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Keri Lake, Zakynthos, Greece

Also known as: Keri's Lake, Limni Keriou

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The rocky coastline gives way to a pebbly beach that meets the clear, turquoise water of Keri Lake. Although not actually a lake at all, Keri Lake, or Limni Keriou as it is known in Greece, is a popular tourist destination on the Island of Zakynthos. Sand-bottomed Keri Lake is a bay on the southern side of the island at the base of Cape Marthias.

First called a "lake" by Herodotus in the fifth century BC, Limni Keriou served as an ancient harbor for Zakynthos and was used for both war and trade by the Spartans, Athenians and Romans. It was the site of numerous attacks by pirates and conquerors, but today serves as restful retreat on Zakynthos. There is a beach for sunbathing, plus the clear water of the Southern Ionian Sea for swimming and fishing. Lake Keri has ample opportunities for scuba diving including the Blue Caves nearby. For more than a century, the Keri Lighthouse has been guiding ships safely to their destinations, and boat tours offer fantastic views of the Islet of Marathonissi.

The village of Keri is perched on the mountainside above Keri Lake. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, Keri is a working village and home to farmers, fishermen and their families. Wandering the narrow streets past old stone houses is the perfect way to become immersed in the culture of the area. After a day spent exploring on land or under water, there are several bars and tavernas that serve the local fish and seafood. Visitors can enjoy the local cuisine while looking out over Keri Lake. Keri is one of 44 villages on the Island of Zakynthos.

About an hour from Celphalonia and Peloponnese and five hours from Athens, Zakynthos (or Zante as it is also known) is the third largest Ionian Island. Named for Zakynthos, the son of the Arcadian chief Dardanus, it covers 100,120 acres and has 76 miles of coastline made up of both rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. The history of Zante stretches back to Neolithic times, and the island was written of by Homer. Zante was part of Odysseus' Kingdom, but over the centuries it changed hands many times falling under the rule of Russia, Turkey, France and England. Along with the other Ionian Islands, Zante was ceded to the Greek State on May 21, 1864, and the Greek flag has flown ever since. Both self-catering villas and vacation rentals are scattered across the island, and Zante has any amenities a visitor might need including hotels, apartments, restaurants and nightclubs.

Zakynthos and Limni Keri have retained the beauty of their natural surroundings, and the wildlife is plentiful. The south side of the island is where the Mediterranean sea turtle, known as Carretta-Carretta, has been laying its eggs for millennia. Monk seals and a variety of water fowl also make their home at Zante.

Days spent swimming or exploring the underwater world of the Ionian Sea, and nights perfumed with local wine and olive oil combine to make Keri Lake an amazing Greek getaway. Set against the backdrop of the turquoise waters and rocky cliffs to the music of the street singers, Limni Keriou is a holiday destination with something to please everyone.


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