Starting out from the town of Preveza and crossing Preveza-Igoumenitsa National Road, you will reach the village of Mesopotamos, from where you can follow the signs to the springs of the Acheron River. After about 50 minutes driving, you will come to the village of Glyki and the Acheron River. Popular folk tales say that a dragon lived in a cave at the springs and poisoned the waters until it was killed by a man named Aidonatos. The waters became sweet again, the village next to the river was renamed Glyki, and Ai-Donatos became a saint, and indeed the patron saint of the region. The landscape is unique, as unique as the reputation of the river, which carries with its waters the weight of numerous mythological references.River of sorrow and sadness (‘acherontas’ means joyless), the antechamber of the Underworld, the last journey of the human soul.
The journey of the Acheron River begins at an altitude of 1,600 meters in the mountains of Souli, from where it travels onward to pour, 64 kilometers later, into the Ionian Sea at the village of Ammoudia. The crystal clear waters flow rapidly in winter, but are easily accessible in the summer, passing through the impressive gorge known as the Narrows of Acheron, forming small lakes and ponds and host to an important wetlands biotope, where you will find a small green paradise with 180 species of plants and trees, a fascinating ecosystem protected by the Natura Network 2000. The scenery where the river meets the village of Glyki is stunning, with beautiful plane trees arching over the river. There are so many things to do, either for individuals or families and groups. The activities need not be costly, such as walking beside the river, or you can also go horse riding in the river itself, or try zero degree-of-difficulty rafting (essentially a relaxed boat ride), as well as hiking through the river waters or, if you can handle the icy water, even swimming. Hikers can leave their cars at Glyki and follow the picturesque path known as Skala Tzavelena (the Tzavelena Steps), which after several hours of hiking ends up at Souli and Kiafa Castle. The panoramic views of the Acheron Gorge will more than compensate you for your effort! There are a number of small businesses organizing all these activities, which can give you the proper guidance.
For rest and food, the banks of the river near the village is filled with restaurants and cafes with tables by the river waters, a landscape perfect for those hot summer days. Of course it is well worth sampling that most well-known freshwater fish, the trout, and other local delicacies, in the shade of ancient plane trees. If you decide you don’t want to go back to base, there is accommodation available in Glyki where you could extend your stay in this enchanting landscape.
For those who are taking the road back, the Necromanteion or Oracle of Acheron, the most famous oracle of the region, is definitely worth a visit. At a distance of 15-20 minutes from Glyki near the village of Mesopotamos, lies the Necromanteion, familiar to many from the descriptions contained in Homer’s Odyssey. According to Homer, this is where Odysseus descended to the Underworld to meet with the seer Tiresias and ask about his journey home to Ithaca. It was once located by the lake of Acherousia, which was believed to be where the dead descended to Hades. There is no lake there today. In its place are lush fields and orchards.
The tour around the archaeological site takes about 1 hour, and the journey back to Preveza takes about 30 minutes. During the summer season the Necromanteion is open throughout the week from 8 am to 8 pm daily. Naturally, opening times on public holidays days may vary, so it is a good idea to check before visiting. Call 2684041206 for details.