Kournas is the only natural freshwater lake in Crete. It is located at an altitude of 20 meters above the sea level, covers an area of 143 acres (580,000 m²) and has a maximum depth of 22.5 meters. The lake is surrounded by a uniquely beautiful landscape with rich flora and fauna and is part of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas.
Following the signs for about 4 km after the beach of Georgioupolis towards Rethymnon, you will find yourself on the northeast side of the lake. During the summer months the water recedes, leaving space for a long beach which has umbrellas and sunbeds. Along the shore you will find souvenir shops, cafés and plenty of traditional taverns which are popular for their excellent food.
Although it has less buoyancy than sea water, the water of the lake is clean and shallow enough for children to swim safely. Once you arrive here, don't miss to browse the trails around the lake and visit the small but beautiful oak tree forest on the south side. After your swim, it's definitely worth to also rent a pedal boat and take a closer look at the mangrove chaste trees and at some of the many bird species that live here, such as the glossy ibis and the cormorant.