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Geosites

Geotopes are the geological monuments of a place, ie geological features, such as caves, cracks, rare geomorphs, rocks, minerals, mines, palaeontological remains, rivers, lakes, gorges etc., which are of exceptional aesthetic or scientific value.

The 40 Geotopes of Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark:

 

  1. Niamata‐Vouraikos Gorge (tectonic window‐Tripolis zone).
  2. Portes‐Triklia Vouraikos Gorge (thin‐platty limestones)
  3. Mamousia‐Rouskio (Flysch Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  4. Marine terrace of Trapeza area
  5. Kerpinis’ stage (Conglomerates)
  6. Roghi‐wind generators (Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  7. Tectonic graben Kalavryta (faults in Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  8. Area of Agia Lavra (Thrusts, folds in Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  9. Xidias (Lignite beds of xylitic type)
  10. Priolithos- Clastic horizon (sandstones, siltstones, nodules, Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  11. The Cave of the Lakes (Tripolis zone and Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  12. Mavri Limna ‐ waterfall (fault, radiolarites)
  13. The shink of Lousiko – Formation of Koumani
  14. Aroanios Springs – Arbounas (fault)
  15. Mati tou Ladona‐ Tectono ‐ Sedimentary Complex
  16. Vesini (radiolarites, Olonos-Pindos zone)
  17. Doxa lake (Mylonites)
  18. Area of Solos (phyllites, schists, volcanic rocks)
  19. Tsivlos Lake (landslide)
  20. Styx (limestones‐dolomites, Tripolis zone)
  21. Breccias of Xerocambos area
  22. The shinkholes of Feneos
  23. Lousoi polje (karstic erosional geomorphe)
  24. Mavrolimni, mt Chelmos (glacial alpine lake)
  25. Analipsi chapel (waterfall, gorge, cave with speleothems, Tripolis limestones)
  26. Valvousi (surface karstic erosion)
  27. Keramidaki (fault, Tripolis zone and Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  28. Mega Spilaio Monastery (fault, conglomerates)
  29. Kastria spring view point (Polje of Lousoi, Analipsi gorge, radiolarite inclined and plicated)
  30. Spanolakkos glacial deposits
  31. Palaeochori lignite beds (Lignite beds of xylitic type in Marls,clays, with fossil plant macroremains)
  32. Valimi landslide
  33. Pausanias Vine (Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  34. Psili Korfi of Chelmos (The highest peak of Chelmos Mt, Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  35. Ntourntourvana (Limestones of Tripolis zone)
  36. Chelonospilia (Olonos‐Pindos Zone)
  37. Madero (Limestones of Olonos‐Pindos Zone, Thrust over Tripolis zone)
  38. Conglomerates with distinct erosion
  39. The “Balcony” of Styx (Limestones of Tripolis zone)
  40. Tessera Elata (Limestones of Tripolis zone)

 

The most important Geotopes of Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark are described:

1. The steep and imposing Gorge of Vouraikos River with the Rack Railway crossing it is located in the northern part of the Geopark. It starts from Diakopto near the National Road Athens-Patras and ends at Kalavryta after 22 km. Parallel to the train tracks there is a section of the European E4 long distance Path crossed by Greek and foreign hikers. The route for descending takes about 6 hours and for ascending about 7 to 8 hours. In the upright walls of the gorge, their geological evolution is presented, with conglomerates, thin limestones and we admire the cracks and folds of the rocks. In the vertical walls of the gorge there are rare plants such as Silene conglomeratica, Asperula arcadiensis, and others. At the Rack Railway Station of Zachlorou, there is a path leading to the Holy Monastery of Great Cave (Mega Spileo), built in an impressive landscape of conglomerates at the entrance of a natural cave.

ΦΑΡΑΓΓΙ ΒΟΥΡΑΙΚΟΥ ΠΟΤΑΜΟΥ




2. The Cave of the Lakes or the Cave of Kastria includes 13 amazing underground lakes, located in the southern part of Chelmos, west of the high peaks of the mountain, near the village of Kastria, in the mountain of Amolitsa, at an altitude of 827 m, 17 km from Kalavryta and 9 km from Kleitoria. Visitors admire the huge stalactites and stalagmites and understand the slow and creative action of the water over the centuries. The exploited length of the cave is currently 500 meters, including installation of art lighting. The visitor enters the cave from an artificial tunnel, which leads directly to the second floor. The dimensions of this section cause awe and admiration. The passage of the lakes is made by elevated artificial bridges.

Σπήλαιο των Λιμνών




3. The Aroanios River Springs are located near the village of Planitero and at an altitude of 600 m, in a forest of perennial plane trees (Platanus orientalis), fueled by the waters of Feneos basin discharged underground by sinks. The water exits from the limestones throughout the year. Close to the springs there is an old watermill that, with the power of water, transforms the wheat into flour and at the same time continues the tradition of the oldest washing machine. From here comes the European Path E4.

