One of the rare geological phenomena of Kefalonia, is definitely the Karavomilos Lake.
The lake and the homonymous village derive their name from the local watermill which used an iron boat wheel.
It is of great geological and biological interest.
Geologically, because it connects through an underground network of caves, with the Katavothres of Argostoli!
And biologically, because the biodiversity of this place is impressive since it's home to many endemic species!
Karavomilos lies 2.5 km northwest of Sami. Sami region is renowned for having a lot of fascinating geological phenomena, due to its location having intense tectonic activity.
Nearby is the Karavomilos picturesque fishing village, at 1km distance from the harbor of Sami.
The lake is artificial, with an almost circular shape and shallow waters. It lies 80m from the coast, and has been separated from the sea by a wall.
The bottom of the lake is 1m deep and is covered by seaweed and mud. The waters come from the bottom of the sea, and end up in the nearby Sami.
Karavomilos is a submarine, brackish, karstic (underground network of rock formations) spring with a great water supply, of 99% fresh water.
This karstic network begins from the Katavothres, and extends across the island, through the Melissani Cave. Finally, it emerges in Karavomilos, as fresh water.
In 1963, 2 Austrian geomorphologists conducted an experiment, verifying that the water passing through, takes 2 entire weeks to make the journey across the island.
The lake is home to many endemic species of flora and fauna, some of them being endangered. The conservation of the place is really important since its biodiversity is very rich.
The endemic fauna of the place is the colorful orchid species of, O.phrys fusc, O. gottfriediana, and O. lutea..
On your visit, you will probably encounter many elegant swans, and 2 majestic heron species, Ardea cinerea, and Ixobrychus Minutus.
There are also plenty of ducks and geese roaming around blissfully.
The underwater endemic species include the eel, Anguilla Anguilla, and the cephalus, Mugil Cephalus.
In addition, the nearby stream is home to 2 species of water turtles, Emys Orbicularis, and Mauremys Rivulata.
The lizard Podarcis Ionicus of Balkan origin, is another one of the inhabitants of this magical place!
What to do
The lush vegetation, in combination with the wildlife and the beautiful church, makes the walk around the lake an experience you will most certainly enjoy. The scenery is spectacular when you stride along the cobbled footpath and, in the evenings, the atmosphere is almost magical.
If you want, you can continue your walk through the beautiful trail that leads to the beach of Sami, amidst huge eucalyptus trees.
While you are in the wider region, you can also complete your rare geological phenomena tour, with a visit to Melissani Cave and Drogarati Cave!
If you want to take a swim, the popular beach of Antisamos is not too fr.
In case you want to rest and eat or drink something, there is the traditional taverna of Karavomilos, right next to the lake. You will enjoy the homemade delicacies, under the shade of the huge eucalyptus trees. The spectacular view of the sea on your one hand, and the lake on your other, completes the experience!
How to get there
You can reach Karavomilos lake by car, taxi, or bus. It probably is a good idea to rent a car, especially if you want to take a whole tour of the geological formations!
From Argostoli, the town of Sami is at a 25km distance, a 40-minute ride approximately. Book your car rental with us and enjoy several cosmopolitan and remote places in Kefalonia!Karavomilos Lake, Melissani Cave, and Drograti Cave are waiting for you to explore them!
If you want to take the bus, you have to take the itinerary of "Argostoli- Sami- Ag. Efimia- Divarata".
From Lixouri the distance is around 44kms, a 45-minute ride, more or less. There is not a direct bus itinerary, from Lixouri to Sami, but you can reach Argostoli by ferry, and then take the bus.