The mountainous landscape of Greece is extended mainly from Northwest to southwest . An imaginery line following the high summits is connecting numerous settlements or small cities. The life is growing and blooming around and inside beautiful lakes. Some of them are located high, under the summits and we call them Dragon lakes. Others are laying down at lower altitudes creating fiords and co-exist with virgin forests and picturesque villages. We present you the best of them!
1.Lake Pamvotis- Ipirus region
In front of one of the most beautiful cities of western Greece- Ioannina – lake Pamvotis is located at an altitude of 470 meters at the foot of Mitsikeli mountain. The wildlife is reach and a walk close to the lake especially in Autumn is a must for every visitor.
Ioannina is the capital of Epirus region with almost 170.000 habitants. The city has played a major role during the early years of Greek revolution against Ottomans. The fortress, home of Ali Pasas (the chief commander of Turkish soldiers) is located at the city center.
Life upon the lake…
Do not lose the chance to visit the small island ( boat connection ) which is standing close to the city in the middle of the lake.
It has been characterized traditional settlement as the local architecture is still visible there. There are also 7 byzantine chapels and many gastronomical restaurants upon the island giving you the chance to taste local cuisine.
How to get There: From Athens is 5 hours road-trip / 3 hours from Thessaloniki.
Usefull links: https://www.ioannina.gr/visitors/
2.Prespes lake(s) National park- West Macedonia
Close to Greek- Albanian borders there are two Lakes known as Big Prespa and Small Prespa. 850 meters above the sea level this rough and at the same time extremely beautiful corner of the Greece is famous for rich bird –life.
Over 200 species has been counted there, living in harmony with the environment. The area of lakes has been declared as National park .
Moreover the scenery is so inspiring so If you have the chance it is the perfect place to park your car or your van and have an overnight in the middle of nowhere…
How to reach : The closest place where you will find facilities and hotels is the city of Florina- 200km away from Thessaloniki, where there is an airport connection.
3. Timfi dragon lake- Zagori Ipirus
According to the myth , on the mountain Timfi lived a dragon who was fighting with the Dragon from the opposite mountain , Smolikas, throwing each other stones.
This ice aged lake attracts mountaineers from around the world due to its magical beauty. The scenery look alike the Italian Dolomites where you can find a mountain hut to stay for a night before you rech the lake or the higher summits.
Nowadays there is a huge conflict among the circle of hikers if its properly to swim inside the lake or not because ,there , lives a small lizard known as Alpine Tritons. It is believed that the human body’s ph of affects these small creatures.
How to reach
There are several trails lead up to the lake. The most common of them starts from village Mikro Papigo gain smoothly altitude until Astraka mountain hut. From there it is about 1 hour walk to approach the lake. There are signs through the way and next to the lake there is space to camp!
Usefull links : http://astrakarefuge.com/el
4.Plastiras Lake- Thessaly Central Greece
In just 4.30 hours away from Athens you will find maybe the most famous among the big Greek lakes. Located at Nevropolis plateau, in Karditsa prefecture, this artificial lake belongs to a valuable ecosystem surrounding by small greek villages and high summits.
Here you have many options to choose for an overnight . From 5 star resorts to traditional guesthouses.
Mountain bike, lake- canoe, mountaineering, or long hiking tours, this place is waiting for you to expole it. In addition the local hospitality will capture your heart and definitely this will be not the last time you visit the place.
The villages around the lake is the perfect place for long-time vacations with friends or your family and in general offer cheap facilities. Furthermore the clean air, natural springs and the tasty local cuisine will give you the sense of longevity…
Check our trekking tour at: https://pezoporistas.gr/tour/lake-plastira/
5.Lake Doxa- Peloponnese
Are you searching for a weekend close to Athens? Then Doxa lake is what you need.This magnificent artificial lake is located at Korinthos region in Northern Peloponnese 2 hours away from Athens.
You can lost around the area and explore small parts of the forest or you can relax in a mountain hotel talking with locals. In addition you can discover hidden gems nearby like mount Helmos or lake Tsivlou by your car .
Finally there are many hiking trails you could follow. If you are fan of adventure then we suggest to rent a buggy or a quad from local experts!
usefull links: https://exploreziria.gr/
6. Gistova alpine lake- Mount Grammos, Macedonia
On the west edge of Greece, just a step from Albanian borders, is located maybe the most historical mountain of the last fifty years. Mount Grammos and its highest summit Tsouka petsik at 2521m.
The civil war between political movements back in 1950 configured a landscape of small untouched villages with no special facilities despite of unique mountainous environment.
At an altitude of 2350m an alpine lake magnetize passionate hikers who love to explore more and more! The ridge of Grammos is stunning and if you are fan of wild campig then it is worth to caary on your tent during the ascent!
How to reach: The village of Nestorio ( 2.30 hours from thessaloniki) or the small city of Konitsa could be your starting to reach the area as many traditional villages around it.
Usefull links : https://anavasi.gr/
The list of lakes is quite bigger as there are many of them in our beautiful country! Don’t forget the next time you come in Greece to buy a good map and DON’T trust gps applications in total…
See you ou there!
Check out some of our hiking itineraries at www.pezoporistas.gr