Top things to do in Crete: Lake Kournas
There is a lake in Crete, with the charm of an unearthly beauty. The water magically changes colors, its aura is strong like penetrating electromagnetic waves and a melody seems to come from the water kissing rocks and plants around the lake. Who can resist such beauty? Hardly anyone… Perhaps because underneath lies a fairy with long golden hair, that look like gold when she emerges at the surface and the sunlight falls on them.
The legend tells of a beautiful girl many years ago, who lived in a village with her father in the area of the Lake. She was so beautiful that almost seemed fake. One day, while going to the field with him, they sat down to rest a little. The girl began to comb her hair that were shining like gold and “blurred” her father, who began approaching her with evil intentions. The frightened daughter gets to shout “Voula and Voulolimna, I haunt the lake!”. Then the area immediately sank into the water, creating Lake Kournas.
Local residents say that many have seen the fairy combing her hair in the moonlight, sitting on a rock in the middle of the lake. Others say that anyone who believes in the legend can see her at night, slipping in glass water and bathing her golden hair, flooding the lake with light.
There are other myths that accompany the unique natural lake of fresh water in Crete. Its strange color, this light turquoise and the dark blue circle from a point inside, was the impetus for creating the myth that the lake has no bottom. This myth has yet refuted, since the maximum depth has been estimated at 22.5 meters.
Kournas lake located between Rethymnon and Chania, enhances the green landscape of the Lefka Ori and is protected by the Natura 2000 program hosting moorhens, ducks, eels, water snakes and a rare two-color turtle that has dots on the carapace. Several times the lake is visited by herons and cormorants while the human footprint is said to have added to the animal kingdom of the lake a huge goldfish. You can observe all these from the canoe or the pedal and if you’re daring to swim with them.
At Lake Kournas the sun is playing creative games with the water, which changes in all shades of blue, but also with the hills and trees surrounding it. Beyond the magic of color, however, it is argued that in the lake there are electromagnetic fields, which is why many have said that they feel upset entering in it. Reality is confused by myths and legends, where the truth is embellished with imagination, one thing is certain, the Kournas Lake is an oasis of natural beauty, which will not leave you unmoved in any case! And who knows… maybe you can see rain drops falling on the lake without rain, which locals say is the tears of the Fairy mourning for her unfortunate fate.
*Kournas Lake is 42 km from Chania (about 50 minutes), 22 km from Rethymnon (about 30 minutes) and 3 km south of the coastal Georgioupolis.
*There are several restaurants around the lake with a view, if you get hungry from the pedal or paddle.