Georgioupoli is a popular seaside resort located 21km west of Rethymnon. It is a small coastal town, situated in a lush valley filled with rivers and springs. Locals, apart from tourism, deal with beekeeping and agriculture.The river Almiros crosses the town. Before the town, there is the Almiros marsh, where very important animal species are sheltered. One landmark of the village is the road and the square with the numerous eucalyptus and cypress trees. The square is full of restaurants, cafes and tourist shops. At the exit of Almyros, you will meet the picturesque harbor of the area. But the town’s highlight is the picturesque chapel of St Nicholas, that is built on the end of the small pier. The church from far looks like floating on the sea surface. A Minoan tomb has been found on the hill Kastelos. During the 19th century a big part of the marshland area was dried, in order to save space for new cultivations. Many new residents were then attracted. This created a fairly large settlement, which was named Almyroupoli (i.e. Almiros town), named after the local river. However, the name changed very soon to Georgioupolis, in honor of Prince George, who gave assistance to locals.
Kournas Lake is actually the only large natural lake in Crete and is located in an enchanting landscape, surrounded by high mountains and olive groves. It is located near the village Kournas, 2.5km south of the beach of Georgioupolis.The lake has been created by the accumulation of groundwater coming from the White Mountains. The water gushes from a spring called Amati or Mati (meaning “eye”), which is over the lake surface in the summer months, while it’s hidden below the surface during winter. Kournas Lake and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece. Kournas is one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year. For this reason, it is protected under the Natura 2000 program.The lake is surrounded by lush vegetation composing of rare aquatic plants and trees.Many species of birds find shelter here, like moorhens, ducks, herons and cormorants. Also, the lake has always been known for its eels. This wetland also hosts water snakes and terrapins. Especially for the terrapins, a rare type of terrapin lives here (Malaclemys terrapin) with spots on its shell. It is an ideal place for relaxation and a walk. In summer, a stroll around the turquoise lake lasts less than an hour on one side of the lake there are cafes and restaurants overlooking the lake. Adjacent to the cafes, small beaches with white sand are formed during the summer, as the water surface reached lower levels. Visitors can swim at these beaches and rent umbrellas.This is an ideal choice for the afternoon, when the color of the water is beautiful and the lake is very calm.
Argyroupoli is located 21 km southwest from Rethymnon at an altitude of over 700 meters and is picturesque mountain village with about 400 residents. Characteristic of the village architecture are the many houses built in ancient architectural. The village is connected with the revolution of 1878, because here was declared the union of Crete with Greece. Outside the village, you can visit the ancient Lappa city flourished during the Hellenistic and Roman times and cut several currencies.
Spili is located about 30km south of Rethymno, at an altitude of 430m, at the foot of Mount Vorizis, an offshoot of Psiloritis Mt. Its population is 800 inhabitants, but this number increases during the summer months. The villagers are mainly farmers, ranchers and merchants, but in recent years most young people deal with tourism. In the center of the village square with the two huge plane trees, is Kefalovrisi (i.e. prime spring) as it is called. This is a series of 25 fountains with the form of a lion head from the mouths of which 330 cubic meters of water flow every hour, rich in iron and having a constant temperature at 13 °C. Around Kefalovrisi you‘ll meet several taverns with genuine Cretan cuisine, coffee shops and folk art shops. The river is full of trout and can be accessed through a path of great natural beauty.One of the main attractions of the village are the numerous traditional water mills still surviving near the river. In particular one of them is still in operation, while the beautiful scenery is completed by the European path E4-route 20 “Spili – Gerakari” which runs next to the church the Holy Spirit and through the olive groves north of the village. Lastly, next to the village, starts the most beautiful canyon of Rethymnon, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, exiting at the famous palm grove of Preveli
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