CHELMOS GEOPARK (Greece)
The Chelmos Vouraikos Geopark is located in North Peloponnesos, Greece, 200 km from Athens and 100 km from the city of Patras.
Conservation, Education & Tourism
What happens when a tower of sand is left on the beach exposed to rain? It will change its form, take on some strange shapes, and eventually become one with the sand. With the action of water and other natural factors, Chelmos Mountain developed many distinct forms, over millions of years, such as the impressive gorge of Vouraikos, the beautiful Cave of Lakes, the cool Springs of Aroanios river, the mythical waters of Styx, and the Tsivlos and Doxa lakes.
Lakes are found not only on the surface of the earth, but also underground, and one can discover the Cave of the Lakes on a tour of three of its thirteen underground lakes. It is a lovely old cave, an underground river bed with an explored length of 1,980 meters and exploited length of 500 meters. On the lower floor of the cave, human and animal fossils have been found, including hippopotamus fossils. Through Vouraikos Gorge, following the international path E4 and next to rows of picturesque railway carriages which operated from 1896, one meets many geological formations (conglomerates, limestones), such as the "court", rare plants and butterflies. When one gets tired, there are traditional dishes in the village of Zachlorou. From there, one can follow the path to reach the monastery of Mega Spilaio and visit the museum there or take the train to historical Kalavrita where the headquarters of our Geopark is. There, you have the opportunity to visit our exhibition, learn more about our area and become a young explorer.Chelmos Vouraikos has several areas protected by local and national laws, sensitizing people to the importance of geoconservation inside nature conservation. There are several educational programmes adapted to Greek school programmes where students and teachers can apply together in a real context what they learn in the classroom. The first aim is to educate young people to respect and conserve nature. In order to cater for tourists the Geopark has developed an information centre, two museums in area of the Cave, several view points and five trails. These facilities show the visitor how geology provides the basis for a biological, archaeological and cultural richness.
The Global Geoparks Network is supported by UNESCO at the request of Member States