ΠΗΓΕΣ ΑΡΟΑΝΙΟΥ




4. Tsivlou Lake is a small mountain lake that is connected with extremely violent geological phenomena that occurred in 1913 and 1914. In the great landslide, in 1913, huge volumes of soil covered the bed of Krathis River and its affluent by wiping the village of Sylivaina, swamping a part of the neighboring settlement of Tsivlos. The lake was created by the waters gathered behind the soil volumes and is perhaps the newest natural lake in Europe.The name of the lake was given by the settlement of Tsivlos, a part of which was buried under its waters. Its drainage basin, which is on 720 meters high, has an area of less than 200 acres and a coastline of 1800 meters. Its deepest point is about 75 meters. Lake area is continuously fluctuating, as its level increases depending to the season and the height of the rainfall every year. Tsivlos lake accepts water from the torrents that descend from Chelmos mainly in spring or with the melting of snow. Lake Tsivlos belongs to the 40 geological formations of exceptional value (Geotopes) in the Geopark. The ecological value of the area as regards its flora and fish fauna is concerned as very important. Around the lake conifers are dominant (fir, black pine and aleppo pine). There are five species of fish (carps, trout and mosquitofish that have been introduced, freshwater cow and daska).

Λίμνη Τσιβλού




5. Doxa Lake is an artificial lake, located at an altitude of 900 meters above the plain of Feneos, between the mountains of Zeria (Killini) and Chelmos, covers an area of 480 acres and has a depth of 35 meters. The name of the lake comes from the glorious torrent that flows in the area. The rivers of Doxa and Olbios transported their waters to the valley Feneos. According to mythology, this region was belonging to Poseidon and when he was angry, he was causing the floods of the lake. The construction of the dam began in 1994 and was completed in 1996 in order to serve irrigation needs of crops in the region of the Feneos valley. The lake is surrounded by tall snow-capped peaks and together with the dense forests of the area it is a unique mountain wetland. In the center of the lake there is a peninsula that ends at the picturesque chapel of Agios Fanourios (St. Fanourios). One of the most beautiful paths of the Peloponnese begins from the lake and reaches the summit of Dourduvana at 2.109 meters which is the eastern end of Chelmos. The rare flora and fauna adds a great ecological value to the area. The lake is located within the Special Protection Area (SPA) defined for avifauna entitled "OROS CHELMOS (AROANIA) -FARANGI VOURAIKOU KAI PERIOCHI KALAVRYTON" (GR2320013) according to Directive 79/409 / EEC and within the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) entitled "OROS CHELMOS KAI YDATA STYGOS” (GR2320002), according to Directive 92/43 / EEC. A forest of Kefalonian fir and black pine trees is growing around the lake, which in many places joins with mixed forests of oak, chestnut trees, elms and ‎terebinths. The lake hosts a rich birdlife, as many waterfowl and wading birds visit it. It is a very important place for of prey that nest in the surrounding forests to eat and it is a wintering place and an intermediate station for migratory species.

ΛΙΜΝΗ ΔΟΞΑ




6. Water of Styx are located on the rocky and imposing Neraidοrachi of Mount Chelmos and at an altitude of 2,100 meters. The waters form an impressive waterfall at a height of about 200 meters and invading in the bed of Krathis River. The Ancient Greeks believed that the waters of Styx guarded the gates of Hades. Achilleas was immune, as we know, because when he was born, his mother Thetis, immersed him to the waters of Styx to make him immortal.

Υδατα Στυγός




7. The springs of Ladon River are near the settlement of Lykouria and the main spring of Ladon River is at an altitude of 500 m, at Hellonospilia and is called "the eye of Ladon". The spring is powered by an underground river, the water comes out of a single headboard and forms a small and deep lake above the spring. Ladon River provides opportunities for activities such as downhill with canoe - kayak and rafting. Ladon, according to Mythology, was a dragon with a hundred heads, and was appointed by goddess Hera as guardian of the golden apples that were on the island of the gods in the land of the Atlas. Ladon is mentioned by Pausanias who visited our place (around 174 AD) and wrote in his "Achaean" that "there is no other river more beautiful either in Greece or elsewhere. The "Pausanias climate", a preservable nature monument near Pagrati and along the road to Kleitoria, is thousands of years old an'd is mentioned by the historical Pausanias in the "Arcadians" from which he took his name. From the "Eye" of Ladon, passes the European path E4.

Μάτι του Λάδωνα 2010




8. The Lignites of “Xidia” are located in the old Lignite facilities southwest of the city of Kalavryta. Lignite, which is of xylitic type and 5 million year old, is an organic rock, whose main element is coal. It is mainly formed by the carbonation of plant organisms and is used in steam power stations for electricity generation.

