THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LAKES NEAR ATHENS
In the heart of the Athens Riviera is the hidden treasure of Attica’s nature. Lake Vouliagmeni is part saltwater, part spring water lake where people can swim year-round due to its desirable, steady temperature of 22-25 degrees. The warm water is known for its therapeutic mineral qualities and healing properties and has been used for years to bring relief to arthritis sufferers.
The Marathon lake is a water supply reservoir embedded in a beautiful mountainous area. The Marathon Dam was constructed in the 1930s and served as Athens’ main supply of water for decades. Multiple walkways have been built around the area so that people can enjoy the lake from all sides. A bridge also goes across the lake, but it is quite narrow and only for cars to traverse.
Just 30 kilometers from central Athens on the eastern slopes of Mount Parnitha, at an altitude of 600 meters, there is a small artificial lake that seems to belong in a fairytale. Lake Beletsi, named after the nearby peak of Mount Parnitha, was created by accident in the 1970s. When construction on the area’s infrastructures began, a torrent mound was closed off. Water began to accumulate in the region, creating the 5,000 square meter lake, which reaches 5 meters in depth. Even though it was created by accident, the lake Beletsi also called a kithara lake from its shape is now an oasis near central Athens, where the capital’s residents and visitors can enjoy their day.
The modern lake Koumoundourou, in the southern region of the Municipality of Aspropyrgos, is identified with the site of the ancient twin ponds of Reitoi. The Reitoi were small artificial lakes created by the waters of a group of springs on the western foot of Mount Aigaleo, about 300 m north of the coast. The northern lake was devoted to Demeter, whereas the southern to Persephone. The latter has been preserved until the present day and is currently known as «lake Koumoundourou». It marks the border between the modern towns of Haidari and Aspropyrgos. Similarly, in ancient times the Reitoi lakes constituted the boundary separating Athens and Eleusis.