Kournas Lake

The only natural lake in Crete and in the entire insular Mediterranean, as well as the southernmost lake in Europe, with a length of 1080 m, a width of 880 meters and a depth of 22.5 m.

In Arabic the word Kournas means tub and lake. Presumably the Arabs renamed the lake thus, changing its older name Coressia.

The dark waters of the lake impressed all visitors and residents, since for years everyone had been thinking of the lake as bottomless. Indeed travellers since the Middle Ages have spoken for the estimated depth of the lake with awe. The lake is an amazing wetland habitat. Its coast is lined with restaurants and cafes.

Swim in the clear waters. Canoes and pedaloes are available for those wishing to tour the lake.

Like many lakes, this one also has its own legend:

“The area of the lake used to be occupied by a small village. One day, one of the villagers took his daughter out to go to the fields. Somewhere along the way they sat down to rest; the daughter then started combing her blond hair. The father initially took proud at her sight; however, suddenly, an erotic desire took him over and he came on to her. The daughter, in despair, she just exclaimed “Sink and be a sunken lake! And I the spirit of the lake! “. Immediately the place sank turning into a lake. Indeed, in older times, residents used to recount that some nights they could see a lass sitting on a rock in the middle of the lake, combing her long golden hair.


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