PRIVATE TOUR OF Lake Stymfalia

Stymfalia is a lake which is located on a plateau, at an altitude of 600 meters, between the mountains Kyllini and Oligyrtos. Lake Stymfalia has to do with the sixth labor of Hercules, who faced the Stymphalian Birds. Hercules managed to trap the birds to appear from the dense flora of the lake, thanks to the rattle of copper, given to him by the goddess Athena. Then Hercules hit each bird with his bow and arrows.
The lake is a wetland with important biodiversity integrated in the European Network of Protected Areas NATURA 2000. It is an ideal place for the 133 species of protected, threatened and endangered birds and it is a heaven for many migratory birds. Of biological interest is widespread species of fish that lives only in this lake, Phoxinellusstymfalicius, which succeeds to endure the periods of drought of the lake.
In this tour we will find the Stymfalia Environmental Museum, which is located on the slope of one of the hills surrounding the lake. There you will find everything about the local environment and its importance and will see how the local environment has affected the progress of human activity, and particularly of traditional professions. Finally, you can see the open aquarium with live fish and plants of the area.

You will experience:
- Scenic drive through the mountains and villages with Ancient Greece Tours
- Lake Stymfalia
- The Environment Museum
- Zaraka Cistercian Monastery
- Surrounding villages
- Traditional tavernas
- Shopping authentic traditional souvenirs and local produce

Lake Stymphalia...

Located in the north-eastern part of the Peloponnese in Corinthia,Stymphalia is a Wetlands area,a popular farming area.Usually this area around the lake is fairly dry underfoot. Stymphalia is situated at an altitude of 700 meters between four mountains:Ziria,Oligirto,Mavrovounio and Gavria.Considered to be a rare wetland habitat it hosts more than 143 species of birds, some of which are rare.A priveleged site for the birds which can find there refuge,a breeding zone,a place to stop during the migration.In this way you can observate throughout the year some species as Grey Heron.Rare birds:Marsh Harrier (circus aeroginosus),Coot (fulica atra),Aythia Ferina,Little Egret (Egretta Garzeta).It is worth stopping by at one of the bird observatories along the lakeside road. A very special ecosystem,a mountainous wetland,lake Stymphalia is protected by the Natura 2000 program and by the IBA (Important Bird Area) in Europe.


The ruins of the Ancient city of Stymphalos on the lake's northern roadside where the remnants of the Ancient Agora's public buildings,fortifications and temples have been discovered that bear testament to the past's glory.The city which has been excavated was founded in approximately 350 BC on the site of a town with inter-dispersed ruins dating to the early and late Bronze Age period.The partial destruction of Stymphalos appears to be due to a Roman military attack after 146 BC.

The Environment Museum...

Is located at an altitude of 600m.The water basin of Stymphalia is considered to be the largest mountain lake of the Peloponnese,at the same time as being the Balkan's southernmost mountain wetland.The basic goals of the museological approach are to raise the public's ecological awareness and preserve the knowledge relating to the regions traditional technology.The exhibition's goals are supported by models and interactive applications,digital representations and documentary films.
A walk around the lake allows one to acquaint oneself with a rare and important ecosystem.


In ancient Greece,Stymphalos,lying in this valley of northwestern Arcadia was renowned as the site of the Labors of Hercules,the slaying of the Stymphalian birds,the Stymphalides Ornithes! The Stymphalian Birds are man-eating birds with beaks of bronze,sharp metallic feathers they could launch at their victims,and poisonous dung.They migrated to a marsh in Arcadia to escape a pack of wolves.There they bred quickly over the countryside,destroying crops,fruit trees and townspeople.
The sixth labour of Heracles...The Stymphalian birds were defeated by the hero Heracles (Hercules) for Eurystheus.Heracles could not go into the marsh to reach the nests of the birds,as the ground would not support his weight.Athena,noticing the hero's plight,gave Heracles a rattle which Hephaestus had made especially for the occasion.Heracles shook the rattle and frightened the birds into the air.Heracles then shot many of them with arrows tipped with poisonous blood from the slain of Hydra.The rest flew far away,never to plague Arcadia again.Heracles brought some of the slain birds to Eurystheus as proof of his success. The surviving birds made a new home on an island in the Euxine Sea.The Argonauts later encountered them there.

*You can also engage in an activity that will make you feel as though you were part of the mythological scene of Heracle's battle with the Stymphalian Birds.Archery by the lake!Of course you will be using special targets (provided by a sports organiser in the area).

Zaraka Cistercian Monastery...

The impressive Zaraka Cistercian Monastery ruins,a little outside the village,appear to be the first noteworthy evidence for the monastery,which date back to 1236.It's church (a three-aisled basilica roofed with grain vaults) has been excavated over three periods (1928,1962,1993-1997) while the columns are reminiscent of the 13th century Gothic churches.

Surrounding villages...

The villages Kaliani,Lafka where a prominent museum operates with old tools,and Kastania are set in a magnificent landscape with chestnut,fir and plane trees.Take in the beauty of the area by mountaineering as some spots offer a breathtaking view of the lake.
Plenty of guest houses and rooms-to-let in the mountain villages of Feneos,Goura,and Ano Kato and Mesa Trikala.All of these villages have many traditional tavernas and grill houses.
Feta cheese is a specialty of Stymphalia and its origin goes back a long way in history,and is counted the oldest cheeses in the world.
According to myth,the Cyclops Polyfimos was the first to have prepared it.

Leisurely tours with a personal touch!
Live your myth in Greece with Ancient Greece Tours!
Activity level: Moderate
Duration: Full day
Type: Agrotourism, Sightseeing, Religious, Walking, Shopping, Full Day

All Monasteries are open from sunrise to sunset.

Admission is free.
Open: In winter from the 1st of November until the 31st of March from 8:00am to 3:00pm.

The Environment Museum of Stymphalia
Opening hours:
From March 1st to October 15th: Daily (except Tuestdays) 10:00am to 6:00pm
From October 16th to February 28th: Daily (except Tuesdays) from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Closed on: Tuesdays, January 1st, Good Friday (until 12 noon), (Greek Orthodox) Easter Sunday, May 1st, September 14th (local patronal feast), August 15th, December 25th and 26th.

Standard entrance fee: € 3,00
Reduced ticket: € 1.50.
Days of free admission:
May 18th (International Museum Day)
June 5th (World Environment Day)
Last weekend in September (European Heritage Days)

Infant seats available
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Refunds will not be issued if tour/activity is missed due to late or non-arrival of cruise ship

Pickup Information

Athens International Airport
Centre of Athens
Piraeus port
Corinth Suburban Train Station (Proastiakos)
All Hotels, AirBnbs and Apartments from the regions listed above
    Private Certified Tourist Guide (Available Upon Request At Extra Charge)
    Hotel/port pickup and drop-off
    Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
    Port pickup and drop-off
    Private tour
    Round-trip private transfer
    Transport by private vehicle
    Transport by air-conditioned minivan
    We speak your language
    On-board WiFi
    Handmade candies
    Refreshment wipes
    Bottled water
    Accommodation as per itinerary
    Coffee and/or Tea
Private Certified Tourist Guide (Available Upon Request At Extra Charge)
Food and drinks
Gratuities (Appreciated not expected!)