Lake Kournas

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.

Rethymno: Day Trip to Chania & Lake Kournas

2. 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 Old Venetian 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.

From Rethymno: Lake Kournas and Villages Full-Day Tour

3. 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.

North-East Crete: Chania Full-Day Tour with Snack and Pickup

4. North-East Crete: Chania Full-Day Tour with Snack and Pickup

Before reaching Chania city and wander to the narrow streets of the old city, firstly stop at the peninsula of Akrotiri. There it is the grave of the important politician Eleftherios Venizelos, where we can enjoy a fabulous view over Souda Bay. Chania, the second largest city of the island of Crete will be next stop. After a city tour, your steps will leads you to the city port where you will enjoy some small Cretan specialties. Free time to explore the city on your own will be next. You can also visit the famous market hall here. We continue with the stop at the ruins of "Aptera" and spend some time for the sensational view over the north coast. Final stop is the freshwater lake "Kournas", here you can end the day with a Greek coffee on a terrace from one of the numerous coffee shops.

Crete Tour:Argyroupoli - Rethymno - Kournas Lake from Chania

5. Crete Tour:Argyroupoli - Rethymno - Kournas Lake from Chania

Escape to Western Crete - an idyllic destination on the island that effortlessly captures the spirit of authentic Philoxenia (“Hospitality”). With a chauffeured premium vehicle at your full-day disposal, you will explore the Venetian city of Rethymno, the charming lake of Kournas, and the romantic town of Chania by enjoying maximum comfort and privacy. Your private local insider guide will enrich the day with a visit to the village of Argyroupolis (Ancient Lappa city), where you will experience an authentic lunch at a cozy place surrounded by mountainous waterfalls, the smell of tasty grilled lamb on the spit (Cretan Antikristo) and friendly locals. Last but not least, you will have the chance for a unique homemade wine tasting by Kournas Lake. Prepare to excite all your senses. Don't forget that among Crete's iconic gems like Elafonisi beach, Chrissi island, Knossos Palace, and safari there are so many other things to explore!

From Heraklion: Rethymno, Arkadi, and Lake Kourna Day Trip

6. From Heraklion: Rethymno, Arkadi, and Lake Kourna Day Trip

Enjoy a day trip from Heraklion to some of Crete's best sights. Immerse yourself in the island's history in the Rethymno's authentic Old Town, pause at the relaxing Kournas Lake, see the UNESCO-listed Arkadi Monastery, and encounter the charming village of Margarites. Begin your experience by savoring the unique atmosphere of Rethymno's Old Town. Take a journey back in time as you walk through its charming narrow streets. Admire the Venetian and Ottoman-style architecture. Experience the smell of fresh bread from wood ovens as you enjoy one of the island's best-preserved towns. Next, leave the town behind as you head for the calming atmosphere of Kournas Lake. Relax in a tranquil setting, with the lake located in a small valley surrounded by high hills. Take a break for some coffee, and have a stroll in the picturesque countryside. After the lake, move onto the 12th-century Arkadi Monastery, designated by UNESCO as a European Freedom Monument. Encounter a site located at an altitude of 500-meters, and surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, pines, cypress and oak trees. Conclude your tour at the village of Margarites. Witness a village which is the centre of the ceramics industry in Crete. Have a walk through its delightful small streets, and pause at one of its ceramics ateliers before your journey back to Heraklion.

From Elounda: Rethymno - Argiroupoli - Kournas Lake - Chania

7. From Elounda: Rethymno - Argiroupoli - Kournas Lake - Chania

Embark on an incredible cultural adventure along the western side of Crete. Discover traditional villages and striking landscapes on a private guided trip from Agios Nikolaos and Elounda. Make the most of your experience by adding a wine tasting or local lunch at your own expense. Get picked up from your accommodation in Agios Nikolaos or Elounda and head out on a journey through West Crete. With a chauffeured vehicle at your full-day disposal, explore the Venetian city of Rethymno, the charming Lake Kournas, and the romantic town of Chania. Take a break in the ancient village of Argyroupolis for the chance to purchase lunch and eat in a cozy setting, surrounded by mountainous waterfalls. Last but not least, you can also add a guided tasting of homemade wine by Lake Kournas.

Rethymno - Argiroupolis - Kournas Lake - Chania Private Tour

8. Rethymno - Argiroupolis - Kournas Lake - Chania Private Tour

Escape to Western Crete - an idyllic destination on the island that effortlessly captures the spirit of authentic Philoxenia (“Hospitality”). With a chauffeured premium vehicle at your full-day disposal, you will explore the Venetian city of Rethymno, the charming lake of Kournas, and the romantic town of Chania by enjoying maximum comfort and privacy. Your private local insider guide will enrich the day with a visit to the village of Argyroupolis (Ancient Lappa city), where you will experience an authentic lunch at a cozy place surrounded by mountainous waterfalls, the smell of tasty grilled lamb on the spit (Cretan Antikristo) and friendly locals. Last but not least, you will have the chance for a unique homemade wine tasting by Kournas Lake. Prepare to excite all your senses. Don't forget that among Crete's iconic gems like Elafonisi beach, Chrissi island, Knossos Palace, and safari there are so many other things to explore!

From Chania: Rethymno City & Lake Kournas Private Day Tour

9. 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. 

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

10. 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. 

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 180 reviews

Our tour guide today was dear Andreas. We were picked up from our hotel on time and the other guests were also picked up very quickly and easily. We then went on a roughly seven hour tour. Starting in a small mountain village, followed by a 1 hour visit to the beautiful town of Georgioplis with a photo stop at the Crete famous St. Nicholas Church, then on to an olive oil factory called Kanakis. We were introduced to the production facility for the production of Cretan olive oil, followed by a tasting. There was also the opportunity to purchase regional products from the island. After the short stopover we finally went on to our main destination, Lake Kournas. There we had about 2 hours of self-designed stay and the opportunity to take a break in one of the local restaurants right on the lake. A pedal boat ride across the lake rounded off the tour very nicely.

Our tour guide Mihail Kalinkov was FUNomenal! He was simply amazing, knowledgeable, smart, he knows like 6 languages. He was so fun and related in some way to each of my family members (3 generations). He customized the tour to what we liked. He planned everything out perfectly and even made sure we saw the turtles on the lake. He knew the families in the villages and told us some of their history. We all had such a great time.

All 3 destinations are great. Obviously, it's all about amuse-bouche, compared to what the two cities have to offer. Spending two hours in each is therefore very short. But that must make you want to go back to deepen it. And the guides are absolutely professional and fluent in different languages. An excursion from which you will return with stars in your eyes.

It was a comfortable bus. Lake Kournas is very clean and beautiful. There is some time to swim before continuing. Unfortunately, we couldn't see Chania long enough because there wasn't enough time for that.

Great excursion, we saw a lot and also learned a lot about Crete. Top guide, easy to follow.