Topographic map with the river and its tributaries Alfios (highlighted)

Alfios river near Olympia, with dam

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Alfios ( Greek: Alfios Αλφειός, ancient Greek Alpheius Ἀλφειός, Latin name Alpheus; alternative Greek name Roufiás Ρουφιάς ) is 110 km long main river of the Greek Peloponnese peninsula.

The Alfios rises in Arcadia at the northwestern foothills of Parnonas Mountains near the Arcadian capital Tripoli southeast of the village Assea and northwest of the town Vlachokerasea. Already Pausanias and Strabo had described the source. The origin lies between the peaks Agriokerasia ( 1,140 m) in the southeast and the Valtetsi ( 1,271 m) in the northwest. In the course of Alfios a short distance flows underground as a result of karst phenomena ( Katavothre, just swallow hole ). It absorbs water from seepage and from the dry down in the presence of Taka Lake in this subterranean course section.

The Alfios then continues to flow above ground in a southwesterly direction into the plane of a Megalopolis. There swivels its course with a first junction inflow from the south from the northern foothills of the Taygetos between the villages Kamaritsa and Gefira to the northwest, with the city Megalopolis is happening in their west. In the plain of Megalopolis of Alfios extensive water construction projects due to the lignite production ( lignite) is exposed for the purpose of energy production. Even the water of the Alfios is used at this point for steam generation in the lignite power plants of Megalopolis. The tributary Elissonas, which runs north of Megalopolis coming from the northeast, west of the village Marathousa empties into the Alfios and drained the mountain Menalo, is also exposed to these construction projects.

The plain of Megalopolis is left to the northwest by the confluence of the Elissonas; the Alfios occurs on his part section to the city Karitena into a narrow valley. Northwest of the Karitena Alfios gets its first major tributary, the Lousios who has left Coming from the north northeasterly direction produces the Lousios gorge and its water from the mountains Pilovouni and Menalo adds to the Alfios. South of the village Vlachoraptis and north of Ano Kotili the boundary line is between the prefectures of Elis and Arcadia to the river and then proceeds with the course of the river. In the village of Sekula the course of Alfios swings west to the village Tripotamia (translated Three Rivers). There the Alfios receives the waters of the tributaries coming from the north and Erymanthos Ladonas. The Ladonas leads the water levels of the southern Aroania massif ( Chelmos ) to the Alfios. First ends of Ladonas, a little further west of Erymanthos. The inflow of Erymanthos marked another change of direction of flow of Alfios, now back in a northwesterly direction to the south of the village Mouria.

In Mouria the Alfios swings back to the west and flows into bows on the ancient Olympia. When you reach the Ancient Olympia the Alfios from the northern Kladeos flows to. West of the mouth of the Kladeos Alfios reached the city named after him Alfioussa in the north. Before Alfioussa opens the Selinous, the only major left tributary, in the Alfios. After the confluence of the Selinous located at Alfioussa a barrage of Alfios, in 1967 went into operation Floka Dam ( see picture). For this water will be removed for agricultural irrigation. West of the Alfioussa Alfios of the National Road 9 ( European route 55; Pyrgos - Kalamata Kyparissia ) is crossed, in the next five years, a crossing through the under construction highway 9 is added. After the bridge the Alfios performs a meander and swings for his only very short course to the confluence with the northern part of the Gulf of Kyparissia ( Ionian Sea ) to the southeast. Between the village Spiantza in the north and the village of Paralia Epataliou in the south of Alfios reaches the sea.


The Alfios drainage ( catchment area ) a precipitation- rich area with an extension of 3,600 km ². The average annual rainfall in the catchment area is 1,070 mm. The catchment area covers the western and central Peloponnese. The catchment area is divided on the three prefectures of Arcadia (60 %), Elis ( 30%) and Achaia to (10 %). The catchment area of ​​Alfios can be divided into three geographical parts on the running section of the river: the Upper Basin at the headwaters of this case has a surface of 250 km ², the central and largest in the middle reaches an area of ​​3048 km ² and the lower an area of 362 km ².

The average discharge amount of Alfios is due to the volume of water in the catchment area of 1.5 billion cubic meters per year. At the Alfioussis Bridge in the lower reaches of the Alfios average flow rate of 67 cubic meters of water per second are recorded. The Alfios watered as his dam near the ancient Olympics an area of ​​135,000 stremme for the purposes of agriculture.

The Alfios has contributed with its masses of water and sediment volumes for the formation of lagoons Kaiafa ( Καϊάφα ) Agoulinitsa ( Αγουλινίτσα ) and Mouria ( Μουριά ) on the coast of the Ionian Sea. From the lagoons is by draining the other two in 1967 remained the only Kaiafa lagoon. It is a particularly worthy of protection wetland within the meaning of the Ramsar Convention of 1971. Annual sediment amounts of Alfios amount to more than 2.5 million tons per year. That through this sediment formed in the Gulf of Kyparissia delta system including lagoons (for example, the Ladonas Reservoir ) interrupted by the construction of dams in its natural course. As a result, erosion phenomena have occurred on the coast to the Alfios estuary; including a decline in the coastline to the east by more than one meter per year.

Mid to late August 2007, the lower and middle reaches of the river Alfios through the large forest fires in the Peloponnese were affected. To what extent these forest fires have an impact on the characteristics of the river, is not known at present.


The mysterious disappearance of the current caused the saga of the love of the river god Alpheius the nymph Arethusa. They fled before him, the hunter pursued, to the island of Ortygia near Syracuse, where they became a source; the pitying gods transformed the Alpheus. in a river that now, through flowing under the sea, are a source in Ortygia ( submarine ) reappeared and its waves mixed with the source Arethusa


  • Πελοπόννησος / Peloponnese. 1:250,000. Road Editions, Athens. ISBN 960-8481-15-5
  • River in Europe
  • River in Greece
  • Ponor
  • Peloponnese
  • Water system Ionian Sea