Agia Lake, Chania, Crete

Agia Lake, sometimes known as Agias or Ayia Lake, is a man-made lake built by the local water authority in the late 1920’s to produce hydro-electric power for the growing city of Chania. It was formerly a bog or wet land fed by underground springs and the river Xekolomenos.  It is now better known for birdwatching or if you are a young child it’s a place with an amazing outdoor play area next to the café.

This is the main restaurant from the boardwalk (play area to the far right)

The lake is about 9km south of Chania and is well signposted, just follow the pale blue signs for Lake café (with a picture of a white bird on it), this will take you to the main restaurant, which has limited parking but just before the restaurant is a larger car park and the smaller café which is open all summer.  (The café is renowned for its lemon cake).

Lake Agia is home to lots of Coot, Moorehen and Little Grebes and there are usually some heron species present. Water Rail are present all year round and Little Crake are a possibility here too. Ferrugunous duck probably breed here.  In the summer Olivaceous warblers are common both in the tree and in the giant reeds. Alpine Swifts join large numbers of Common Swifts feeding and drinking over the water.  (Thanks to http://www.naturalbornbirder.com for this info)

There are some information boards which are helpful

Whatever time of year you go there’s lots to see, the lake is nestled in the Fasas valley with olive groves and vineyards growing up along the hillside and there are spectacular views of the White Mountains.

There is a wooden walkway around most of the lake (about 3km) so you can get to see it from different angles and there are a few places for you to sit down along the way.

Even if you’re not a keen bird watcher you can spend a very pleasant few hours here.

But don’t try to break into the abandoned ice cream stall in the winter unless you’re Houdini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other websites you might like to visit to find out more are:

crete-birding.co.uk

cretanbeaches.com

tripadvisor.com

naturalbornbirder.com