Far different from, but very nearby, the hustle and bustle of Athens lies one of the best travel destinations for a relaxing vacation – Lake Vouliagmeni. This unique lake is easily accessible from Athens and is one of the top things to do in Greece.
Lake Vouliagmeni is located just outside the town of the same name. Vouliagmeni is a beautiful seaside town that is only 13.5 miles (22 km) south of Athens. You can rent a car or take a taxi to arrive at Lake Vouliagmeni from Athens; the drive takes about 30 minutes. There are also local buses that take you directly to the lake’s entrance from the capital. You can easily make a day trip to Lake Vouliagmeni from Athens, but you may want to stay longer and take advantage of the luxury hotels located in the area.
The name Lake Vouliagmeni means “sunken lake” in Greek. The name should tip you off to the fact that this lake is different from others you have seen before. It is, in fact, a unique geological formation that you will not encounter anywhere else. This is a site that you cannot miss while you travel the world.
The lake, though now in the open air, was once part of a cavern. Sometime in the Middle Ages the cavern roof collapsed due to the heat rising from the water, exposing Lake Vouliagmen. The remains of the cavern walls rise in a rocky cliff above the lake, creating a spectacular view. The exposed part of the lake is not all there is – the lake continues through a series of underwater caves that still have not been fully explored.
Because the lake is fed by an underground mountain spring, the water is constantly warm – it remains at 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) all year. The water is brackish and full of minerals that come from the hot spring that feeds the lake. These unique characteristics make Lake Vouliagmeni a popular spa destination year-round. The minerals in the water are said to help with all sorts of illnesses, including arthritis and other aches and pains, as well as eczema and other skin conditions. Even if you do not have one of these conditions, swimming the warm waters is a relaxing way to spend part of your trip to Greece.
Don’t worry that visiting such a unique natural wonder will put you out of the way of civilization. There are tourist-friendly cafés and restaurants lining the boardwalk around the lake. There are also five-star resort hotels in the town of Vouliagmeni.
Lake Vouliagmeni has it all – beautiful views, a natural wonder, spa facilities, luxury resort hotels, and proximity to Athens. You cannot miss having this unique experience, so pencil it into your travel itinerary for your world travels.
When to Go to Lake Vouliagmeni
While Lake Vouliagmeni is warm and available for swimming all year, there are more spa services such as hydrotherapy available during the summer, so try to plan your trip to Greece for the summer months. The lake is also very close to the beautiful, unpolluted Vouliagmeni beach, so a summer trip to Athens will allow to swim in the ocean as well.
During the winter months, Lake Vouliagmen is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In the summer months it is open longer, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.