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Acherontas River | Parga | Dante's Border of Journeys to the Underworld

Updated: Mar 13

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George Papadellis | SG Head

with some good tips from AI


Acherontas (or Acheron) is a legendary river located in Epirus, in northwestern Greece. Its source is in the southwestern part of Ioannina and it flows into the Ionian Sea in Ammoudia, Parga. The river's fame is due to its association with ancient Greek mythology and the belief that it is the gateway to the underworld. In this article, we explore the history and significance of Acherontas River, its mythical connections, and its importance in modern times.


Acherontas River | Shiny Greece

Acherontas River | Photo by: iStock.com | PanosKarapanagiotis


The History of Acherontas River

Acherontas River has played a significant role in the history of Epirus. In ancient times, the river was used as a means of transportation for trade and travel. It was also an important source of water for agriculture and irrigation. The river's name is derived from the Greek word "acheron", which means "river of woe". In Dante's Inferno, the Acheron river constitutes the border of Hell, Charon ferries souls across this river to Hell and those who were neutral in life sit on the banks.


Canoeing in Acherontas River

Canoeing in Acherontas River | Photo by: Tasos Pakos, Paramythenia Volta, CC BY-SA 4.0


Mythical Connections

The mythology surrounding Acherontas River is fascinating and has captured the imagination of people for centuries. According to Greek mythology, the river was one of the five rivers that flowed through Hades, the underworld.



The river was believed to be the entrance to the underworld and was guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed dog. In Greek mythology, the river was also associated with Charon, the ferryman who transported the souls of the dead across the river to the underworld. The souls of the dead had to pay Charon with a coin to gain passage across the river. This coin was often placed in the mouth of the deceased before burial.


Acherontas River

Acherontas River | Photo by: Oliver Deisenroth, Acheron 2, CC BY-SA 3.0


Importance in Modern Times

Acherontas River is not only significant in ancient history and mythology, but it also holds importance in modern times. The river is a popular destination for tourists, who come to enjoy the natural beauty of the area and explore the river's many caves and gorges. Visitors can also take a boat tour down the river, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The river is also an important ecological site, as it provides a habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species. The area surrounding the river has been designated as a protected area, which aims to preserve the natural environment and promote sustainable tourism.


Horse Riding in Acheron Springs Greece

Horse Riding in Acheron Springs Greece | Photo by: Aretipapad, Acheron Springs, Preveza Greece, CC BY-SA 4.0


A Symbol

Acherontas River is a unique and fascinating place, steeped in history and mythology. Its association with the underworld and ancient Greek culture has made it a popular destination for tourists and a symbol of Greek identity. The river's ecological significance also highlights the importance of preserving and protecting natural sites for future generations. Whether you are interested in history, mythology, or simply enjoy nature, Acherontas River is a must-see destination.


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10. Mai
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Great experience, excellent getaway! Just 30 minutes from Parga by car. We did rafting and walking in the river!

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