Zaros (Greek: Ζαρός) is a village and a former municipality in the Heraklion regional unit, Crete, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Faistos, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 71.803 km2 (27.723 sq mi). Population 2,953 (2011). Zaros village, at an altitude of 340 metres, is a village with a lake and gorge nearby.
The village has a couple of hotels and it is 44 km from Heraklion at the southern foothills of Mount Psiloritis. The population produce olive oil, sultanas, vegetables and spring water. There are a couple of tavernas that serve trout. Close by is Rouvas Gorge, which is part of the Psiloritis mountain range and is on the hiking route known as the E4 European Walking Path. Nearby Zaros village are traditional water mills which have been working since the 16th century, as well as archaeological sites and monasteries. Zaros is also famous for its bottled water derived from Lake Votomos.
The lake of Zaros or Votomos takes its name from the homonymous source that supplies it. Its current shape lake was formed in 1987 with the intervention of the Forest Service. Initially there was a small wetland formed by the estuary of the spring. By the interventions of the forest department, the spring waters were collected and the lake was formed.
Nowadays the lake is full of trout with beautiful vegetation in its surroundings, thus creating a beautiful ecosystem that is a tourist attraction. It is one of the rarest ecosystems of Crete as it is the only lake in the area and one of the few in Crete. On the lake there is an organized tourist infrastructure with cafe taverns and rooms for rent, thus offering an ideal environment for family vacations. Click for complete WIKI...