Acheron, the river of woe. The gateway to the realm of the dead. The final voyage of mortal souls. This is the legendary stream of Epirus, where myths and tales flow in its currents. Among them is the story of Orpheus, who tried in vain to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the dark lords of the underworld and bring her back to the world of light.
Acheron River and its beauties
The source of Acheron lies in the Souli mountains, at a height of 1,600 meters. Two kilometers from the village of Glyki, you can see the springs of Acheron. The river forms landscapes of great tranquility and stunning natural beauty as it flows. The eternal stream then continues its journey to the sea, where it joins the Ionian Sea near Ammoudia.
Clear waters, greenery, canyons, lakes, and pools. These are rare sights elsewhere. A protected ecosystem under the Natura 2000 Network. Acheron is shaded by ancient plane trees. You will see huge rocks standing upright along its course. Thousands of birds sing its praises!
The myth that accompanies the river
Acheron, the river of grief, comes from the word “ἄhos”, meaning deep sadness, pain, and lament. In ancient times, its name alone evoked the idea of Hades and horror, as it was seen as the path to the underworld. According to ancient Greek mythology, Hermes brought the souls of the dead to Charon to take them to Hades’ realm. Each soul had to pay an obolus to Charon for the ferry ride.
The river Acheron met the rivers Pyriphlegethon and Kokytos in the village of Mesopotamos today. There was the ancient Necromancy of Acheron. Homer said that there, “the river Acheron joined with Cocytus and Pyriphlegethon, on the northwest shores of Lake Acherousia, which was the gateway to the world of souls.” According to mythology, Acheron angered Zeus by giving water to the Thirsty Titans during the clash of Cronus’ sons and the Titans. As punishment, Zeus sent Acheron as deep as the sky was high from the earth, making its waters bitter.
Apart from the river itself, the wider area deserves your attention. Don't forget to see up close...
• Ancient Kassope
• The ancient theater of Dodoni
• The historic villages of Souli
• The cosmopolitan and picturesque Parga, especially during the summer
• The Necromancy of Acheron, in the village of Mesopotamos
• The ruins and museum of Ancient Nikopolis