Vouliagmeni Lake : A Day Trip from Athens
If you are visiting Athens and want to get away from city hustle for a day, I have just the ticket for you. Thermal Vouliagmeni Lake is a mere 50 minutes away from the centre of Athens, Facilities at the lake are open all year round and the temperature of the water varies from 21C at its coldest to 29C at its warmest. Let me share with you how we spent a day a at this beautiful nature reserve.
Travelling to Lake Vouliagmeni is easy. Get off at the Elleniko metro station and jump on the bus 122, which stops right opposite the lake entrance. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, but bear in mind that city centre traffic can be an issue.
Once you arrive, you can select the area where you would like to stay. There is a larger sitting area with chairs and parasols and a private zone called “Prive” with sunbeds and table service. We enjoyed hospitality in the Prive area, it was serene and peaceful.
Both areas are absolutely gorgeous and there is plenty of space even with the social distancing requirements. Prive area has table service, but if you want , you can go to the bar or restaurant for drinks and food.
The main attraction is, of course, the lake. Vouliagmeni Lake has been formed around 320B.C, so keep this in mind when you are swimming in such a historic place.
It is believe that a big volume of hot water was running inside a cave and eroded the walls. The roof of the cave collapsed and submerged, which in turn created the lake. The name “Vouliagmeni” , from the Greek word ‘’vouliazw’’, means to submerge. The lake’s depth is about 20 to 100 meters.
Current research still struggles to identify where the water, which fills the lake, comes from. The lake is fed by both thermal waters and the sea, which makes it a very special body of water.
The landscape around the lake is amazing, I literally lay on my sun lounger and stared at the rock formations and how sun was changing the colours of the rock.
It has to be said that design team at Vouliagmeni Lake have done a fantastic job at enhancing the environment with tasteful furniture and calm colours. The result is that there are plenty of amenities to make your stay at the lake comfortable, and you don’t feel distracted from the natural beauty of the lake.
Another attraction is the Spa fish, which will come to nibble on your skin as soon as you enter the water. It felt extremely ticklish at first, but after a couple of swims I got used to the sensation.
My daughter Letitia loved the fish and she did not want to leave the lake because of them. Th Spa fish are not afraid and will readily come and nibble on any part of the body, which is submerged. If you can bear the sensation, you can watch them having their lunch on your feet or hands close up.
We visited Lake Vouliagmeni at the end of October and while the sea was already too cool to swim in, the lake waters were the perfect temperature. It was still quite warm outside with temperatures reaching 26-28 C in the middle of the day, so a dip in the lake was a great refreshment and an unusual way to spend a day in Athens.
As I mentioned, the lake is deep and its waters are crystal clear. The plants are left growing inside the lake to allow for natural environment to develop. The lake is quite long, so you never feel like there is no space to swim freely. Life guards are constantly on duty, so it feels safe.
During the day, I chatted to a few members of staff and they all came across as extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the lake. This made me think that they genuinely care about their place of work, which results in excellent customer service.
If you want to book a space in Prive area, I recommend making your reservations in advance at Lake Vouliagmeni website , but if you are happy to use the chairs, there should be enough spaces.
When we visited at the end of October, there were plenty of people enjoying sunny weather and beautiful waters. The entrance costs the same as renting chairs and umbrellas on the beach. I can definitely recommend Lake Vouliagmeni as a family outing, as the place is looked after extremely well and kids can run about, enjoy the Spa fish or play in the water. If everyone is tired of seeing ancient sites in Athens, Lake Vouliagmeni is a welcome distraction and great day out in the fresh air.
Our visit was hosted by Lake Vouliagmeni, but all opinions are my own.