Lake Kournas

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Lake Kournas: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour

1. From Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour

Depart Heraklion and journey west by bus to the stunning city of Chania. Learn about its Minoan history and see sights from different civilizations, including the Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian eras. Get a view of the lighthouse in the port, wander the narrow streets of the old town and enjoy some free time for lunch in the pretty harbor. Look for gifts and souvenirs in the famous agora (market) and more. Then, make your way to Lake Kournas and get back to nature in the lush green hills. Keep a look out for rare birds and marine life, including eels and turtles. Go for a swim or take an early afternoon walk in the protected wetlands. Drive back towards Heraklion and stop in the city of Rethymno along the way. Wander the enchanting alleys of the old town, see the domes and minarets of the Ottoman-era mosques, and marvel at the 16th-century Venetian fortress.

From Rethymno: Lake Kournas and Villages Full-Day Tour

2. From Rethymno: Lake Kournas and Villages Full-Day Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Rethymno, and then journey by bus to the stone church in Kotsifu Gorge. Marvel at the steep cliffs and dramatic rock formations of the canyon, and then make your way to the historic plateau of Askifou. Stop to take souvenir photos of beautiful Plakias Bay, and then drive up into the mountains to visit the traditional village of Kallikrati. Swim in the deep blue waters of the Libyan sea. Stop for a coffee in the village of Argyroupolis near the Roman site of Lappa and marvel at the waterfalls. Next, go to beautiful Lake Kournas and enjoy a well-deserved traditional lunch in a typical village tavern at your own expense. Get a magnificent view of the lake and mountains before you drive back to Rethymno and get dropped off at your hotel.

Rethymno: Day Trip to Chania & Lake Kournas

3. Rethymno: Day Trip to Chania & Lake Kournas

Explore the picturesque city of Chania and the freshwater of Lake Kournas on this day trip from Rethymno. Enjoy pickup from your hotel and head for Chania, the charming city perched on Crete's north west coast. Admire the lively port of the Venetia Harbour and its imposing lighthouse. Stroll the atmospheric narrow streets of the city, filled with shops, churches and tavernas. Pick up some traditional local products like cheese or pastries at the municipal market. Shop for leather goods and souvenirs at the famous Halidon Street. Next, sit back and enjoy the scenic journey to Lake Kournas. Once there, explore the lake or tuck into a delicious meal at a local taverna. Enjoy the relaxing views beneath looming mountains. Look out too for the local wildlife - moorhens, eels, and turtles are among the permanent residents of this friendly wetland. Take pleasure in being out in nature amongst this beautiful scenery, before hopping back in the vehicle for your journey back to Rethymno.

Rethymnon: Kournas Lake ,Argyroupolis and Olive oil factory

4. Rethymnon: Kournas Lake ,Argyroupolis and Olive oil factory

Start your day of adventure at your first stop of the trip, a local oil mill. Here you will have the opportunity to see how Crete's famous olive oil is produced on this fascinating and informative outing. Follow up your trip to the mill with a visit to the charming white chapel dedicated to Saint Nicholas in the village of Georgioupolis. Get up close to one of the most photographed landmarks in this part of Crete and be sure to grab a few memorable holiday snaps for yourself. In addition to the lovely photos, admire the architectural structure of the church, built more than a century ago on a rocky islet about 100-meters into the sea.  Follow on your journey through Crete and make a quick stop at the waterfalls of Argyroupolis. These waterfalls are responsible for the rich vegetation that surrounds the village, a truly magical and refreshing experience. Your last stop of the tour, lasting roughly 2-hours, will give you enough time to enjoy a swim and eat Cretan delicacies at the many taverns that are located around the lake.

Heraklion: Day Trip Chania, Lake Kournas & Rethymno

5. Heraklion: Day Trip Chania, Lake Kournas & Rethymno

After pickup from your hotel, drive to Chania in the West of Crete. According to ancient writers, it was the “mother of the Cretan cities”, and an important Minoan city. Explore the Old City and see elements from all the civilizations that flourished here in the past: archaeological Minoan sites, Turkish minarets and mosques, Muslim neighborhoods, and Venetian fortresses. See dockyards, fountains, squares, arches, mansions, and the Lighthouse. You can enjoy lunch at the picturesque harbor or visit the famous Agora, a market hall that is home to small traditional shops and taverns. Next, the bus will take you to the quaint Lake Kournas, the only freshwater lake on the island. Admire the area's lush vegetation, steep hills, and rare species of fish and birds, like eels, moorhens, and two-color turtles. Here you can enjoy a swim in the lake, or take a leisurely afternoon walk. Continue to Rethimnon, the third biggest town in Crete, where monuments of the ancient Greek, Ottoman, and Venetian eras coexist. Explore the small alleys in the old town, see the Turkish minarets, and visit the Venetian fortresses. Alternatively, just relax and enjoy a Greek coffee at the vibrant old port. You will then board the bus for the return journey back to your hotel.

