After exploring the west of Crete, it was time to move to the quieter east of this Greek island. We set our sights on Preveli Beach in the south. Preveli is well-known for its unique palm forest growing next to a river that runs into the sea. The drive from Chania in the north to Preveli in the south is about 2 hours. On the way, after an hour of driving, we stopped for a picnic lunch at Lake Kournas.
What to Expect
Lake Kournas is also known as Limni Kournas (limni means lake). It’s named after the nearby village, perched on a hill. Crete’s only fresh water lake is a popular Sunday spot with both locals and tourists alike. Hemmed in by mountains, the lake is somewhat sheltered from wind. It’s a great spot to enjoy a some time out on the water with a peddle boat. The boats are for rent on the shore and they come in a fun range of shapes and sizes (the lake is clearly well-loved by families).
Where to Park
When you first arrive, drive down the hill towards the lake, and turn right at the parking area. The parking is free, but it may be expected to buy something from the tourist shop. It could be possible to find other parking spots closer to the lake, but it might be a little more risky or unlikely.
Walking down the hill towards the lake, you’ll pass plenty of great smelling restaurants and more shops with touristy trinkets. We brought our own little picnic of sardines, olives, nuts, dolmades and bread (our Cretan staple). So, unfortunately we didn’t try any of the restaurants (if you do, let me know which you recommend!). The lake beach is a perfect for a picnic though, especially if you’d prefer not to get your feet sandy. The beach area is pebbled and there are permanent, shaded seating options available.
Travel tip: Look out for terrapins swimming in the lake!