Lake Vouliagmeni is located on the south coast of Attica, about 21 km from Athens center and near Athens (100 meters from the sea) in a very beautiful and scenic area.
Women who carelessly dive into the lake Vouliagmeni, probably do not know that according to legend, there lives a mermaid who drags young boys to the bottom. But they know the health benefits of water, so they visit the lake all year round.
Driving just a few kilometers from the capital of Greece in front of you suddenly opens up a beautiful landscape. The bottom of the lake consists of a labyrinth of underground caves, underwater tunnels and karst formations (typical landforms in carbonate rocks).
It may be surprising that in spite of its proximity to Athens, Lake Vouliagmeni is not mentioned in any ancient text. The ancient authors seem to have ignored it. This mystery is complemented by the name “Vouliagmeni” itself, which has to do with the phenomenon of subsidence. The ancient name of the area is not related to geology, as it was called “Zostir”- (enveloping area), the name obviously comes from the morphology of the enclosed bay Vuliagmeni. The temple of Zostyros Apollo, founded in the 6th century BC, was located there.
In addition, archaeologists have not yet found any evidence of the existence of the lake in ancient times. So why is there no information? Geologists answer: the lake was formed later, probably in Christian times, when the roof of a huge underground cave collapsed due to an earthquake. In the Ottoman era, the lake is referred to as “Vouliasmenos” or “Karachi,” which means “black water.”
When Anastasios Christomanos, a chemistry teacher, made his first attempt to describe the lake in 1889, he noted the therapeutic properties of its water. The hot springs are located only fifty meters from the beach and forty meters below sea level on the road from Athens to Sounion. The temperature fluctuates between 20 and 27 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The water contains minerals, metals, mostly hydrogen sulfide. The thermal properties of the lake help in the treatment of rheumatism, gynecological and skin diseases such as arthritis, joint problems, eczema and headaches.
In 1988 a program of research and mapping of the Vullagmeni Cave began, under the auspices of the speleological sector of the Ministry of Culture, financed by the local municipality.
The research is complex and includes studies of the geology of the cave, chemical analysis of the water and aerial photographs of the area. The cave is the most important sector. It is no coincidence that the head of research is Swiss Jean-Jacques Bolange, president of the International Cave Association. His many years of experience in the field are rewarded with the typical nickname “The Emperor” given to him by his colleagues. Already during his first dive, a narrow passage was discovered at a depth of thirty meters, which leads to an underwater hall of 1,200,000 cubic meters. The research began in the shadow of one accident, when two divers died during a decompression just a few meters from the surface. Their bodies were never recovered. The cause of death was not, of course, the ghosts that the Vullagmeni talk about, but the strong current that appears from time to time when the cave is opened and creates small whirlpools in the water.
Thus, the bottom of the lake began gradually to reveal its true face: it is a complex system of karst caves with underground waters flowing through the Imittu mountains. The natural warmth of the water reveals another important detail: at great depths, the caves are connected by a volcanic arc that runs through a number of Greek islands.
The eight studies conducted to date have uncovered other interesting information. A study of aerial photographs showed a series of four wells and two large caves where a huge stalagmite was discovered, which is the largest karst formation in Greece.
The geological monument is located at a depth of 105 meters about 730 meters from the cave entrance. This discovery completely changed the theory about the recent formation of the Mediterranean. The reason? The stalactites were never created under the surface of the water.
There are a total of 14 different underground tunnels in the lake. One of them is the largest in the world – it is 800 meters long, 60 to 150 meters wide and 80 meters deep on average. The submerged passages have a total length of 4.3 km.
Expeditions and the first scientific findings lit a spark in the imagination of many recreational divers. A myth was formed around Lake Vouliagmeni, associated with excellent visibility at depth, high water temperature and physical beauty. However, in such a labyrinth of tunnels even an experienced diver can lose his orientation. Cave diving compared to sea diving is as different as day from night. Once in a cave, inexperienced divers can lose their way back and die. Thus, eight divers died in the tunnels of the lake. The fatal mistakes were a lack of knowledge about the cave’s underwater environment and inadequate equipment. Most of them didn’t even have an “Ariadne’s thread,” the nylon rope that a diver ties at the cave entrance to avoid getting lost in the underground mazes. In 1995, the caves were closed to the public to prevent accidents. Since then, only scientific diving has been allowed.
The beach around the lake is very well organized, there are sun loungers and umbrellas. There is also a cafe. The lake in its generally hot waters in winter and summer hospitably receives a large number of visitors every day. The lake also provides hydrotherapy services, as the waters have curative properties.
