If you are looking for a unique and fascinating destination in Greece, you might want to consider visiting the Nekromanteion of Acheron and the Acheron river. The Nekromanteion was an ancient temple of necromancy, where people could communicate with the spirits of the dead. The Acheron river was one of the rivers that flowed into the underworld, according to Greek mythology. In this blog post, we will tell you everything you need to know about how to visit these places and what to expect.
What is the Nekromanteion of Acheron?
The Nekromanteion of Acheron (also spelled Necromanteion) was a temple dedicated to Hades and Persephone, the rulers of the underworld. According to tradition, it was located on the banks of the Acheron river in Epirus, near the ancient city of Ephyra. This site was believed by devotees to be the door to Hades, the realm of the dead. The site is at the meeting point of the Acheron, Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus rivers, believed to flow through and water the kingdom of Hades. The meaning of the names of the rivers has been interpreted to be “joyless”, “burning coals” and “lament”, respectively.
The Nekromanteion was a place where people could consult an oracle who channeled dead ancestors for advice. Pilgrims took an elaborate ritual meal, then processed through a labyrinth into a hall where ghosts appeared. The temple was in use from at least the 8th century BC until it was destroyed by the Romans in 167 BC.
What is the Acheron river?
The Acheron river is one of the five rivers of the underworld in Greek mythology. It was also known as the river of woe or pain. The souls of the dead had to cross it on a boat guided by Charon, the ferryman, who charged a coin for his service. Those who could not pay were doomed to wander on its shores for eternity. The Acheron river also played a role in some myths, such as the one where Hercules rescued Theseus from Hades by wrestling with Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to the underworld.
The Acheron river is a real river that flows in Epirus, Greece. It is about 52 km long and has its source in Mount Tomaros. It forms a gorge that is popular for hiking and rafting. The river is also known for its clear water and rich biodiversity.
How to visit the Nekromanteion of Acheron and the Acheron river?
If you want to visit these places, you will need to travel to Epirus, a region in northwestern Greece. The nearest airport is Ioannina, which has domestic flights from Athens and Thessaloniki. You can also take a bus or a train from these cities to Ioannina or Igoumenitsa, another town in Epirus. From there, you can rent a car or take a taxi to reach your destination.
The Nekromanteion of Acheron is located on a hill on the east side of Mesopotamos, a village about 20 km south of Parga, a seaside resort town. You can park your car near the entrance and buy a ticket for 4 euros (as of 2021). The ticket includes admission to both the Nekromanteion and the acropolis of Ephyra, an ancient settlement that dates back to the Bronze Age. You can explore both sites on foot and admire the views over the valley.
The Nekromanteion consists of a complex of buildings surrounded by massive walls of hewn boulders. You can see the remains of an altar, a courtyard, a dining room, and several chambers where rituals took place. The most impressive part is the underground tunnel that leads to a dark hall where the oracle supposedly appeared. You can enter this tunnel with caution and feel the eerie atmosphere.
The acropolis of Ephyra is located about 500 meters north of the Nekromanteion. It is mostly in ruins, but you can still see some stretches of wall that are older than those at the Nekromanteion. The site also offers a panoramic view of the Acheron river and the surrounding countryside.
The Acheron river is accessible from several points along its course. One of the most popular places to visit is Ammoudia, a coastal village about 10 km south of the Nekromanteion. Here, you can take a boat excursion up the river and enjoy the scenery of the gorge. You can also swim in the crystal-clear water or relax on the sandy beach. The boat trip costs about 10 euros per person and lasts about an hour.
Another option is to visit Glyki, a village about 25 km east of the Nekromanteion. Here, you can hike along the river and see some of its springs and waterfalls. You can also rent a kayak or a raft and paddle through the rapids. The river is suitable for all levels of experience and has a low environmental impact. The cost of renting a kayak or a raft varies depending on the duration and the provider, but it is usually around 20 euros per person.
What to bring and what to wear?
If you are planning to visit the Nekromanteion of Acheron and the Acheron river, you will need to bring some essentials with you. Here are some suggestions:
- A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
- A bottle of water and some snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
- A camera or a smartphone to capture the beauty of the places.
- A flashlight or a headlamp if you want to enter the underground tunnel at the Nekromanteion.
- A swimsuit, a towel, and a change of clothes if you want to swim or raft in the river.
- Comfortable shoes and clothes that are suitable for walking and hiking.
- A jacket or a sweater for the evening, as it can get chilly.
As for what to wear, you should dress according to the season and the weather. In general, Epirus has a mild Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and cool winters. However, it can also experience some rain and snow, especially in the mountains. Therefore, you should check the forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.
The Nekromanteion of Acheron and the Acheron river are two amazing places that combine history, mythology, nature, and adventure. They are ideal for anyone who wants to discover a different side of Greece and have an unforgettable experience. If you are interested in visiting them, you should plan your trip in advance and book your accommodation and transportation. You should also follow the safety rules and respect the environment. We hope that this blog post has given you some useful information and tips on how to visit these places. Have fun!