Our “Acheron” excursion proved an ideal choice on an autumn weekend for the “pametaxidaki” group, although not it’s not a often picked as a destination by travelers in our region, especially at this time of the year. After 2.5 hours easy drive from Veria (Egnatia until the exit to Paramythia) and three toll stops we were transfered into a vast landscape of tranquility and outstanding natural beauty! At the village “Glyki”, right on the bank of the river amongst loaded orange trees!
Dominant in the region, the river of sorrow, carrying in its waters numerous mythological and unexplained metaphysical legends, it rolls its turquoise waters through the wild scenery of the gorge, tied to ancient Greek mythology, traditions of modern times (St. Donatos’ legend) and history of our country (wars of Souli, etc.). Hall of Underworld, Acheron was the last route for human souls towards “Acherousia” lake in depth of which it was believed that the Underworld is lockated. There boatman Charon directed the souls, collecting the donations in return for his services! Read more about the myths that “flow” in the river’s water here: http://www.prevezainfo.gr/nomosprevezas/prevezaaksiotheata/nekromanteiotouaxeronta/index.html
We stayed at “Glyki Ear», ( http://www.glikisear.gr/en/ , τηλ. 2666041007 ) a new hotel on a hill, overlooking the valley. In its well-equipped very tidy apartments, with kitchen, living room and balconies with a view. We have the best comments to make about Andriana’s hospitality in the wonderful apartments of “Glykis Ear”. About the accommodation prices, too! Ask us to introduce her to you!
Looking for a place to eat towards the center of the village was a bit of an adventure for us! Most restaurants open only until early in the evening at this time of the year. We had lunch at the “Acheron” tavern right by the river- tasty but standard food. The wine was good, too! The next day we chose the tavern near the springs ( “Springs of Acheron”). The tables are under the trees, next to the banks of river. Nice food there, as well but no exceptional dishes. Except “galotyri” which is a local product and was delicious! (Prices from 13 € per person)
What we did and what we recommend:
Cross the bridge and turn left. At the next street fork you will see a sign “Towards ” on the left. Arriving at the tavern next to the hotel “Acheron springs” the land widens offering magnificent river views. At that point starts a short footpath next to the river that leads to the springs. Walk the footpath! It is very compatible through the beautiful nature, along the banks where the river flows calmly.
However, the “must” of the area is to walk the path to the “Skala of Tzavelena”. You will see the sign pointing the way to “Souli” and the “Skala of Tzavelena” on your right. It is an uphill path offering incredible views to the river and the surrounding mountains. One can reach “Dala” bridge or, through the well-marked path climbing from 40 to 500m. altitude, head to “Souli”. (a 2.5 hours’ walk) It is the old path that connected “Souli” with the plain and besides the beautiful view of the “Straits of Acheron”, it passes by stone bridges and derelict mills leading to the old castle of “Kiafa” which was the main stronghold of “Souli”. (Not tested by us!)
More trails! At the fork we mentioned earlier, head right ways and at the next fork keep left. Once you see a plateau park your car. Take the uphill dirt road and after about 300 meters you will reach a tunnel. Cross it and follow the path through the forest of oaks and beeches, leading down to the river’s stone bridge. There the river flows impetuous forming puddles and ponds!!! Further on lays the old bridge of “Dala”. An easy route (45’) to and fro which we did early in the morning! A wonderful feeling!
If you are an adventure type, walking to the springs of Acheron, through the river with clear cold waters that reaches the knee or the waist, choose to visit the area in the summer! The route between the towering vertical cliffs of the canyon has been calculated at 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will need suitable equipment (swimwear and tight shoes) and physical fitness for the 2 km walking in the water and swimming against the tide for about 10-15 meters!
Otherwise, try one of the activities offered by the “Riverdream Action Club”. Vivi Markou escorted us to the descent by boat (rafting), an easy drive down until the bridge of the village. Bring shoes and clothes you do not mind getting them wet (ice cold water)! And of course, ensure the safety rules (e.g. life jackets, helmet) because you never know!!! If you do not want to get wet, go riding along the river banks or further up on the mountain! And a small tip: there are moments when people are queuing for these activities, which means a long delay (even to prebooked rides). On these occasions they cannot offer the best services as they would have liked or as they should.
Visit the “Necromanteion” (Oracle of the dead)! At 17 km (15’ far) from Glyki, in the village “Mesopotamos”, on top of a hill, stands the necromancy (5th-4th century BC.) The faithful came here to communicate with the souls of their loved ones. The site is open and the guards willingly give information about its history. (ticket: Full: € 8, Reduced: € 4 – includes the archaeological site Ephyra, as well. Check the visiting hours: tel: 26840 41206 and 2682089890 or visit the site: http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/eh355.jsp?obj_id=13721 )
Take a coffee break at Mesopotamos the village with the neat streets or follow the road to “Ammoudia Beach” (5 km.) at the mouth of Acheron. Generally the access to the sea is very easy ( 5-10 km.)
Finally visit the heroic “Souli” by car or rather the villages of Souli area, since there is no village named Souli. Follow the paved road outside Glyki leading to “Samoniva”. It’s an uphill 20 km curvy road. I don’t think we saw any people on our way up and through the area! The imposing landscape, with numerous wells everywhere one next to each other! We visited the new Agia Paraskevi church and off to the scales they have constructed so that people that gather there, during the representation events of the blasting of gunpowder. An amphitheater to watch the events that take place every last Sunday of May opposite “Kougi”, where the monk Samuel with his five comrades blew up the warehouse in 1803. Further down, the road leads to “Kiafa” castle. The view from up there is spectacular they say. On your way back, stop at the abandoned watermills, where people used to grind their grain. The water falls from several meters high! A fairytale landscape!
A destination pleasing our vision, hearing and smell in the tranquility of the landscape of the area! A motivate for another trip there in the spring! Andriana, expect us again!
– Glyki – Mesopotamia (Necromancy): 19 km and Glyki – Beach: 20 km
– Glyki – Souli: 18km and Glyki – Paramythia: 19 km
– Glyki – Parga: 27 km and Glyki – Igoumenitsa: 56 km
– Glyki – Preveza: 59 km, Glyki – Arta: 88 km Gliki Ioannina 108 km