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|Lake Kournas in Crete|
Situated a couple of kilometers inward from the coastal village Georgioupoli (beteen Rethimnon and Chania) people seem to disagree about the only Cretan sweet water lake: Kournas. Some like it, some think it's not that interesting. Is it worth a visit at all? I absolutely loved it and would recommend the detour to everybody. The special colours of the lake, from green to turquoise and blue, and the beautiful and special mountains around it, the abundance of wildlife, the cosy taverna's and souvenir shops around the edge of the lake: Kournas has a lot going for it. The area where the lake is situated, the Apokoronas area, is one of my favourite parts of the island because of the beautiful nature and the nice small traditional villages and peace that you can still find here.
|A little bit more about Lake Kournas in Crete|
Kournas Lake is about one and a half kilometer in diameter and at the southern end it is up to 45 meters in depth. There are special birds floating in the water, big orange fish swimming around, and it seems trees are growing from the bottom of the lake (when the water is really high). On my visit we even saw a turtle swimming around. For the people that love it enough to wanna go and explore some more on the lake it's possible to rent a water bike (cost: 7 euro in may 2003 and prices are steady - visited again in 2009). There's some sort of a beach and a lot of olive trees and other vegetation. It is a special place for wildlife including for birds. You can even swim in this lake if you like. In my point of view Lake Kournas is definitely one of those special unexpected surprises you sometimes can find on a Greek island.
|The beach at Lake Kournas on Crete|
Many people that stay as a tourist in the nearby coastal resort of Georgioupolis make a day trip from their hotel and visit Lake Kournas. It is a good walk of I think about 6 kilometer, of which large parts are up a hill. Recently there also runs a special tourist train up and down between Lake Kournas and Georgioupolis and Lake Kournas makes an increasingly commercial impression. The number of signs and the number of pedal boats seemed much larger than a few years back. Everyone tries to cash in a bit on the success of Lake Kournas. There are a number of souvenir shops and there is a big choice in terms of tavernas. There are also sunbeds and parasols on some parts of the beaches of Kournas (other parts are a bit more muddy when you walk over it), and although you can swim in the lake itself, I think it is not very inviting to do so.
|Hotels, apartments, studios and villas in and around Lake Kournas|
|Alkion Hotel in Exopoli near Georgioupoli on Crete - cheap accommodation|
Situated within walking distance of Crete’s only natural lake, these comfortable apartments offer a relaxing environment with an outdoor pool and beautiful views of the sea and the White Mountains. Alkion is a family-run business, offering a friendly and more personalised service. Each of the apartments is fully equipped with self-catering facilities to create a home from home. You can enjoy beautiful views to the sea or the mountains. Alkion’s outdoor pool and terrace is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a drink. Children have a separate area to splash around in. The terrace also offers magnificent views of the sea and Georgioupoli, which is just 2 km away. The convenient location of Alkion in Exopoli allows you to easily access Chania and Rethymno. Both are situated within a 30-minute drive from the apartments, making it an ideal base for exploring Crete.
Check availability and prices & book the Alkion Hotel - click here.
|Villa Thea in Kournas / Georgioupoli op Kreta|
A private pool, gardens and terraces with wonderful views of the sea and Lake Kournas can be found at this modern villa. The well-equipped kitchen includes a dishwasher, electric stove and coffee maker. Villa Thea is situated in the traditional village of Kournas, perched on a hill above the sea. Lake Kournas is a 5-minute drive away. The beach resort of Georgioupolis is 7 km away. Villa Thea’s ground floor includes a double bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. There is also a large dining room, and a sunny lounge with a sofa bed and TV. Upstairs there are 2 more bedrooms, each with a small balcony. The main bathroom has a washing machine and hair dryer. The villa offers free private parking. It is just 20 km from Rethymnon and 43 km from Chania.
Check availability and prices & book Villa Thea - click here.
|Taverna Korissia in Lake Kournas - Crete|
I can describe this taverna in Kournas in two words: the worst. Both the service and the food leaves everything to be desired. But yes, many people come to Lake Kournas for a day trip and then the restaurants will probably never see them any more, so who cares. This is probably how they think in Taverna Korissia. You serve food like they do when you know that your customers will never return anyways. The waiter had likely never heard of the invention of deodorant because he stank terribly sweaty under his armpits. The menu at Korissia offers various breakfast, omelettes, starters and main courses. We ordered a cheese Saganaki (fried cheese), tzatziki (yoghurt, garlic, cucumber) and a Chef Salad. First we begin with a wonderful cappuccino. Unfortunately it is sort of hot water with a bit of nescafe and a fat and nasty pile of whipped cream. I do not even drink it, it tastes thatnasty. The bread you get in every Greek restaurant consists of different pieces and sizes (and therefore already used for other customers who may have had it in their hands as well) and it's so stale and dried out that it seems almost toast. The chef salad is very uninspiring with ham, cheese, leeks, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives and a fat smash of whiskey sauce on top and an egg. The tzatziki is drenched with garlic and we have to search for the cucumber that ought to be in it. The cheese saganaki was conveniently forgotten by the waiter, so I had to ask for it again. I had better not done this because it was tasteless, limp and dripping with grease. Then after that I had to ask for the bill several times and it finally came fifteen minutes later.
Our verdict: you will be better off bringing your own sandwiches, in our opinion Taverna Korissia is in the running for the title of "Worst restaurant in Greece".