A look at two unique places where visitors to Loutraki can sunbathe, swim and enjoy beautiful scenery within a 20 kilometer drive of the city
Encircled by pine forests, Vouliagmeni Lake is a salt-water lagoon where visitors can swim and sunbathe on sandy beaches and enjoy refreshments at tavernas along the shore.
At the Sanctuary of Hera, visitors can explore an archaeological site, swim and cliff jump at a small beach below the ruins, then watch the sunset from a 125-year-old stone lighthouse perched high above the Gulf of Corinth
Into the Corinthian countryside: Sunshine, light clouds and temperatures in the mid-20s Celsius prevailed on our first full day in Loutraki in May. It was perfect weather for a drive through the Gulf of Corinth countryside to visit two of the area’s noteworthy attractions, Vouliagmeni Lake and the Sanctuary of Hera.
First stop was Vouliagmeni Lake, about 15 kilometers from the city. (Like many places in Greece, it is known and referred to by a variety of names, including Limni Vouliagmeni, Lake Ireon, the Heraion Lagoon, and the Blue Lake. To add to possible confusion, there’s another beautiful body of water named Vouliagmeni Lake that is also well-known by Greeks and tourists alike; that one is situated on the Athens Riviera.)
Surrounded by pine tree forests, rolling hills and steep rock slopes, the Vouliagmeni near Loutraki is an oblong-shaped salt-water lagoon connected to the Gulf of Corinth by a narrow channel. The lake is roughly two kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide, and its waters reach depths up to 40 meters. With sandy beaches extending across shallow stretches of its shore, and several tavernas and beach cafes located at varying points on the lakefront, it’s quite a popular daytrip destination for people seeking relaxation or fun in the summer sun — seasonal activities such as snorkeling, water skiing and wakeboarding, as well as cycling and hiking tours, are available at the lake.
Surprisingly, few other people were around when we were there, though that may have been because it was a Tuesday morning, and since we spent most of our time walking around and sitting in the sun on the northeast shore, near Taverna Hera, one of the lake’s handful of restaurant venues. There may have been more people at beachfronts on the southwest shore around Ypanema Seaside Food & Drink, or near the picturesque blue and white waterside chapel dedicated to Agios Nikolaos. Still, there was barely any traffic in the area, so it was remarkably quiet.
Above, photos we shot from the lakeside near Taverna Hera
Above, three views from the lake’s north shore
Above, two photos of the charming Agios Nikolaos chapel on the shore of Vouliagmeni Lake. The images were shared on the social media pages for Ypanema Food and Drinks, one of the lake’s top beach venues. More photos of the lake and the restaurant’s beachfront facilities can be seen on the @ypanemaloutraki page on Instagram.
This aerial film by Dronetube_GR runs nearly 4 minutes and tours viewers above the lake, its beaches and the channel to the gulf
Please click on the link below to read about our visit to the Sanctuary of Hera on page 2.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2