Louros river

The River Louros starts from Mount Tomaros (also known as Mount Olytsika, with an elevation of 1,976 m) near the Oracle’s region of Dodona in the Ioannina Prefecture.


Then it flows alongside the Preveza-Ioannina National Road, passing the villages Voulista, Panagia, and Kleisoura. After the village of Kerasonas, its waters are caught by the PPC Louros Hydroelectric Dam, which has a height of 25 m and a width of 70 m. Part of the water of the Louros is channelled to the east via tunnels through the hill (constructed in 1963), and rejoins the main body of the river a short distance before the village of Agios Georgios. In the village of Agios Georgios are the Louros Springs, which supply the water for Arta, Preveza and Lefkada. Also near the village of Agios Georgios is the Louros Aqueduct - an enormous construction for its time - built after 31 BC on the orders of the Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus to supply water to Nicopolis (population: 300,000).

The waters of the River Louros follow the Aqueduct, heading across (to the right of the National Road towards Preveza) and towards the south via a tunnel in the mountain (thousands of slaves worked to open up this tunnel). Near what is now the village of Archangelos in the Prefecture of Preveza are the remains of a smaller second Roman aqueduct. After the PPC dam, the Louros waters - which are flowing rapidly by this point as they have been added to by the many springs in the area around Agios Georgios – travel past the village of Pantanassa in the Prefecture of Arta. Opposite Pantanassa is Lake Ziros with its Swiss beauty. The course of the river continues, converging at the community of Nea Kerasounta and passing the medieval Castle of Rogoi.

Further down, the Louros accepts another tributary from the Valaoritis hills (the village of Sfinoto etc). Along the course of this tributary as it works its way towards the River Louros lie the so-called “aesthetic forest” and the Monastery of Agios Varnavas, which has been renovated with funds from the European Leader I programme. The river then passes through a marshy region which floods easily, known as the Louros Marsh, between the villages of Petra and Strongyli to the east, and Stefani to the west, and alongside the salt water lake of Rhodia. As it continues, it passes through the plain belonging to the communities of Nea Sampsounta and Nea Sinopi. Finally, after an easy and navigable course across the Flampoura Plain, the river flows into the bay of Salaora at Mihalitsi in the Ambracian Gulf. Previously (1912), all of the River Louros from its estuary to Filippiada was navigable, and there are even photographs of boats carrying munitions during the war to liberate Epirus from the Ottomans (Nikos Karabelas Photo Album, published 1996). Unfortunately, the Louros is a heavily polluted river, which has prevented the development of water sports such as rafting and kayaking.

Louros and Arachthos Delta

This area is a complex ecosystem comprising the double delta of the Louros and Arachthos Rivers, a series of salt water lakes including three large lagoons (Rhodia, Tsoukalio and Logarou) and several smaller ones, and the area of sea which surrounds them. The delta covers a total area of approximately 450 km2. The total area of the salt water lakes is approximately 64 km2. The region has a variety of ecosystems: Dense and extensive beds of reeds (Phragmitetum) cover 10% of the land in the region, with one large area alongside the Louros and lots of smaller areas to the east. Near the reed beds there are areas of Scirpus maritimus, as well as areas of Nymphaea alba and Iris pseudacorus. The patches of forest which are left in the Louros and Arachthos double delta cover an area of 2.5 km2. Dense scrubland covers 21 km2, mostly around the hills. The only real evergreen forest lies on the Koronisia Peninsula, and the remaining clusters of deciduous trees are to the north-east of Mavrovouni hill. This forest belongs to the plant community Coccifero-Carpinetum.

Text by Haralambos Gouvas from the book The Watery World of Preveza