Natural surroundings and archaeological sites
in the nearby area!
The Acheron River is a river of the municipality of Epirus and it runs through the prefectures of Ioannina, Thesprotia and Preveza.(1) There are many springs of the River Acheron. The first springs are from the melting snow of Mount Tomaros of the prefecture of Ioannina (maximum height of 1,986km), and the other springs originate from the mountains of Souli and Paramythia in Thesprotia. Important springs are also those of the village of Vouvopotamos, Preveza near Glyki, Thesprotia. The Acheron River flows into the Ionian Sea at the village of Ammoudia, Preveza, where it forms a delta where two of the main marshlands of the area have developed, the Splantza Marshland and the Valanidorachis Marshland.
The archaeological site of Dimocastro is situated on the hilltop south of the bay of Karavostasi in Perdika, Thesprotia. It is a fortified, ancient, seaside residential area, which was identified by Nickolas Hammond and Sotiri Dakari as ancient Elina, which is mentioned on a lead inscription from Dodoni. The name is a derivate of the National name Hellenes, a Thesprotic tribe made known by Stefano Vizantio, which was said to have resided in the area of Margariti – Plataria – Perdika.
The ancient site of Necromanteio on the Acheron river is situated at the village of Mesopotamos, in the prefecture of Preveza, at the point where, according to Homer, “the Acheron river met the Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus rivers, on the north-western banks of the Acherusian Lake, which housed the entrance to the underworld.” Necromanteion is built at the top of a hill, where visitors from the cape Chimera of the village of (Δεν υπάρχουν προτάσεις) ended up, to contact the souls of their beloved deceased. In the Odyssey, Homer describes the area in detail during Odysseus’ descent to Hades. After the Acherusian Lake dried up, in the 1950’s, the whole geographical structure of the area changed and the only thing that remains is the calm conflux of the Acheron and Vovou rivers in the lowlands, a few metres near the Necromanteion hill. It was first built and operated during the Mycenaean era (1200BC), however many of today’s remnants seem to date back to the Hellenistic period (323 BC onwards). Learn more !
The Vikos Gorge
This is one of the most famous gorges in Greece. It is situated 30 km north west of Ioanina and is the deepest gorge in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. It is at the core of the National Park of Vikos – Aoos, in the area where a wide variety of flora and fauna find sanctuary. The gorge is 20km wide and at many points over 1000 metres deep. The tributary of Aoos, Voidomatis, which crosses it, has water every season. The gorge was created after intense geological reclassification during the ice age. The first sign of human activity in the region can be dated back to 40.000 BC. The flora found in the region is of a particularly wide variety. Characteristically, until the beginning of the 20th Century, the herbs of the gorge were used by holistic doctors, the so called “Vikos doctors”, for therapeutic reasons.
The Peramatos Cave can be found next to the idyllic lake, only four kilometres from Ioannina, at Perama. It was discovered accidentally in 1940, during World War II, and after the war, it was photographed for the first time by Constantine Kasviki, a gymnast and amateur speleologist. That is how Ioannina and Anna Petrocheilou (founders of the Hellenic Speleological Society) found out about the cave and began a systematic exploration and mapping of the cave, so that it would become the first cave accessible to tourists in Greece. It is made up of many consecutive halls and corridors decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, curtains and impressive columns with spectacular clusters. In 1956 fossils of teeth and bones of the bear of the cave were found. It is spread over 14800square metres and the tourist route is 1100 metres in total.
Before the castle of Parga, which remains intact up to today, was built, the residents of Parga tried to keep their town, which was exposed to the sea, fortified, so that they could deal with raiders. In their efforts they had built the first fortified buildings with the help of the people of Normandy. In 1452 Hatzi Mbeis occupied the fortified point, but in 1454 the residents reoccupy it. Hairentin Barbarosa destroyed the existing fortress and the city. The castle was built again with the help of the Venetians, but before it was completed it was destroyed again by the Turks. In 1792, the Venetians built a perfect, strong fortress for the last time, which remains intact until 1819, despite the attacks, mainly from Ali Pasha of Ioannina, who bombards them from the castle of Agia- Anthousa, high above.
Ancient Nikopolis was a city of Epirus which was founded by the Romans in south-western Epirus near the modern city of Preveza. The archaeological site today consists of the biggest ancient city of Greece (H. Gkouvas, 2009). Ancient Nikopolis is found exactly next to the community of the same name, Nikopolis, at the narrowest point of the isthmus of the peninsula of Preveza, sufficiently legally protected from construction by way of archaeological legislature. Over the last ten years the walls, the stadium and the two basilica’s Alkinos and Doumetio were cleaned and made prominent. 2006-2009 the monument of Augustus were excavated and made prominent.
In 2012 – 2013 the western central gate of the old Christians was reconstructed and the Octavian theatre was cleaned, with the initiative of the association of “DIAZOMA” etc. The population of Nikopolis was estimated to be around 150,000, according to the more recent studies of Konstantinos Zachos, and originated from the violent relocation of the population of the other towns of Epirus – Thesprotia, Preveza, Arta and Archania.