ZAROUCHLA | MAINLAND GREECE | PELOPONNESE
A place for adventure. For 4-wheel drives and cross-country bikes over unpaved roads and through small, untouched hamlets up in the mountains, amidst thick fir and pine forests, ravines and slopes, rivers, streams and springs.
Why visit Zarouchla? Because of its landscape. Unspoiled and with very little tourism. Because of the traditional character of its villages, the drives one can take through its magnificent forests and its walks. People who enjoy Greece’s mountains consider the district one of the country’s most beautiful.
WHAT TO SEE & DO IN ZAROUCHLA
A place for adventure. For 4-wheel drives and cross-country bikes over unpaved roads and through small, untouched hamlets up in the mountains, amidst thick fir and pine forests, ravines and slopes, rivers, streams and springs. Lake Tsivlou will take you by surprise. Most of all, you’ll love getting lost on trails that don’t exist on any map, but will take you to the ski centre on Hel‐ mos, to Kalavryta or to Feneos, which are described below. The district is becoming more and more popular, so make sure you reserve your room ahead of time.
A traditional village spread out in the open valley, in a splendid setting with a great variety of trees (mainly plane-trees and firs). The area has an abundance of running water, thanks to the Kryoneri spring. This is a wonderful option for a quiet weekend, with many possibilities for walks or drives. In winter the village is often snow-covered.
A village with many traditional features. In the 19th c. its residents were much sought-after as builders. It occupies a mountain slope, 5 km from Zarouchla, and is well worth a visit. This is a good place to stay if you can’t find a room in the Pyrgos of Zarouchla.
A bit before (2 km) you arrive at this small lake, you will come to a dirt road which will lead you to its pale green waters surrounded by steep, fir-covered slopes. It cannot however compare with the beauty of the nearby lake Doxis. There are picnic benches on its banks and a canteen, which is unfortunately in very poor taste and spoils the setting.
HIKING: THE SOURCE OF THE STYX (Mavroneri waterfall)
This is a difficult hike which we do not recommend to the inexperienced. The paths are tricky, turning into slippery scree in places and blocked by snow in winter. The intrepid should ask the villagers in Zarouchla about path conditions and other details.
Set off from the village of Peristera in the direction of the Styx valley, and from there to Xirokambos (the ski centre) and then to Neraidorahi (2,238 m). It is about three to four hours’ walk to the Styx waterfall.
One of the daughters of Oceanus, Styx, helped Zeus win in his battle against the Giants. To show his gratitude, Zeus gave her the right to be the guarantor of the oaths of the immortals. This oath was sacred and any deity who violated it was condemned to ten years of severe punishments. During the first year, the god was not permitted to breathe or to partake of the divine nourishment, ambrosia and nectar. From the second to the tenth year, he/she had to live in isolation and was not permitted to join in Olympian counsels. Thetis washed her son Achilles in the waters of the Styx to make him invincible.
The waters, most abundant in winter and spring, fall from the peak of Neraidorahi and form two small waterfalls. At the point where they fall, there is an opening in the rock, which the ancients believed to be one of the entrances to Hades. Don’t linger here: there is a danger of rock-slides.
MAHAIRAS TAVERNA | ZAROUCHLA | T. 0030 2696033928
BEYOND THIS EXCURSION
FROM ZAROUCHLA TO FENEOS
Time required: about one hour for the 15 km.
A dirt road for vehicles with high road-clearance such as a 4-wheel drive. There is snow in the winter and with rain it gets muddy and you might get bogged down. In fair weather conditions though, you will enjoy a wonderful route through dense forest with tall firs. Ideal for hikers. Shortly after Zarouchla there is an organized playground and picnic area.
ZAROUCHLA REGION TIPS & INFORMATION
HOW TO GET TO ZAROUCHLA
A 2 hour drive from Athens.
The road as far as Zarouchla, via Akrata on the Corinthian Gulf, is good, the dirt road to the surrounding areas is fairly rough, particularly in winter.
The itinerary is recommended only for those with a car, preferably a 4-wheel drive or motorcycle
BEST SEASON TO VISIT ZAROUCHLA
Lovely all year round, as long as the weather is good.
ZAROUCHLA USEFUL TELEPHONES NUMBERS
Zarouchla Community Office 0030 2696051266