Lake Kournas is a lake on the island of Crete, Greece, near the village of Kournas. It is in the Apokoronas municipality of Chania regional unit close to the border with Rethymno regional unit, 47 km from the town of Chania. Kournas is a fairly large village perched on a hill overlooking the lake.

We headed to the Lake Kournas in June 2017, just to spend a nice afternoon here and enjoy a mild swim in the lake water.

It should be noted that Lake Kournas is Crete's only freshwater lake

Lake Kournas in Crete

Lake Kournas in Crete

Lake Kournas, is relatively large, with a perimeter of 3.5 km. Although almost all touristic leaflets say that it is possible to walk around the lake, that is not true. At least not at the end of the rain season (winter). There is a nature preserve on the Southwest of the lake. But there is a rustic road from the North of the lake to the Hills on the West of the lake too.

Catamarans for rent at lake Kournas

Catamarans for rent at lake Kournas

Seems a very popular tourist attraction here, as we didn't try one this time I'm not sure about pricing, but it was something like EUR 5 for 1 hour (or at least 30 minutes)

There are two roads that lead to Lake Kournas. As you drive up from the main local road Eparchiaki Odos Georgioupolis-Kournas you will come across road signs posted Lake Kournas Exit 1 and Lake Kournas Exit 2. On Lake Kournas Exit 1 you will come through an area of ten houses and cottages known as Dimitrouliana Metochi(small village) 

A unique feature of Dimitrouliana is a group of stone cottages that were built during the Ottoman rule, during the 1700s and possessing Venetian Architecture. Such houses, can be found in many locations in Crete and have central arches made of thick carved stones and wooden lofts to the left and right sides of the arc. One such cottage with a large central arc is Villa Christiana at the Dimitrouliana Metochi.

Lake Kourna's popularity due to its ecosystem, has always been a tourist attraction and many owners have renovated their cottages and homes during the first decade of the second millennium giving an aesthetic look to the area, while preserving the architecture of the structures. The road off the Metochi leads to the lake within 200 meters. As it continues curving along a stretch of the lake, it will come across several isolated restaurants until it reaches to Exit 2 of Lake Kournas. There you can find a more organized structure of taverns and restaurants overlooking the lake. During the tourist season there are pedalos, canoes and sunbed for enjoyment. Leaving the Lake area up the road of Lake Kournas, Exit 2 it leads to the main Eparchiaki Odos of Georgioupolis-Kournas.