Change Language:
Rivers
Acheloos River
0°C
Humidity: %
Clouds: %

Acheloos or Aspropotamos is the second largest river in Greece after Aliakmonas River. It rises in Pindus mountain range and specifically in Mount Peristeri, southwest from Metsovo, crosses a route of 220km and eventually flows into the Ionian Sea. It is supplied from many streams and other rivers like Aspros, Agrafiotis, Trikeriotis, Tavropos, Inahou, Vakariotis, Vasalaka, Vatakiada, Granitsiotis, Lepenitsa, Kali Pigi, Platania and others. Acheloos crosses Trikala Province, it constitutes the natural border between the Provinces of Karditsa and Arta and also the natural boundary between Etolia and Akarnania. At the river’s estuary there have been formed the islets Ehinades.

Today, one of the biggest wetlands has been created at Acheloos estuary that is protected under the National Treaties Ramsar and Natura. Hundreds of fish and bird species many of which are under extinction live here.

Name –Mythology

The river’s name is composed by the Sanskrit route ‘ah’ which means ‘a lot of water’ and the adjective ‘loon’ that means ‘better’. As for the name Aspropotamos or Aspros, many claims have been arisen over the years and are probably connected with its pounding, force waters or with its white pebbles and white mud.

Hesiod presents Acheloos as a deity, son of Tethys and Oceanus, which took many monster forms. According to the myth, Acheloos fought with Hercules to claim Deianeira, daughter of Ineas the king of Kalydon. Acheloos was defeated and gave Hercules the ‘Amalthea’s Horn’

Flora and Fauna

One of the most important wetlands in Mediterranean has been formed in Acheloos’ estuary. This area of high environmental value is composed by reeds, marshes in rich vegetation, brackish sea lakes, sand dunes and wet grasslands that host a rich fauna.

In the river live about 16 fish species among which, the known Trout of Aspropotamos. The uncontrolled fishing activity and the means they use have reduced significantly the fish population. Some of the species that nest at Acheloos’ gorge are various birds of prey, golden eagles and short-toed eagles while at its Deltalive collared pratincoles, black winged stilts, oystercatchers, Dalmatian pelicans, greater spotted eagles, black vultures, golden eagles, sea eagles and Bonelli's eagles. Some of the mammals that can be met from the river’s spring up to its flowing are wolves, roes, wild goats and many more. Acheloos provides shelter for some bird species that spend here the winter like coots, great white egrets, cormorants, pochards and wigeons.

Acheloos and the Electric Power

The river’s water capacity that flow rapidly makes it ideal for exploitation in terms of producing hydroelectric power. Acheloos hydroelectric complex is one of the biggest in Europe and supplies with electric power the most regions in Greece. Along the river there have been constructed four dams (Kremasta, Kastraki, Tavropos and Stratos) and two more (Mesohora and Sykia) have been constructed to cover the irrigation needs of more regions. Kremasta dam is the biggest in Europe and the greatest hydroelectric power station of DEH has been operated since 1965. Sykia dam constitutes the river’s diversion project that includes the construction of a tunnel through which the water could be diverted in order to cover the irrigation needs of Thessaly corps and the water supply of the big urban centers in the area.

Acheloos and Extreme sports

Achellos River is the perfect ground for an array of extreme sports due to its length and forced waters. At the area known as ‘Aspropotamos Mountains’ (central Pindus) there are clubs with qualified staff that can familiarize even the amateurs in the secrets of rafting and canoe-kayak.

The routes you can follow are three. The first is ‘Agia Paraskevi Bridge – Alexis Bridge’ with difficulty II and III that takes 1,15 hours to cross (50€/person). The second is ‘Alexis Bridge-Mesohora’ with difficulty II and III that takes 2,45-3 hours to cross (60€/person). The third is ‘Agia Paraskevi Bridge -Mesohora’ that is the longest and takes 4-4,30 hours to cross (70€/person).

Tel. /Fax: +3(0) 2410921244

Mobile: +3(0) 6932545001

e – Mail: oltrek@otenet.gr

Website: www.olympostrek.gr