The lakes of Greece are some of the best places to go if you enjoy both nature, wildlife and the serenity offered by places left relatively untouched by tourism. While many of the lakes in Greece are not well known, they are by no means less stunning.

They offer a spectacular destination all year round. In summer the cool waters give you relief from the heat, in autumn when leaves are beginning to turn golden, the misty surroundings make it the perfect weather to cozy up in a cafe and enjoy a Greek coffee. In winter, the mountainous landscape is amplified by a thick layer of snow. These are some of the most picturesque lakes in Greece that deserve a visit if you are traveling through the mainland.

Lake Orestiada 

Located in the picturesque town of Kastoria, lake Orestiada is the jewel of the village. It is one of those wonderful places still left relatively untouched by tourism and the lake is the perfect destination for those wishing to venture off the beaten track. Kastoria is beautiful in both summer and winter, so it offers the perfect holiday place for any season.

The town of Kastoria once had a thriving fur trade and is named after the beaver (in Greek kastoras). Tragically the beaver is now extinct, but the lake is home to an abundance of other wildlife, making it great place to explore for nature lovers. Take a walk along the promenade and admire the mansions that still remain from a once wealthy era, all with a splendid mountainous backdrop.

© Nikos Koutoulas/Flickr

Lake Pamvotida

Lake Pamvotida is situated in the gorgeous town of Ioannina. Like many parts of northwestern Greece, the region of Epirus holds some magical treasures, as well as some of the most picturesque lakes in Greece. Ioannina, its capital, is no exception.

If you visit the lake in summer, you can enjoy the warm evenings and watch as the rippling water reflects the twinkling lights of the city. But winter has an equal yet contrasting beauty, the morning fog that hovers above the lake creates a mystical feel.

Lake Pamvotida is unique in that it has an island in the centre. The island is often referred to as the islet of Ioannina and despite its small size it is home to friendly residents and many monasteries. So be sure to take the short boat journey to the islet of Ioannina on Pamvotida lake and explore the paved alleys of this quaint traditional settlement.

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Dragon Lake

Just 60 km north of the beautiful town of Ioannina is another gorgeous lake in Greece that should be visited if you are in the region of Zagori. Dragon lake is nestled in Tymfi Mountain which is in Vikos–Aoös National Park. This lake can be reached by hiking from the village of Papingo. The walk is not too strenuous but does require a reasonable amount of fitness as it is about a 4 hour journey uphill. The lake is best visited between May and October, as in winter the lake is frozen and only experienced hikers should venture out during these snowy months.

As the name suggests this lake is tied to a legend, one that involves two dragons. According to local myths these mountains were once home to rival dragons. One lived on Mount Tymfi and the other on Mount Smolikas. Peaceful coexistence for these fire breathing creatures was not an option and whenever one was angered, they would throw rocks at the other. The rocks can be seen scattered around both lakes to this day. There is something magical about this lake, as with many of the places in Greece. They’re made all the more intriguing by the stories and legends that are tied to them, passed down through the ages.

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Lake Plastira

Lake Plastira is located in northern Greece in the region of Thessaly. The lake is named after Nikolaos Plastiras who first proposed the idea of a dam to help solve Thessaly’s irrigation problem. Be sure the visit the dam wall itself and take in the impressive outlook. The observatory is located close by and offers the best views of the lake and beyond.

The lake itself is surrounded by fir trees with the Agrafa mountains in the distance, these look incredible in winter when covered in snow. You can even go skiing at the ski resorts in the region. There are a number of other outdoor activities you can indulge in while you’re here. Depending on the season not only can you can ski, but you can mountain bike, kayak and go rock climbing or horseback riding.

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Lake Trichonida

Lake Trichonida is the largest natural lake in Greece. It is located in western Greece in the region of Aetolia-Acarnania. The lake and surrounding area is home to an abundance of bird life and fish! The lake is part of the Natura 2000 network for its ecological importance.

Find a spot at a lake front taverna to have lunch, take a walk and go fishing, try your hand at some water sports and of course go for a swim! This is an unspoiled spot that offers so much to see and do.

Lake Doxa

This lake is nestled high in the hills at an elevation of 900m and is called ‘Little Switzerland’ by some for its stunning mountainous outlook. Lake Doxa is situated in Northern Peloponnese and if you are taking a road trip in this area it is definitely worth marking on your map.

Surrounded by pine forests, the deciduous trees that speckle the shore create a wonderful array of gold and orange in the autumn months. The isolated Saint George Monastery in Feneos is located north of the lake and provides a charming touch to this already lovely setting.

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Lake Kournas

This lake in Greece is particularly special as it is located on the Greek island of Crete. So if you are wanting to explore the islands instead of the mainland, there’s no need for you to miss out on the lakes of Greece!

Just a short drive from the capital of Chania this is one of the best things to do while visiting the island. The small lake has a lovely white sandy beach and provides a great destination for a day trip. Relax on the shore, have a refreshing swim, grab a bite to eat, feed the ducks or hire a pedal boat. Whatever you do you’ll enjoy this little slice of paradise.

© Canva Library
  • Did you know that there were so many beautiful lakes in Greece? Which one would you like to visit?


Kia Ora. My name is Marcia Welch and I am a traveller from New Zealand. I have always dreamed of visiting and exploring Europe and have finally begun my overseas experience, or OE as we call it. I have always been drawn to the vibrancy and beauty that embodies Greece and I am excited to document and share my experiences. I am currently in Athens.

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lakes in greece
lakes in greece
lakes in greece
lakes in greece