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Things to do in Kournas

Our most recommended things to do in Kournas

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: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

2. Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

Set off on a day trip by bus and boat to the magnificent Balos Lagoon and the Gramvousa island, on the northwestern coast of Crete. Travel by air-conditioned bus to the port of Kissamos and board the boat for a cruise with swim stops and a visit to a castle. After an early morning pickup near your hotel, sit back and relax as you pass through beautiful scenery to get to the Port of Kissamos. There, you'll pay for the cruise and board the boat which will take you in the sea for about an hour till you reach Gramvousa island. Once at Gramvousa, you'll have 1.5 hours of free time to explore the Venetian Fortress which offers breathtaking views from the top. Otherwise, you can stay on the boat to take advantage of the bar restaurant or you can relax at the beachside. Afterward, the boat will continue for about 20 minutes to reach the Balos Lagoon. There, you'll have 2.5 hours of free time on the beach. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe and explore the dunes in the background. In the afternoon, the boat will begin the cruise back to Kissamos and from there you will be driven back to your Hotel area in Rethymno.

Rethymnon: Kournas Lake ,Argyroupolis and Olive oil factory

3. Rethymnon: Kournas Lake ,Argyroupolis and Olive oil factory

Start your day of adventure at your first stop of the trip, a local oil mill. Here you will have the opportunity to see how Crete's famous olive oil is produced on this fascinating and informative outing. Follow on your journey through Crete and make a quick stop at the watersprings of Argyroupolis. These watersprings are responsible for the rich vegetation that surrounds the village, a truly magical and refreshing experience. Your last stop of the tour, lasting roughly 2,5 hours, will give you enough time to enjoy a swim and eat Cretan delicacies at the many taverns that are located around the lake.

From Heraklion: Chania Town, Kournas Lake, and Rethymno Tour

4. From Heraklion: Chania Town, Kournas Lake, and Rethymno Tour

Morning Pick up: We will start collecting participants from pick-up points in the morning. Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. Bus Drive: 3 hours 1st stop: Chania Town – 2 hours 30 minutes Our groups will enjoy their time to wander around the beautiful Venetian streets and neighborhoods of this picturesque town of Greece. Walk through its roads full of little shops, markets and local restaurants around theirfamous old port. Bus Drive: 1 hour 2nd stop:The lake of Kournas – 1 hour 20 minutes The largest natural lake of Crete reflecting the White Mountains gives you the sense of an Alpine landscape. Grab the opportunity to hire a pedal boat for a lovely ride around the lake, swimming and enjoying a meal in one of the little tavernas (not included). Bus Drive:20 minutes 3rd stop: Rethymno – 1 hour 30 minutes Visit Rethymno and its picturesque venetian town. Enjoy your free time to walk along the old port and beautiful oriental beach road. End of the tour – Return to resorts: Embarkation in the buses and drive back to the hotels where we gathered participants in the morning. Depending on traffic and on the pick-up places of each one, the time of journey back to the hotel will differ. Bus Drive: 2 hours

From Rethymno: Lake Kournas and Villages Full-Day Tour

5. 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.

Rethymno: Day Trip to Chania & Lake Kournas

6. 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.

Full-Day Kournas lake & Argyroupoli from Rethymno

7. Full-Day Kournas lake & Argyroupoli from Rethymno

See traditional villages, churches, mountains, gorges and beaches on this full-day tour from Rethymno. Stop at Kournas, Crete’s only fresh-water lake. Enjoy a short drive through the countryside to the traditional village of Argyroupoli, where you can enjoy a cup of Greek coffee. As the drive continues toward the island’s southern coast, notice the changes in the landscape. Just before the first glimpse at the Libyan Sea, stop at the Kotsifou Gorge and visit a beautiful old stone church. Take a break at the Bay of Plakias and enjoy some time relaxing on the beach or exploring the village. On the way back to Rethymno, drive through the Kourtaliotis Gorge and admire the natural wild landscape.

Heraklion: Day Trip Chania, Lake Kournas & Rethymno

8. Heraklion: Day Trip Chania, Lake Kournas & Rethymno

After pickup from your hotel, drive to Chania in the West of Crete. According to ancient writers, it was the “mother of the Cretan cities”, and an important Minoan city. Explore the Old City and see elements from all the civilizations that flourished here in the past: archaeological Minoan sites, Turkish minarets and mosques, Muslim neighborhoods, and Venetian fortresses. See dockyards, fountains, squares, arches, mansions, and the Lighthouse. You can enjoy lunch at the picturesque harbor or visit the famous Agora, a market hall that is home to small traditional shops and taverns. Next, the bus will take you to the quaint Lake Kournas, the only freshwater lake on the island. Admire the area's lush vegetation, steep hills, and rare species of fish and birds, like eels, moorhens, and two-color turtles. Here you can enjoy a swim in the lake, or take a leisurely afternoon walk. Continue to Rethimnon, the third biggest town in Crete, where monuments of the ancient Greek, Ottoman, and Venetian eras coexist. Explore the small alleys in the old town, see the Turkish minarets, and visit the Venetian fortresses. Alternatively, just relax and enjoy a Greek coffee at the vibrant old port. You will then board the bus for the return journey back to your hotel.

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

9. 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

10. 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!

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What people are saying about Kournas

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 278 reviews

We had a great tour exploring the west side of Crete, albeit a very long day (13 hours total!). We were only in Crete for 1 week, so we were glad to get to see Chania and Reythmno (both beautiful cities that are definitely worth exploring!). Our tour guide was very jolly and very knowledgeable about Cretan history and culture. Our tour group was bigger than expected (full on tour bus), but given the price I guess to be expected. However, It was annoying having to pick everyone up and drop them off. Our hotel was one of the first to be picked up and last to be dropped off. It must have added 1h at the start and 1h at the end of the day. I would much prefer for everyone to get themselves to a single meeting spot, or only pick up/drop off from points along the main road, instead of having to go down all the back roads.

The lake is cool, but perhaps not as beautiful as it is depicted in photographs (that being said I did see it on quite an overcast day). However, the towns were absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed just strolling through and exploring a different side of Crete! Really loved the guide as well!

Great way to explore other areas of Crete. A lot covered in one day. Some places (Chania and Rethymno) definitely need more time for exploring (a day or two). Lake was glorious

We learned a lot about the history of Crete. The cities are very beautiful, only the time is very short. There is more time for that at the lake.

It was a wonderful day. The shipping was very nice and the beaches and surroundings are unique.