In case of need, the pharmacy and other services are located in the village of Vulyagmeni next to the lake.
It is very easy to get to Lake Vouliagmeni, both from Athens and its surroundings, either by cab, your own or rented car, or by one of the frequent buses. If you stay in the village of Vouliagmeni, you can reach the lake on foot.
What is famous lake Vulyagmeni and how to get there?
We’re going to Athens in late August for a vacation and my husband wants very much to visit Lake Vouliagmeni. What is there to see and do? Also interested in the question is it possible to get there on your own?
The most interesting thing about the lake, in my opinion, is the incredible view.
The lake has long been classified, despite the fact that it is located 21 km from the capital. Only “the elite” came here because the unique thermal water, according to experts, can cure many diseases, and for women – also to rejuvenate. It is dangerous for guys to enter the lake – according to legends, mermaids live there and take the brave men to the bottom!
You can get acquainted with the unique underground world of the lake (I mean, a wide network of caves and labyrinths). The sea is very close – you can walk on foot. There is a great beach near the lake – cafes, deck chairs, lounge chairs, you can buy souvenirs.lake bottom is still not explored, despite the most modern technology, no one can penetrate through the dense network of caves, some even died trying to uncover the mysteries of the lake.
You can get from Athens by bus or cab, the destination is the village Vouliagmeni, to the lake – on foot.
The lake is popular for several reasons. It is only 15 meters from the sea, and you can swim in it all year round (even when it’s cold outside). This is not an ordinary lake, and radon lake is considered that its water can cope with almost any disease. At the bottom of the lake there are various karst formations, underwater tunnels and caves.
The water contains a number of minerals and metals of hydrogen sulfide, which in combination with radon best cope with skin, gynecological diseases, as well as headaches and joint diseases.
With this lake is associated and a number of tragic moments. First of all, this applies to the divers who have died in the waters of the lake. Here come diving enthusiasts from all over the world, but even if a person is a true professional, it does not mean anything. Underwater there are 14 different tunnels, one of which is considered the largest in the world, as its length is 800 meters and a width of 150 meters. The lake has excellent visibility even at great depths, but even an experienced diver can easily get lost in the space among the underwater mazes. It should be understood that the underwater cave diving is much more dangerous than conventional sea diving. Officially dead in the caves of the lake are considered eight divers.
The beach of the lake is well equipped, there are umbrellas, sun loungers, working cafe. The lake receives a large number of visitors at any time of year. Since the area is prestigious, tourists do not always manage to find affordable accommodation in this place, so they stay in Athens and from there go to the lake (the distance is short and there will be no problems with transportation).
Vouliagmeni is among the best resort areas in the suburbs of Athens. From the center of Athens it is located 25 kilometers away. The aroma of the eucalyptus and pine trees create a perfect microclimate which is favorable for the body. This place has a concentration of luxury villas, as well as homes of wealthy citizens of Athens, so we can say that it mostly rests affluent tourists and residents of Greece. To get to the place is not a big problem, you can get to Athens and from there you can take a cab to Vouliagmeni (the trip will not take long and is not expensive financially). You can also take a bus, but in this case it is not very necessary. Being at the airport do not need to get into the first available cab, it’s better to walk around and ask about the prices. This is due to the fact that tourists often take advantage of the unawareness of tourists and significantly inflate the price, although in fact the trip is much cheaper.
The climate in this place is quite hot and tourists who can hardly stand the heat, it is advisable to refrain from traveling to this resort. The average air temperature in summer exceeds 30 degrees, but rarely the thermometer column shows 40 degrees. In winter, the temperature drops to ten degrees Celsius. The weather is sunny almost all the time and only in wintertime there are precipitations (about 90% of the annual precipitation falls in winter).
A big plus of this resort is that here all the beaches are sandy, but at the same time paid. This is due to the fact that almost all the beaches belong to the hotel. The cost of a day pass ranges from 1.5 to 5 euros. Most often, the entrance fee includes a sun lounger and an umbrella. On paid beaches for the territory is watched, cleaned regularly, the sand there is clean. In addition to paid beaches, you can find free beaches in this area. On these beaches, the water in the sea is the same clean, but that is a significant drawback is the cleanliness of these beaches. Since they are free, the order there is not very good. Affluent Greeks and tourists choose the best beaches. Among them are the beaches of Attica-Akti, Kavouri, Asteria-Volimenis. They are not just good beaches, but really luxurious. That’s just the entrance to them can be up to 10 euros or even more. The cost of visiting the beach in the first place affects its infrastructure: the presence of cafes, restaurants, pools, SPA and other facilities that contribute to the most comfortable rest. On the territory of such beaches there are quality and well-equipped children’s playgrounds with specially trained staff, where you can leave your children and be sure that they are always supervised.
