and Rethymno. The lake was known as Korisia in antiquity and is nowadays a destination attracting thousands of visitors every year. The lake’s water increases during winter, from adjacent sources in the mountains and decreases in summer revealing a gold sandy strip. The shallow clear waters at the shore gradually get darker towards the centre of the lake, reaching a maximum depth of 22.5m. Gaze at its surface mirroring the green surrounding, a safe haven to the area’s avifauna and protected by the Natura 2000 program.
Home to a large number of birds and animals, Lake Kournas is the place where you can encounter moorhens, ducks, geese, herons, cormorants, eels, water snakes, goldfish and rare species of turtles who are permanent residents of this friendly wetland.
Seize the moment by:
- hopping on a pedal boat and enjoying a ride followed by ducks
- relaxing on a lounger and letting your eyes capture the unspeakable beauty of the landscape that changes colours as the sun tilts
- walking along the lake shore and taking in the peace and tranquility.
If the previous activities have opened your appetite you may want to taste some traditional Cretan recipes in tavernas located nearby, on the main road.