A spring excursion along the lakes of Attica

Natural or artificial, not too many yet beautiful, the lakes of Attica are a great option for those seeking new experiences, whether residents in the largest region of Greece or just visitors. Spring has sprung, so this excursion must be added to your bucket list.

The Marathon Lake

The artificial Lake of Marathon is the largest lake in Attica, with a key role in the Greek capital’s history, since from 1931 to 1959 it used to be the main water supply source of Athens. Its creation called for the construction of the Marathon Dam, from 1926 to 1929, a worldwide grandiose project back then. In fact, its façade is covered by Pentelic marble, the same used for the construction of the Parthenon temple. The lake scenery viewed when standing on the dam is breathtaking, making you forget that the city center is almost an hour away.

The area is perfect for nature and hiking lovers, since a broad network of trails, not too hard, deploys around the lake. One of the trails leads to the dam base, where visitors may admire a replica of the ancient temple of Delfoi, built during the dam construction period. The temple is called the Athenian Treasury and was erected by ancient Athenians who praised gods for their victory against the invading Persians in the Battle of Marathon. The replica, constructed to honor those who worked for the dam, actually connects the ancient history of the area with its present.

Lake Vouliagmeni

Lake Vouliagmeni, at the southern suburbs of Attica, is a geotourism landmark within the largest region of the country. This brackish-water lake, with its thermal properties and impressive landscapes, annually attracts thousands of visitors from all around the world, who enjoy its warm waters, since its temperature ranges from 22 to 29 degrees all year long. This true miracle of nature, 1820m long and 550m wide, owes its brackish water to a 17m deep spring.

Actually, in terms of geology, Lake Vouliagmeni is a relatively new lake, created when a part of an underground cave collapsed just 2,000 years ago. This is why the lake is not mentioned in any of the ancient scripts. Its waters are rich in sodium, lithium, calcium and other healing micro-elements. There is an entrance fee and visitors may enjoy a delicious meal or coffee at the lake restaurant. Almost difficult to imagine that this one-of-a-kind place, proclaimed as a Natural Beauty Monument, is just 45 minutes away from the center of Athens.

Lake Beletsi

This small but stunning lake of 7,000 sq.m. is located sidealong eastern Parnitha Mnt, at an altitude of 600 meters. Although artificial, the lake was created as a future habitat and water reserve with its beauty competing that of a natural alpine lake: supplied by rainwater and a small spring on its north. Follow the path around the lake and enjoy the verdant scenery. Feeling hungry? Lay your blanket, have a picnic and might be joined by swans and ducks, familiar with human presence. Either way, Lake Beletsi is a true gateway to nature without leaving the city.

In the heart of springtime, lakes compose magnificent sceneries, ideal for short excursions. Choose any lake in Attica and you won’t regret it!

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