Around Parga


The oracle of the dead, Nekromanteio

One of the twelve Gods of Olympus in Greek mythology was Hades, king of the netherworld. Like all kings, he had to rule a land, Thesprotia, or Aidonia as it was called after his name.

Beyond the Elysian Fields, next to the Acheron riverbank was the place where the souls of the dead would dwell. The river was the route through which Death would lead the souls to the kingdom of Hades that lied at the depths of the lake Aherousia.

In the northeastern corner of the lake Aherousia, over a cave at the confluence of the rivers Acheron and Kokitos, was the main place of worship of the Gods of the netherworld in ancient Greece, also dedicated to necromancy, or communication with the souls of the dead. It was the Acheron oracle of the dead, the most famous place of necromancy in the ancient Greek world!

The people came to the oracle to communicate with the spirits of their deceased loved ones who would prophesize the future. As an offering, they would give a mask of the deceased's face and jars filled with gold and agriotutuno (a kind of bean that grew at the Kalamas marsh and sup¬posedly had visionary properties). They undertook trials lasting many days that included a strict diet of Lupine, agriotutuno leaves and seeds, complete isolation in dark rooms, magic, prayers and invocations. After this physical and psychological ordeal, the visitors arrived at the appro¬priate psychological disposition to communicate with the dead.

Today, this area is still an important attraction, not only for visitors from all over Greece, but also for tourists that want to familiarize themselves with the mythology and the beliefs of ancient Greeks.

River Acheron

A river in Epirus, whose name means flowing ah (water) or ahos (sorrow, sadness). It is the longest of the three rivers of Hades according to Greek mythology. It springs out of a cave in Kiafa Souliou, near the village Kouklii.

Ancient Greeks believed that in this cave lived a fearsome dragon that contaminated the water, poisoning everyone who drank it. The inhabitants of the area decided to offer him humans as a sacrifice every year to eat.

According to the legend, this dragon was killed by Saint Donatus, the ancient Aidoneus, and the inhabitants still hold an annual celebration in his honor. Since then, the water tastes sweet, which reminds the name of the village of Gliki. The stretch of the river between its spring and Gliki is called Acheron, or Mavropotamos (Black River).

River Acheron flowed through steep rocks and gorges forming cascades, into the now drained lake Aherousia, the lake of Hades, near the vil¬lage of Gliki in Paramithia.

Today, Acheron flows freely through the beautiful valley of Fanari, runs into rivers Kokitos and Piriflegethon, continues to the sea and, finally, emp¬ties into the Ionian Sea at the bay of Splantza, south of the historic city of Parga!

iln Greek mythology, the valley of Acheron was the place where the souls of the dead would dwell. The river was the route through which Death would lead the souls to the kingdom of Hades that lied at the depths of the lake Aherousia.

The castle of Anthousa

The castle is located between the villages of Anthousa and Agia and offers a commanding view of the surrounding area. The massive and imposing fortress was built by Ali Pasha to supervise and siege Parga.

Ancient Nikopolis

The ancient city of Nikopolis, built in 27 B.C. by the Romans, is located 50 km from Parga. Visit the ancient theatre and fabulous mosaics.