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Chelmos - Vouraikos Geopark (GR)

The Chelmos Vouraikos Geopark is located in North Peloponnesos (Greece) and covers an area of 5654 km2. It is located 200 km from Athens and 100 km from Patras. The application to join European Geoparks Network started in 2008 and the entrance occurred in September 2009.

The Chelmos Vouraikos Geopark includes Chelmos mountain and four rivers that spring from it and the surrounding area. What happens when you leave a tower of sand you made in the beach exposed to rain? It will change its form, get some strange shapes, and eventually become one with the sand. So, Chelmos mountain, not only with the action of water but also other geological phenomena, gave us many distinct forms, over millions of years, namely geotopes as the majestic Vouraikos gorge, the beautiful cave of the Lakes, cool springs of the Aroanios river, the mythical waters of the Styx and many others.

Come to explore the Vouraikos gorge of 20 km long, and see many geological formations (conglomerates, limestones), as the "court", admire rare plants and butterflies, discuss ways to protect and preserve our environment, walking on the international E4path, next to rows of picturesque railway which operated from 1896. When you get tired, go taste traditional dishes in the village of Zachlorou. From there, you can follow the path to reach the monastery of Mega Spilaio and visit the museum there or take the train and go to historical Kalavrita where the seat of our Geopark is. There, you have the opportunity to visit our exhibition, learning more about our area and become young explorers.

A question for you… Can lakes only be found on the surface of the earth? If your answer is affirmative, the Cave of the Lakes is waiting for you to see and tour the three of the thirteen underground lakes. It is a lovely old cave, an underground river bed with explored length of 1980 meters and exploited length of 500 meters. On the lower floor of the cave, human and animal fossils were found, including hippopotamus fossils. The legend says that the daughters of Proitos, king of Tirynth, bragged that they were more beautiful than the Goddess Hera. Zeus's mate didn't forgive their vanity and took their sanity, causing them to believe that they were heifers running wild on the mountains and meadows of Peloponnisos. Someday they arrived at the cave of Aroanios were they were found by Melambodas who cured them.

Come feel the power of water lost in the depths of the Earth, observing the Loussi sinkhole, while not far away, the sources of the river Aroanios breathe life into a traditional watermill. In a dense plane, you have the opportunity to enjoy the delicious trout of Planitero, in the local restaurants. Further east from the ski center, you will find the oldest rocks of the Geopark, Semi-metamorphic, Volcano-sedimentary rocks aged 250 million years old.

Our young friends can join environmental groups in Environmental Education Center in Kleitoria and gain experience from plenty of activities, that will lead to knowledge of geological phenomena of the region.

For those who demand a combination of leisure, adventure initiation in nature, history and traditions, the Chelmos - Vouraikos Geopark is your ideal destination.

Contact
Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark
Ag. Alexios Str., 35
Kalavryta GR-25001
Greece
Tel.: +30-26920-29140
Fax: +30-26920-29141
E-mail: fdxb@otenet.gr