Lake Kournas is the only freshwater lake in the whole of Crete and is set in a beautiful landscape, lying in a valley among the hills, only 3 kms inland from Georgioupolis. It is relatively small, with a maximum length of 1,087 m and a maximum breadth of 880 m. It covers an area of 579,000 sq. m. and is generally shallow, 22.5 m at its deepest point, while it lies approximately 20 m above sea level. If you visit on a grey day, the landscape is reminiscent of a mountain lake in the Alps rather than being in Crete.
Lake Kournas is the ideal place for a daytrip. Many people like to have a picnic, swim or hire a pedalo. It is a popular "exotic" weekend destination for the Cretans.
Although many say that it is possible to walk around the lake, this is not true. At least not at the end of the rain season (winter). There is a nature preserve on the Southwest of the lake. But there is a rustic road from the North of the lake to the Hills on the West of the lake too.
The lake used to be called 'Korisia' after ancient 'Korion', a city thought to be in the area with a temple to Athena. The lake reportedly used to be full of eels but now is better known for its terrapins and tourism. Tavernas and pedalo rental shops line part of the shore. Overall, however, the lake retains its beauty, the White Mountains reflected in the mirror-like waters.
If you stand, barefoot, in the water on the sandy beach, tiny fish will (painlessly) nibble dead skin from your feet for free! This is a treatment, which several tourist shops currently charge for.