From Lake Tsivlos to Lake Doxa
Our journey begins from Akrata. A serpentine-like road leads to Agia Varvara - Zarouchla. After the village of Pyrgos things start getting interesting. Mixed vegetation, trees, pines, cypresses, and introduction to the final destination: the Chelmos mountain. In the foothills of the mountain range, is the characteristic bare cliffs of Achaia region.
Approximately after three quarters of driving and on the right hand a drop of blue emerges from inside the dark green. The tiny Tsivlos like, a proof that nature has not yet completed its upheavals.
At the crossroads drive down to the lake firs; there she is, lying down small and quiet, inside the blue. A slow, enjoyable walk begins and ends in the dirt, while the pavilion on the south side offers the basics.
Back to the main street for Agridi which proudly welcomes us as a key place to the Greek Revolution of 1821. There is aheadstone for the local hero, Nikolas Soliotis that "first fought back the Turks" on 14 March 1821. Each stone throughtout Kalavryta region where we are now, every corner in the mountainous forests of Chelmos brings memories of the past.
Agridi - Agia Varvara - Zarouchla - Solo - Pigeon: these are the Kloukinochoria, historic villages of Chelmos which are famous for their stone towers - well preserved until today.
Villages are spread thinly on the outskirts of Neraidorachi overlooking Styga which is located at 2,335m. height. Mesorougi with taverns and an old stone church, fitting perfectly with the landscape. Solo with a couple of old houses telling their old stories and the winding dirt road leads to the famous fountain of Golfo, the heroine of theatrical writer Perresiadis. She was a poor shepherd and she drove her thirsty sheep for water from soils of Chelmos. There he met her great love, the rich Tassos. But his family and the whole village wanted to tear them appart from each other. She threw back the heavy curse and desperately disappeared deep into the mountain. Tassos run behind in vain, but it was too late. He found her crushed on the rocks.
There is a billboard, just outside the village, which says "Fountain of Golfo - Waters of Styx." Take on a few meters into the forest and at the intersection choose the left road.
A few steps later the stunning color change from dying ferns dying with golden blush illuminating the wild scenery. The fountain is built in the same color, from natural stone, with elaborate wooden sink and running water.
From the same intersection, on the right side begins the trek-climb to the waters of Styga and ends on its feet. Hiking for about four hours through the forest to the end of the Neraidorachi rochks, where the water bursts. A dark cave completes this eerie landscape.
On the main road to Zarouchla at the outskirts of Solo and Peristera there's an intersection on your right indicating Lykianika through a small bridge. Stand there. Fairy stories echo from the cliffs, as the familiar noise of running water leads to a small dream path. Through the dense vegetation water descends, finding snagging on rocks and forms a small waterfall that joins the descending Krathis River.
Agia Varvara welcomes us right in front of the lonely stone house of Theodorakopoulos. But the most impressive tower in the area is placed at Zarouchla. Fortunate enough to live thumping, strong built with an impressive outdoor scale above the arches leading to the cellars, the simple precinct is surrounded by chestnut trees, open window overlooking the village green and raw mountain cliffs. It is accessible for all visitors, as a historical landmark, through the village center wher the hotel "Stis Elena" stands and on the right to the small bridge.
Pleasant surprise "paints" the once deserted village of farmers, now the well-known Zarouchla; two small shops with local products: sweets, pasta, beekeeping, herbs and the elegant, perfectly tied to the landscape and the past wooden plaque that leads to the Tower of Zarouchla.