Greece may be justifiably famous for its many picturesque islands and stunning beaches, but it is also home to some of the most beautiful lakes you will find anywhere. These lakes, often nestled at the foot of high mountain ranges, offer spectacular sights and great recreational opportunities for the whole family.
If you feel like exploring something different but equally as beautiful as the amazing Greek coast and islands, then read on to find ten of the most beautiful lakes you must not miss in Greece.
1. The Prespa Lakes
The Prespa lakes are two large freshwater lakes in southeast Europe which are shared by the nations of Greece, Northern Macedonia, and Albania.
The lakes are surrounded by mountains and provide a breathtaking sight as they reflect the beautiful wooded slopes of the surrounding mountains in their waters, while offering great birdwatching opportunities as well, since they provide vital habitat for migrating birds.
Great Prespa Lake is divided between the nations of Greece, Northern Macedonia, and Albania, while Small Prespa Lake is shared only between Greece and Albania.
2. Volvi Lake
Lake Volvi is located at the foot of the Chalkidiki peninsula, in the Thessaloniki regional unit of northern Greece.
The environment surrounding Volvi Lake features rare hydrophilous plants and trees, with their unique hydro-habitats and ecosystems.
More than 200 species of birds, including herons, egrets, storks, and flamingos, spend the winter in these regions. Fortunately, they are protected by the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
3. Lake Kerkini
Lake Kerkini is a man-made lake, located near the city of Serres, a city in the region of central Macedonia, in Northern Greece.
This lake is also protected by the Ramsar Convention, and the surrounding region is a protected national park which features vibrant fauna and flora, including deer, buffalo, wolves, and many different types of birds.
Lake Kerkini is the perfect location to spot cormorants, eagles, and pelicans, as well as many other avian species. You can enjoy an array of outdoor activities there, including cycling, boat rides, and hiking. In addition, there are several photo and bird watching tours that are organized by local operators.
4. Lake Plastira
Lake Plastira, another man-made lake, is found in Thessaly, the heart of mainland Greece, close to the city of Karditsa.
A total year-round destination, Plastira is a favorite with Greek vacationers in the fall and winter. This spectacularly lovely lake, which looks like it could be in Switzerland, most certainly deserves to be known by foreigners as well.
Lake Plastira provides many opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, cycling and relaxing walks through the lush forests which surround it.
5. Petron Lake
Blessed with stunning beauty, Lake Petron is found in western Macedonia, northern Greece, at the foot of Mount Voras and Mount Vermio.
The lake is part of the Natura 2000 protected areas, as it is home to more than ninety different bird species, some of which are endangered.
Lake Petron is another great choice for birdwatchers, as they can find there the rare pygmy cormorant and the lesser white-fronted goose, which make its waters their home.
6. Lake Orestiada
Lake Orestiada is located in the region of Macedonia, in northwestern Greece.
The lake is home to over 200 species of birds, including herons, swans, and wild ducks, as well as vibrant flora and fauna, which make it a beautiful place to explore. The area’s natural wonders, along with the Byzantine heritage of the town, provide ample reasons for visiting this scenic town of northern Greece.
Other activities that you can enjoy include sailing, waterskiing, rowing, and fishing. A nice stroll around the lake will allow you to drink in the reflection of the city on its surface, which perfectly mirrors Mother Nature’s beauty, especially during the colorful weeks of Autumn.
7. Lake Pamvotida
Lake Pamvotida is found in Epirus, in the central part of the Ioannina regional unit of northern Greece.
The lake is associated with a famous legend, in which Kyra Frosini, a young local girl, had an affair with Mushtar Pasha, the son of the local Ottoman ruler Ali Pasha. When this was found out, the story says that she was executed and thrown into the lake.
The lake is home to many rare species of flora and fauna, and many water activities are possible there for visitors, including canoeing and kayaking, rowing, and water skiing. The lake also has a small islet, where one can find seven monasteries as well as tavernas, souvenir shops, and a museum.
8. Doiran Lake
Dorian Lake (Dojran Lake) is found between North Macedonia and Greece. According to another legend, once upon a time a local girl named Dojrana was drawing up water from special springs which needed to be sealed back up after their use.
One day as Dojrana was filling her water jugs, she learned that the young man she loved had come back from the army, and she forgot to seal the springs. Dorian Lake was the result of her careless euphoria on that day.
The large amount of algae on the lake’s surface and the large quantity of weeds which grow in the lake are used for treating skin and respiratory diseases, as well as rheumatism, and many tourists visit the lake for the health benefits of these natural remedies.
9. Lake Trichonida
Lake Trichonida is the largest natural lake in the entire nation of Greece. It is found to the southeast of the city of Agrinio, in central Greece. Despite its size, Trichonida is relatively unappreciated and seldom visited by tourists.
The lakeside vegetation consists of plane trees, cottonwoods, cypresses, eucalyptus, willow, and ash trees. The lake includes around ninety types of rich phytoplankton, and it is home to 25 species of fish, sixteen of which are edible and eleven are indigenous to Greece.
Both the lake and the surrounding areas are ideal for outdoor activities, but you must remember to respect the local ecosystems and the pristine environment. One favorite outdoor activity that one can enjoy is swimming, as the waters of Trichonida are crystal clear. Other activities you can enjoy there are watercycling, boat rides, and paragliding.
10. Dragon Lake of Tymfi
Greece is also home to what is called “dragon lakes,” or simply put, alpine lakes, which were formed back in the last Ice Age. According to local folklore, these lakes once were the dwelling places of dragons.
Sources of beauty and home to unique ecosystems, these lakes are found at altitude in Greece’s highest mountain ranges, The Dragon Lake of Tymfi, which is located in northwestern Greece, in the region of Epirus, is one of the most stunningly beautiful of all such lakes.
The enchanting “dragon lake” is surrounded by a starkly beautiful landscape and can be reached only after a four-hour hike, after departing from the village of Mikro Papigo, in the Zagorochoria region.