Most beaches have ample opportunities not only for sunbathing and swimming, but also for active entertainment, which includes windsurfing, diving, kitesurfing and much more. On the most remote beach of the resort are parking for luxury yachts. This place is very popular with tourists who come there to arrange a stunning photo shoot. The most popular beach among affluent vacationers is Kavuri beach.
The resort itself has a large concentration of restaurants that offer not only traditional Greek cuisine, but also cuisines of different peoples of the world. Even the most hardcore foodies will not go hungry in this place. Some restaurants focus on a particular direction: seafood dishes, Mediterranean cuisine, etc.
There are a lot of business centers and congress hotels, which is why a lot of business people gather here to combine business and leisure. The number of hotels here is large, but when choosing the most careful, as not always the declared number of stars does not always correspond to the quality of services provided.
The main attraction of this resort is the Vullagmeni lake of the same name, which is famous for its thermal springs. Around the lake are beautiful rocks, which have long been overgrown with coniferous forests. The lake is connected with the bay through a six-meter channel, so it is not surprising that the water in it is salty (fresh water of the lake is mixed with salted sea water). Even in winter, the water temperature in the lake does not drop below 20 degrees. The waters of these thermal springs are enriched with various minerals, as well as sulfur, which, in turn, helps treat diseases of the respiratory system, gynecological, skin, rheumatic diseases, as well as skin problems. You have to pay 4.5 euros to enter the beach of this lake. There are two reasons for the formation of this lake. According to one, the lake was formed at the bottom of a volcano crater, and according to the other, it is a consequence of the collapse of the ceiling of the cave. According to one of the legends, the goddess Athena repeatedly bathed in this lake.
In addition to the opportunity to bathe in the lake and improve their health, tourists can visit a number of interesting local attractions, among which the most interesting are the stalagmite caves, the monastery of St. Potapius, the ancient stone lighthouse and several others. There are many interesting sights in the vicinity of this lake. Many people combine a visit to this lake with sightseeing of the main Athenian attractions.
You can not say that the resort Vouliagmeni refers to the number of cheap and accessible to tourists, but the relatively high cost, almost no one is afraid.
If you get the opportunity, it is worth visiting the amazing Lake Vouliagmeni. Each of the tourists who visit this lake can find exactly what interests him most – many will plunge into the lake’s healing water in the hope to heal their ailments, some will be attracted by the stories associated with the lake, but no one will leave indifferent the magnificent view that surrounds this lake, located a few tens of meters from the sea.
Lake Vulyagmeni is located near the beautiful town Vulyagmeni. The small town got its name after the unique lake formed in the past by a landslide.
Vouliagmeni is an expensive and prestigious resort in Greece. Here are a lot of luxury villas, hotels, bays and beautiful beaches. Here the beautiful nature, the Mediterranean eucalyptus, pine trees, along with the sea air create a special healing effect.
Lake Vouliagmeni is located in the heart of the Athenian Riviera. It is a very picturesque body of water with whimsical yellow rocks, century-old pines, evergreen eucalyptus trees, underwater caves, labyrinths, unique thermal waters and swimming bridges. Near the lake there are umbrellas and special sun loungers, you can eat in a cafe, sunbathe and swim in the lake. Entrance to the lake is paid from Monday to Friday, you pay 9 euros, and on weekends 10 euros. In winter, on some days there are discounts. You can visit the lake daily from 8:00 to 17:00.
The lake is unique in its brackish water, which is constantly updated from the sea and from underground sources. The water temperature of the lake never drops below +22 degrees and rises to +29 degrees in the summer. The water in the lake is medicinal with high content of sulfur. Here are treated diseases of the musculoskeletal system, various diseases of the nervous system, gynecological and skin diseases.
Lake Vulyagmeni is home to many unique organisms. These include clams, sponges, anemones, and the famous Garra Rufa fish. As soon as you enter the lake, your feet are swarmed by these fish. At first you feel their nibbling, and then you get used to it, but the feeling is pleasant and unforgettable. One hour of swimming in the lake is enough, and the memories will last a long time.
To get from Athens to Vouliagmeni lake is as follows. First, you need to take the metro to the terminal station Elliniko, this is the second line. Get off on the side where the tall tower stands. Next to the subway is a bus stop number 122, get off at the Limni stop. Without changing the line you can get to the lake by bus KTEL. Get on it at the corner of the park Marsovo Pole, and get off at the same stop Limni.