At distance of 25 km southwest of Rethymno is the picturesque village of Argyroupoli with its stone houses, lush gardens, narrow streets, and its famous Springs. Very close to it is the impressive lake Kournas, the largest natural freshwater lake in Crete. Seize the opportunity, rent a car and visit these unique places of natural beauty, where you will experience unrestricted prosperity and relaxation.
The Springs of Argyroupoli
Argyroupoli is a small village built at an altitude of about 250 meters, between two rivers, Mousela and Petres. It has plenty of water, lush vegetation, and a lot of flowers and trees. It is mainly known for the natural springs of the Holy Force (“AgiaDinami”) or else the so-called Springs of Argyroupolis. It is a verdant place with waters flowing from every point, forming small waterfalls, giving a strong feeling of coolness, mainly during the summer months, and presenting an idyllic view of the landscape.
The waters of these springs come from the river Mousela and pass through a cave with the small chapel of the Holy Power inside, where you can enter and see the waters gushing from the ground. Also nearby, you will find the chapel of the Holy Five Virgins, an equally fantastic landscape, in which you will enjoy the coolness of the springs of the PetresRiver with its huge centuries-old plane trees.
But the hamlet of Argyroupoli itself is also a heavenly place with many taverns, where you will taste wonderful traditional local dishes and sweets. In addition, here you will find a lot of accommodation, which in combination with the pleasant and welcoming atmosphere of its residents, you will have an unforgettable stay. Finally, the area is ideal for hiking as there are many trails and paths where you will enjoy the beauty of nature, traditional mills, formed waterfalls, rivers, giving you a feeling of calm and well-being.
Lake Kournas is an important wetland of the Crete and a place of indescribable beauty and relaxation. It is located about 20 kilometers west of the town of Rethymnon, in a pit between the slopes of the White Mountains and the fertile plain of Georgioupolis.
The lake is formed both by the existence of two underground springs, as well as by the waters carried by the surrounding mountains,while draining, via the Delfina River, 2.5 km north, atKournas beach.The abundant water throughout the year makes the lake an important wetland of the area with rare aquatic plants and trees.
It is a protected area of the Natura 2000 program due to its variety of flora and fauna. So, ducks, moorhens, geese, herons, cormorants, water snakes, eels, terrapins, etc. find shelter in the lake.Lake Kournas is an ideal destination and you can arrange a day trip, which you will have a fantastic time. In particular, you will be able to swim in the hot turquoise waters of the lake, sunbathe on the sandy beaches that are formed, enjoying simultaneously the tranquility of the place, go around the lake either by foot or by pedals and canoes, gazing at nature and beauty of the area.
Furthermore, on one side of the lake, there are traditional taverns for lunch and cafes to drink your coffee or your beverage with wonderful view of the lake and the mountains over it, while if you want to buy something there are a few shops selling souvenirs and gifts.
If you have extra time, it’s worth visiting the picturesque village of Kournas, which is about 4 km from the lake, and see the homonymous cave with its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.