Kournas Lake

Lake Kournas is actually the only natural lake in Crete and is surrounded by high mountains and olive groves. It is located near the village Kournas, 2.5km south of Georgioupolis, 43km east of Chania and 20km west of Rethymno.

The lake has been created by the accumulation of groundwater coming from the White Mountains. The water gushes from a spring called Amati or Mati (meaning “eye”).

The lake is small and circular and covers an area of 579 acres. The water is transported to the sea 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 and to the sea.

Kournas Lake and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece. Kournas is one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year. For this reason, it is protected under the Natura 2000 program.

The lake is surrounded by lush vegetation composing of rare aquatic plants and trees. The dark color of the water is caused by the weed.