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The Lake of Vouliagmeni, Attica

The Lake of Vouliagmeni (meaning “sunk” in Greek) is situated at the southern coast of Attica, within a wonderful and very scenic place, at a distance of some 21 kilometers far from the center of Athens; it is found just some 100 meters far from the sea. During the Ottoman domination its name was “Vouliasmeni”, quite similar to the name it has now, or “Karatsi”, which in Turkish means “dark water”.

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The lake is due to a geological phenomenon: some 20 centuries ago the roof of a big cave caved in due to the corrosion and geological activity; as a result a lake appeared very close to the sea. In all probability, the lake is not directly linked to the sea, although it gets sea water, pretty hot (of a temperature of 30-35ο C ). An extended part of the cave is underwater, with rambling passages, still unexplored. The lake is supplied with fresh water from a spring found in a depth of 17 meters from the sea level. Even in winter the temperature of the water never falls below 18ο C, which allows the visitors to swim even during the cold winter days.

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Although human activity seems to affect the ecosystem of the lake, this latter still remains in a good condition. The variety and the special features of the ecosystem attract the interest of several scientific associations and universities. A characteristic element is that that the lake is not mentioned in any ancient author, not even in Pausanias, which probably means that the lake was found within the cave and was not visible, before the collapse of the roof. As expected, there are several legends about the fairy who keeps in the depth of the lake all young men who dive in its dark water.

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The beach of the lake is very well organized with umbrellas and sun beds and, thanks to the usually hot water, attracts a lot of swimmers every day throughout the year. Among the facilities offered are a nice coffee bar and a very well organized spa, since the water of the lake has also therapeutic qualities. The therapeutic qualities were discovered as early as in 1889, when the Anastasios Christomanos, Professor of Chemistry in the University of Athens, described the lake and stressed attention to the fact that the water of the lake helped in healing various diseases, from rheumatic, gynecological and skin diseases, up to headaches. This is due to the fact that the water contents several minerals and hydrogen sulphide and has slight radioactive properties.

In case of emergence, the corresponding services of the nearby town of Vouliagmeni are available for you.

Access to the lake is very easy from all parts of Athens and of the area around. Access is also possible by taxi , and by rented and private car and motorbikes. There are also several public bus lines running frequently; if you stay at Vouliagmeni, access is also possible on foot.
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