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Alpheus, the son of Oceanus, had a divine nature, according to the Greek mythology. He was worshipped as a god of fertility, although he was unlucky in his personal life. He fell madly in love with nymph Arethoussa. But she did not like him and she wished to avoid him, so she left for Ortygia, near Syracuse, and was transformed into a spring. Alpheus was so desperate by her flight, that he was transformed into a river, which flowed into the Ionian Sea, and passing from underneath the sea, it ended up in Sicily, where it joined the spring of Arethoussa.

The face of Alphaeus was depicted in a splendid Roman mosaic coming from a mansion of Seleukia, which is preserved nowadays in an excellent condition in the Museum of Antiochia. In the Greek-Roman Museum of Alexandria in Egypt, Alphaeus is depicted once and for all with the love of his life, Arethoussa. A headless but very well-preserved marble statue of his can be seen in the Museum of Olympia.

The river of Alphaeus springs from the site of Fragovrissi in Arcadia, a prefecture which borders on the prefecture of Elia. The canyon of Alphaeus, ideal for rafting and kayaking, begins actually from Carytaina, whose castle dominates the bare Arcadian mountains. The river course in the land of Elia starts after the historical bridge of Coucos; it is the most difficult, yet the most impressive course for travelers.

After the bridge of Coucos the boats pass through a narrow passage created by huge reddish rocks. For those who are good at river sports, this course is ideal in winter and in spring, when the waters are rich and rapid. But for those who wish to enjoy the beauty of Alphaeus in a more relaxed way, the best period is summertime, when they can dive in the waters of tiny "beaches", while cicadas warble and wild doves coo all over the place.

The magic trip to the canyon of Alphaeus ends in the area of Matessi, just a few kilometers away from Andritsaina.

Additional Info

  • Type: River
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