Patsos Lake | Rethymno Crete | A Unique Hidden Tranquil Oasis After the Gorge
Updated: Sep 18
George Papadellis | SG Head
with some good tips from AI
Nestled in the foothills of the Lefka Ori Mountains in the region of Rethymno, Crete lies Patsos Lake, a stunning artificial wonder waiting to be discovered. Surrounded by lush greenery, this tranquil lake is a hidden gem that boasts crystal-clear waters, serene surroundings, and a peaceful ambiance. Here's everything you need to know about this off-the-beaten-path attraction.
A Brief Overview of Patsos
Patsos Lake, also known as Agios Nikolaos, is a small freshwater lake located about 18 km south of the town of Rethymno. It is situated at an altitude of 490 meters and is surrounded by dense vegetation and towering cliffs, making it a perfect escape from the scorching heat of the summer months. The lake has been formed by Potami Dam at the end of Patsos Gorge, hosting a variety of ecosystems, and it is located at end of the Patsos Gorge, seen after walking under the final cement bridge. The name of the lake comes from the homonym village Patsos, located near the foot of the hill of Soros at an altitude of 490 meters, and is 30 km south of Rethymno. Nearby villages are Karines, Spilia and Gerakari. The water is of very good quality and runs all over the year. The lake covers an area of about 13,000 square meters and has a depth of up to 10 meters in some parts. It is fed by natural springs that emerge from the nearby mountains and is home to a variety of freshwater fish and other aquatic species. The lake is surrounded by a network of walking trails that wind through the surrounding hills, offering visitors stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. These trails are perfect for hiking, jogging, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll amidst nature.
The Natural Beauty of Patsos
The natural beauty of Patsos Lake is simply breathtaking. Surrounded by lush greenery, the lake's crystal-clear waters reflect the towering cliffs and blue skies above, creating a stunning visual feast for the eyes. The lake is home to a variety of aquatic plants, including water lilies and reeds, which provide shelter for the lake's fish and other wildlife. Visitors can also spot a variety of bird species, including herons, cormorants, and eagles, which are attracted to the lake's abundant fish population. One of the lake's most striking features is the small waterfall that cascades down one of its cliffs into the lake below. The waterfall creates a soothing sound that complements the lake's peaceful ambiance, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and reflection.
Things to Do at Patsos Lake
Patsos Lake offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. The lake is perfect for swimming, and its crystal-clear waters provide an excellent opportunity for snorkeling and diving. Fishing is also a popular activity at the lake, and visitors can catch a variety of freshwater fish, including carp, tench, and eels. The network of walking trails that surround the lake is perfect for hiking and exploring the surrounding hills and mountains. The trails are well-maintained and offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. For those looking for a more relaxed activity, the lake's shores are perfect for picnics and lounging in the sun. Visitors can also enjoy a meal at one of the nearby tavernas, which serve a variety of traditional Cretan dishes made from fresh, local ingredients.
How to Get to Patsos Lake
Patsos Lake is located about 18 km south of the town of Rethymno. The easiest way to get there is by car, as there is no public transportation available. Visitors can rent a car in Rethymno or book a taxi for the day. The lake is accessible via a narrow road that winds through the hills and mountains, so visitors should be prepared for a bit of a bumpy ride. However, the stunning scenery along the way makes the journey well worth it.