Achelous River

Episkopi Bridge

Templa - stone bridge ( built in 1904 )

Achelous (Greek Αχελώος ) is the name of the longest river in Greece. It is 217 km long, making it the second longest river in Greece after the Aliakmona. The Achelous flows through the regions of Epirus, Thessaly and Western Greece.

Location and History

The sources of Achelous are on the mountain Lakmos (or Peristeri ) of the Pindos mountain range south of Metsovo, northwest of Kalambaka and east of Ioannina in the region of West - Epirus. The location of the source was known to Thucydides. At first it flows south through a long, narrow valley before he breitbettig strikes the plane through which it flows. By barrages ( Stratos Reservoir, Kremasta Reservoir, Kastrakiou Reservoir ) for the purpose of generating electricity from hydropower, this valley is heavily redesigned. Inflows Agrafiotis, Tavropos and Trikeriotis lead today in the Kremasta reservoir. The inflow Inachus flows into the Kastrakiou reservoir. In the plane of Agrinio, there is a further influx ( Kyathos ) from the Lysimachia Lake and Trichonida lake ( in ancient times Lake Konope ). In Konope a ford there by the river. The delta ( Paracheloitis ) is located south of the ruins of Oiniadai in the field of town Messolonghi, near the entrance to the Gulf of Patras, opposite the island of Kefalonia. Here the river flows into the Ionian Sea.

The Achelous has a catchment area of ​​6329 km ², which is divided into three parts from north to south during the Achelous: the upper catchment area covers the sources of Achelous and its upper reaches and has an area of ​​1100 km ². The average catchment area with a total of three reservoirs plus the Tavropos Lake covers 3250 km ² and the lower catchment area from the Stratos reservoir covers 1979 km ². To lower watershed include the natural lakes Trichonida, Lysimachia, Amvrakia and Ozeros.

His alluvial owes the level at its mouth its origin. Over time, the delta silted up so much that some of the earlier Echinades Islands silted. The river is navigable to Stratos ( Stratos or reservoir ). Today he is mostly channeled. The delta of the Achelous has an area of ​​300 km ².

A project that will divert water from the upper reaches of the Achelous in the plain of Thessaly for irrigation purposes, is currently stopped ( Sykea Dam, Mesochora Dam ).


His original name was Thoas. At least since Herodotus he was called Achelous ( Ἀχελῷος ). You may also find the name of Inachus, who once called the whole course of the river and sometimes only the upper reaches of the tributary of the Achelous. In the Middle Ages it was Aspropotamos (Greek Ασπροπόταμος, white river ' ) called today he called again Achelous.

Even if the Achelous is considered border river of the ancient landscapes Aetolia Acarnania and, a position he rarely holds in practice. Only in the Roman Empire, the river was durable to the border of the provinces of Epirus and Achaia.

Other meanings

For the ancient deity Achelous, who was worshiped by the Greeks as the personification of this river, see the article.