In the heart of Province Mirabello, prefecture Lassithi, which the most arid region all over Crete one would not expect to meet a natural freshwater lake. However, at village Kourounes we meet one. Specifically in the area named Limni (lake) at the south entrance of the village and next to the first houses of the small village we find the lake of Kourounes.
It is small but it is quite deep for carrying a significant amount of water. The area of Mirabello is full of such ponds, called pogles, which are small karst plateaus. The lake of Kourounes gathers the waters of the plateau which, due to the absence of a natural sink, form the pond. Around the lake there are impressive ancient stone wells.
The lake has always played an important role in the region and its precious water was used during the dry months of the year to irrigate the crops. Around the lake there is the most fertile farmland of the village. The wetland is quite important for birds, mainly due to lack of water for many kilometers.
Text – photos: Christopher Cheiladakis