ΛΙΓΝΙΤΙΚΑ ΣΤΡΩΜΑΤΑ ΞΥΛΙΤΙΚΟΥ




9. “Vine of Pausanias” or “Vine of of Kalavryta” has been declared since 1976 as a “Preservable Monument of Nature” and it is a remarkable scientific and aesthetic monument of nature, which has become a tourist attraction. It is located in the courtyard of Agios Nikolaos, near the village of Pagrati of the Municipality of Kalavryta. The age of the vine is estimated to be about 3,000 years old (certainly over 2,200 years old, since 160 BC the historian Pausanias mentions vine as a “phenomenon peculiar" due to its size!). It is about 100 meters long and consists of nine logs, as it adheres to a group of hollies. It blows every May but does not bear fruit.

ΚΛΗΜΑ ΠΑΥΣΑΝΙΑ




10. Feneos Sinkholes: Sinkhole is called a natural formation in the form of a conduit that ends in an opening in the ground or on the bottom of a water body through which water passes. The plain of Feneos at long distances in the past was a lake that to its greatest extent reached up to 194,000 acres. This was because the two rivers of the valley of Feneos, Olbios and Doxas, could not find a way to the sea, so their waters would flow to the Feneos plateau. Over the years, at the southern ends of the plateau, large chasms were formed, the sinkholes, which resolved the problem of the accumulation of the water of the two rivers. However, at times the sinks were closed, resulting in a slowly growing of a marsh, which in the course of time became a lake. Today, of course, there are only sinks and the lake has disappeared.

ΟΙ ΚΑΤΑΒΟΘΡΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΦΕΝΕΟΥ




11. Alpine lake of Mavrolimni (meaning “black lake”) on Chelmos. It is a level that has been formed by limestones of the Tripoli zone, probably of collapsing of the surface layer and the accumulation of clay material. In the place of Mavrolimni is not visible any sink for the drainage of the surface water accumulated due to the rainfall. In the summer, the lake is dried due to water evaporation. In the place of Kato Kambos, the water collected in the winter is drained through a sink. The form of the dolin at this position is more apparent. Both locations are in a short distance from the water of Styx, which is very popular, and is just next to “Emilios Harlaftis Astronomical Station”, which hosts the “Aristarchos telescope” at Neraidorachi peak. These places are of exceptional value, apart from historical, geological, tourism, they are also environmentally friendly because they have very low light pollution, which is among the lowest in Europe.

ΜΑΥΡΟΛΙΜΝΗ ΧΕΛΜΟΥ




12. Sinkhole of Lousoi plain. The sinkholes of the city of Lousoi drain the homonymous closed basin. They are a special karst formation, formed by the dissolution of limestones that host them. The sinkhole is protected by handrails in order to prevent branches and other objects from entering there, which would have the effect of stopping drain and the accumulation of water in the closed basin of Lousoi. Close to the Sinkhole of Lousoi, the Austrian Archaeological Institute has discovered the great Arcadian city of Ancient Lousoi. The temple of Artemis Imerisia, a building of the 3rd century BC, the City Market and several private houses have been excavated.

ΚΑΤΑΒΟΘΡΑ ΛΟΥΣΩΝ




13. Closed basin of Lousoi. It took its name from the homonymous settlement on its northern side and in antiquity it was a hilly town of pre-classical times. We meet the rocks of Tripoli and Pindos Zone. The characteristic of the limestones of Tripoli Zone is the large thickness of their layer and their relative homogeneity, which results in water dissolving them more easily than those of Pindos Zone. So, the sinkholes of the area and also the sinkholes that occur in the wider area of the plateau of Tripoli are formed within these limestones. The Pindos limestones, deposited on the Tripoli Zone, have springs at their base consisting of impermeable radionuclide material. Usually at Chelmos- Vouraikos Geopark these springs are seasonal and have great supply in the winter, while in the summer it is possible that their flow is completely interrupted. Such an important spring is this of Cassini at the northwest edges of the basin. Smaller ones are also scattered on the edges of the basin.

ΚΛΕΙΣΤΗ ΛΕΚΑΝΗ ΤΩΝ ΛΟΥΣΩΝ




14. Mega Spilaio (Great Cave). The enormous massifs of cohesive conglomerates with the interval of sand of Lower give an imposing view to the area where the buildings and the Monastery of Mega Spilaio are situated at an altitude of 940 meters. The monastery built in 362 AD and it is considered as the oldest monastery in Greece and one of the most important pilgrimages of Orthodoxy. It is one of the most important religious tourist destinations. The geological formations, impressive and characteristic of their kind, belong to riverbed deposits and in many places with easy access give a chance to be studied by students and other who are interested. The high altitude of the area is due to endogenous processes, of tectonics, and morphology to exogenous processes of erosion and disintegration. They take a lot of range, starting from Ano Diakopto and reaching the city of Kalavryta, and their thickness reaches and exceeds 350 meters.

MEGA SPILAIO

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