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Acheron River

Acheron is river of Epirus, springs from Paramythiaís and Souliís mountains and flows into the Ionian Sea. Springing at 1.600m, Acheron is crossing Thesprotia and Preveza about 50km and ends into the Ionian Sea.

Before Acheronís end into the sea, it flows through the so called Canyon of Acheron.

Kokitos and Pyriflegenthontas are 2 smaller rivers which end into Acheron, also the Tsaggariotikos coming from Souli ends into Acheron. In modern history Acheron is linked to Souli, but its mysterious caves, dark water and its course crossing dangerous canyons made the ancient people to consider it as a passage to Hades (Adis, Άδης).

Homer (Omiros, Όμηρος) describes the water of Acheron passing into the sea, as a peaceful and ideal place, and his description is so similar to the todayís Ammoudia Bay. This Bay was a lot deeper in the past, as Acheron is enlarging its valley into the see in the last thousands of years.

In mythology we find the Acheron Valley as the place where the dead people was living. Acheron being the road where Charon was leading the souls to the Acherousia Lake, where on its bottom was the Kingdom of Hades. For this reason it was built, where Kokitos ends into Acheron, the greatest temple to honor the Gods of Hades and to communicate with souls of dead people, the Nekromanteio of Acheron.

There, the visitors, after days of preparation, in total isolation and special diet, could go into the subterranean rooms of Nekromanteio, to communicate with souls of their beloved dead which could predict the future.

The ancient tradition describes Acheron to end into Acherousia Lake, a lake particular cold and with no trace of life around it. The Gates of Hades were guarded by the wild Kerberos, a dog with 3 heads, and hair from snakes. Charon was driving the souls of dead with his boat to the Under World. The price for the journey to Hades was 1 coin, and so, the ancient Greeks used to leave 1 coin beside their dead. The soul without the coin was cursed to remain by the river for ever desperate, as it couldnít pay the journey. Also to Hades lead Kokitos and Piriflegethontas rivers, representing the pain of souls during their journey to Under World.

As the river, and mainly the canyon with its gates to Hades, Souli represent also an area with great ecological and historical value. Mythology and nature make Acheron one of the most beautiful places of our country, and surely worthy to be visited.

visit the acheron.gr

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