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Lousios Gorge

Lousios is affluent of Alfeios river and springs from Karkalou plateau. Its dashing waters created a gorge that reaches 5km and took its name from it. It is located in the area between Stemnitsa and Zatouna. The gorge with its steep rocky sides is imposing. According to tradition, the river took its name from Zeus, the father of the Olympian gods, who according to Pausanias washed at its sources after his birth. Pausanias also considered Lousios the coldest river in the known world.Already since 1997 the gorge has been characterized as “an area of unified archeological interest” and is protected by the Ministry of Culture. The scenery is lush green, with maple trees, sages, lentisks and holm-oaks hiding the sunlight and turning the gorge into a true oasis of coolness. Small mammals, animals leaving in water and predatory birds nest in the gorge.
Observing the limestone rocks of its walls you will see many hollows and caves which from old times hosted hermit monks. Many of these hiding places are still accessible but only to experienced climbers-hikers.
The Lousios gorge is also known as the “Mount Athos of the Peloponnese” on account of the many monasteries that dot its walls: the Timiou Prodromou, Philosophou, Aimyalon, Panagias Kalamiou monasteries, and the Church of St. Andrew in Gortys.The gorge and its monasteries can be seen while hiking, after reaching it by car from Dimitsana.
Mills, water rolls, water saws, tanneries, distilleries etc used to operate in the gorge. Some facilities moving with the power of water can be observed at the Open Air Museum of Water Power.


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