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Lake Tsivlos is reflected in the mountains of Achaia

01 December 2013 / 15:12:38  GRReporter
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Its beauty is fabulous and its history - unusual. Lake Tsivlos is located on Helmos Mountain, in the Achaia region, at an altitude of 800 metres and was created in 1913, when a large landslide clogged the riverbed of Kratis and swept away the settlement of Tsivlos. Skeletons of pine and sycamore trees coming out of its waters are further evidence that there was a deep ravine with dense vegetation.

This ... accident makes an increasing number of people come to the area and admire its beauty, relax and enjoy the gifts of nature. Today, Tsivlos is a very important water reserve, home to many species of flora and fauna and a popular destination for recreation.

On your way there, upon turning at Akrata, you will pass through the villages of Voutsimo and Kalamia which seem to "hang" on the opposite banks of the Kratis River. Then, you will go through Pyrgos. After the highest point of the Valimi route (at an altitude of 970 m), the road begins to descend again and ends up at Lake Tsivlos, one of the few natural lakes in Greece, surrounded by thick forests.

The initial depth of the lake reached 77 metres. But its surface is constantly changing because the level goes up and down depending on the season and rainfall. Sometimes in the spring the level is very high, and sometimes in the summer it falls so much, that you can see the ruins of the houses of the old town! However, despite sediments and variations in the level of the lake, today it is very deep and has steep banks.

Things to do around the lake

The greenery around the lake makes it look like a picture from a book of fairy tales: like a water oasis between forests of firs, pines and sycamores that are typical for the region.

The banks are ideal for walking and cycling and some people choose the lake for rowing or swimming in the cool waters during the summer months. The road around the lake is very nice and can be driven in less than two hours.

If you are not very fond of exercising, you can sit in one of the taverns located near the lake and try local delicacies or enjoy a coffee overlooking the lake.

A protected area

The lake is located within the Helmos-Vouraikos National Park. The Gorge of the Vouraikos River starts 3 km north of the village of Kato Zahlorou, at an altitude of 730 metres and continues along the eponymous river, covering a distance of 20 km and ends at the village of Diakofó. Here you will enjoy beautiful waterfalls, caves with stalactites and stalagmites, and many interesting and rare plant species are preserved on the vertical walls of the gorge.

The entire protected area is part of the European Natura 2000 network, which includes all areas which are important for the preservation of the natural heritage of the European Union.

Villages with ... good luck and the mythical waters of Stigos

The villages of Peristera, Agia Varvara, Solos and Zarouhla are located around and near the lake.

Zarouhla, about 11 km from the lake, is the most preferred place for a stay. The village is built at an altitude of 1,020 m on the southern slopes of Aroania, near the borders with the prefecture of Corinth. This is one of the most mountainous villages of Achaia.

The village is a mountain resort and has good tourist infrastructure. Its well-maintained stone houses, the paved main road, the murmur of the Asopos River which crosses the village, the dense forest around and the restaurants (try various sausages, steaks and the famous Zarouhla beans), coffee bars and shops with traditional food - all this is a dream for ... those who are tired of the bustle of the big city.

From the villages of Solos and Peristera (with centuries-old plane trees), you can go on along the road that leads to the famous waterfall “Waters of the Styx”. According to mythology, Styx was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and goddess of the underworld River Styx. It was believed that if living creatures drank from the waters of the river they died. Thetis dipped her son Achilles in the waters and he became invulnerable except for his heel where his mother held him.

Kalavrita and the eponymous ski resort are located about 37 km from Lake Tsivlos.

How to get there:

You can get there by car on the highway Athens-Patras. Turn at the exit to Akrata, and then follow the road towards Valimi-Peristera-Zarouhla. The lake is 28 km from Akrata and 178 km from Athens.

Tags: Lake Tsivlos Achaia forests gorge reserve
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