Mt. Chelmos – Vouraikos National Park – A glance at the Earth’s past
The sensation you will have as you stand atop Mt. Chelmos in the Peloponnese is that you are looking at an ancient seabed which has over the course of millions of years risen to the surface; a seabed moulded, formed and shaped by the sheer force of the sea. This is a place of arcane charm, with countless sights to be seen.
Mt. Chelmos used to be known as the Aroania Mountains in the past. It is Peloponnese’s third highest mountain range, after Mt. Taygetos and the Ziria Mountains. Here, you will be able to visit the Styga river source, Kalavryta town with its famed monasteries and modern ski centre, the Mt. Chelmos Observatory and Lake Tsivlou, while the experienced mountaineers among you will mostly enjoy climbing some of Greece’s most demanding mountain trails such as Chtenia trail on Mt. Chelmos. And if you cherish thinking when hiking, you will definitely enjoy rambling along the numerous, winding and charming mountain paths.
The anagement Body (MB) of Chelmos – Vouraikos was established in order to preserve the biodiversity, the natural resources and the ecological value of the natural ecosystems in the area around the mountain range of Chelmos and the river of Vouraikos.
The protected area
The mount Chelmos
The mountain range of Chelmos is a botanic paradise in Northern Peloponnese. The mountain’s flora is characterised by a large number of endemic species. There have been listed up to 30 endemic species of in the Peloponnese and more than 100 Greek endemics until now.
The Styx Waterfall
The Styx waterfall is the source of the river Krathi at an altitude of 2,100 meters. It is located at the rocky and gracious peak of mount Chelmos called Neraidorachi. The Styx waterfall springs from lime stones which date 150 million years. While descending the path after the Styx one sees Dolomites with their characteristic smell and many other metamorphic rocks.
The Vouraikos Gorge
The importance of Vouraikos Gorge, in terms of flora species richness, is invaluable. A number of rare and protected endemic species with special scientific value have been listed.
The Cave of the Lakes at Kastria
The particular Cave has a great geological, paleontological and archaeological interest. It is unique in the world because it has thirteen cascading lakes. From these lakes it derives its name. Various stalactite and stalagmite formations are reflected in the waters of the caves.
Tsivlou lake lies at an altitude of 700 m. and it’s one of the very few mountainous lakes in the Peloponnesos. Doxa lake
In Feneos plateau, hidden among Cephalonica fir, oaks and pines, there lies Lake Doxa. It is an artificial lake that was created to accommodate the irrigation needs of human activities in the valley Feneos. A strip of land in the lake comes to the church of Saint Fanourios, while on the hill near the lake is located the historic monastery of St. George.
The “Eye” of the river Ladon
The main source of the river Ladon is 500 m. of altitude, located near the settlement Chelonospilia next to Lykouria village, so called “the eye of Ladon. At “Chelonospilia” the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire in 1821 started. The headwaters are supplied by an underground river, the water comes from a single headboard and forms a small deep lake.
The headwaters of Aroanios river
The headwaters of Aroanios river (Planitero) are located on the southwest side of Chelmos and powered with water from Feneos basin that arrives from sinkholes.