Few people know of Greece’s “Lock Ness” otherwise known as Lake Stymphalia. This high mountain lake has a unique and fascinating history dating back to the hero Herakles. A place where mists, myth, and legend intertwine, Lake Stymphalia is one of Greece’s most beautiful destinations and one of her most mysterious ones too.
Lake Stymphalia is located in the north-eastern part of the Peloponnese, in Corinthia, southern Greece. Famous throughout the ages because of the Labours of Hercules, the lake is where legend says the hero killed the Stymphalian birds, the man-eating birds with bronze beaks and iron wings that destroyed the herds and the crops of the region.
A relatively small lake, Stymphalia is considered to be the most important natural lake in the Peloponnese and the most important mountain lake in Greece. Situated 680 meters above sea level on a plateau, Lake Stymphalia is captivating with its unique and variable seasons. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of Ziria and Oligyrtos, the setting is other-worldly.
The lake area is teeming with amphibians, birds and plants, considered a breeding place for 133 species of rare birds and fowl. It is also home to a unique species of fish called Taxom Pseudophoxinums which sinks itself into the muddy waterbed of the lake during dry periods and creates a kind of slippery envelop around it for protection.
You’ll also find the remains of an ancient Roman aqueduct from Hadrian’s time, which used to carry water to Ancient Corinth. Lake Stymphalia and its complex wetland ecosystem are a Natura 2000 natural protection area. If you visit you’ll also want to take in the amazing Environment Museum of Stymphalia.