Stand by for shock revelations…. the gem of Agios Nikolaos, Lake Voulismeni is NOT bottomless, and it has no link to the volcano in Santorini.
How do I know this?
I joined a dozen other members of INCO, (the local International Community association) for a walking tour of Agios Nikolaos, led by one of our fellow members, Tony Cross a keen geologist. Throughout our 5k walk Tony kept interest levels high pointing out the geological evidence to explain how the town is built on limestone, the exposed remains of underwater landslides, shaped by fault lines and water erosion.
Our group met in a cafe by the marina and hadn’t walked far before Tony pointed out the first evidence of underwater landslides.
Lucy the dog enjoyed her walk but showed no interest in the rock formations.
So, in summary, and I hope I listened carefully, the nearly 50m deep lake is not a volcanic crater as many suppose. It was once an underground cave, formed when water from a spring created mist to dissolve the rock above. When the cave roof collapsed it left a sinkhole. The tall cliff at the rear of the lake is the scarp slope of a fault line. Although once a freshwater lake, it became stagnant when an earthquake cut off the water supply and blocked the outlet. During the 1860s French forces stationed in the town dug the canal making it a saltwater lake.
If you spend time in and around the Agios Nikolaos area and would like to know more about INCO, the local International Community organisation you can use the contact form below to request details.
I thoroughly enjoyed the morning looking at Agios Nikolaos through different eyes, thank you Tony.