Crete: Rethimno, Chania, and Kournas Lake Day Trip

6. Crete: Rethimno, Chania, and Kournas Lake Day Trip

The first stop is the town of Rethimno, the third biggest town in Crete west of Heraklion on the north coast of Crete. Here, archeological monuments of the Ottoman and Venetian eras co-exist. Enjoy a stroll in the alleys of the old town, a visit to the Turkish minarets and the Venetian fortresses, or a coffee at the magnificent harbor. The next stop is Chania town, the second largest town of Crete on the north coast west of Rethymno. The city of Chania is divided into the Old City, with the gorgeous harbor, and the New City, beyond its Venetian fortifications. The Old City is one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean and is called “Venice of the East”. You can find Turkish minarets and mosques, Muslim neighborhoods, Venetian fortresses, dockyards, fountains, squares, arches, mansions, Loggia and the Lighthouse. Visit the famous Agora (market), which houses traditional little shops and taverns. The last stop of the day is Kournas lake, a beautiful habitat with natural freshwater, one of a kind in Crete. The whole area of Kournas is protected under 'Natura 2000', as it's a designated wetland. Vast greenery, steep cavities between hills, and rare species of fish and birds make Kournas the ideal place to enjoy an early afternoon walk.

From Chania: Spili, Matala Beach, & Kournas Lake Day Trip

7. From Chania: Spili, Matala Beach, & Kournas Lake Day Trip

Travel from Chania to the villages of Spili and Matala on this day trip. Stop to take in the views at Kournas Lake. Keep cool with refreshing soft drinks, beer, wine, and bottled water. Keep your energy up on the trip with sandwiches and local kalitsounia (sweet cheese pastry).   Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your accommodation in Chania. Sit back and relax on the drive to the picturesque village of Spili. Watch an audiovisual presentation on Cretan customs on the bus ride. Once you arrive in Spili, have an hour-long break to explore the fountains, springs, chapels, and murals in the village. Make your way to the village of Matala which is known for its alternative housing community that sprung up in the 60s. Take some time to enjoy the azure waters at the sandy Matala beach and admire the colorful homes, cafes, and street art. Head to lake Kournas where you can see the White Mountains reflected in the deep blue waters of the lake. Return to your accommodation in Chania at the end of your tour. 

From Chania: Rethymno City & Lake Kournas Private Day Tour

8. From Chania: Rethymno City & Lake Kournas Private Day Tour

Explore two of the most picture-perfect destinations on Crete during this half-day private tour that visits Rethymno and the Lake of Kournas. Take off directly from your accommodation in Chania via an air-conditioned vehicle fully equipped with Wi-Fi and USB ports. After pickup, start your journey in Rethymno, a romantic city with a variety of picturesque routes to follow and numerous historical monuments to visit. Marvel at the large Venetian castle Fortezza, the old lighthouse, and countless churches, mosques, and arches. Walk along cobbled paths leading to other hidden spots of the old city. The next stop is the famous Lake of Kournas, the only freshwater lake in Crete. This place is ideal for relaxation and walking. Take in the one-of-a-kind view of the White Mountains reflected in the waters while drinking a cup of traditional Greek coffee. Choose to rent a pedal boat to spend some time in the water looking for the turtles that live in the lake. In between your trip, sit down and enjoy a snack break including a meal box with sandwiches and Cretan kalitsounia (Cretan sweet cheese pastry). Cold soft drinks, beer, wine, and bottled water will also be available. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Kournas

Want to discover all there is to do in Lake Kournas? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lake Kournas

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 87 reviews

All in all it was a nice trip with a nice and sympathetic leader. You had plenty of time for the two attractions to discover on your own, but on the lake the personal of the boat rent service made the mistake not to really tell you how to look out for the turtles, so it was kind of looking for the needle in the haystack for us, but this has nothing to do with the traveling service but worth a mention in my eyes.

We had an amazing time on this excursion, learning about the history of Greece and the city of Rethymno. Lunch at Lake Kournas was lovely. Our guide, Christine, was friendly and knowledgeable. Would definitely recommend this trip to others!

We stayed just two days in Crete and this tour was an excellent idea. Got to see some great sights on the island with a dependable and knowledgeable company. Would highly recommend.

The views are impressive and the tour guides very friendly and knowledgeable. Brilliant experience so far.

It was a good tour. It’s under your line and our tour guide was very nice. Her name is Emmanuela.