Louros River rises in the mountains of Tomaros (or Olytsika, 1976m height) close to the area of Oracle of Dodoni, of the county of Ioannina. Also, it accepts feeder tributaries from the area of the village of Varyades of Ioannina County. Thus, it flows along the side of the National Road of Preveza Ioannina, crosses the villages of Voulista, Panagia, Kleisoura and then Kerasona village and its waters are trapped by the Artificial Hydroelectric Dam of the public Power Corporation of Louros (DEH), of 25m height and 70m width. A part of the waters of Louros river, is channeled to the east through a hill (construction: 1963) and flows again to the central part of Louros River, just before Agios Georgios village.
At Agios Georgios village, you can find the “springs of Louros”, from which Arta, Preveza and Lefkada draw drinking water.Moreover close to Agios Georgios village the giant in its time aqueduct of Louros is built after 31BC, on the order of the Roman Emperor Augustus Octavian, form which Nikopolis used to draw drinking water at that time (population: 300.000 people). The waters of Louros were headed through the aqueduct to the opposite side (on the right of the National Road, towards Preveza), and through the tunnel to the mountain (thousands of slaves works for its opening) to the south. Close to the place where currently the village Archaggelos of the county of Preveza is, there are the remains of a second small aqueduct. After the dam of the Public Power Corporation, the waters of Louros become raging because of the fact that many sources from the area of Agios Georgios drain into Louros River, heading to Pantanassa village of the county of Arta. Oposite to Pantanassa, there is the lake of Ziros, equal to Swiss beauty.
Lake of Zirou
The name of the lake is Slavic origin, a remnant of medieval settling of the area by Slavic tribes. The creation of Lake Ziros seems to be due to the area’s tectonic activity. Geologists believe that the lake was a lake cave, but the roof collapsed almost 10,000 years ago. The aquifer of the lake is the same as that of the Louros River, so the two water systems communicate. As in all freshwater lakes, the buoyancy is lower than that of the seas, and swimming is dangerous. From the medieval “Castle of the Rocks” the view of the river is wonderful, as is the one offered by the top of the hill Hiliouni (commonly called “Levounia” where there is also the remarkable monastery of Profitis Ilias of the 17th century).
At the bridge of Louros of the community of Pantanassa, the river is raging with small successive falls and a romantic scenery. The area of Pantanassa is ideal to Rafting. The river passes next to Recruitment Campus of old Filippiada and gradually it deviates from the national road. At the area of Filippiada, Louros accepts feeder tributaries from the left side from Chanopoulos and Grimpovo hills and finally it passes under the famous “Kalogirou Bridge”.
The river’s course gets closer to the community of Nea Kerasounta and passes next to the medieval “Riza castle” with the marvelous view to the river. The view is also magnificent from the top of the hill Iliovouni (known as “Levounia” where the great monastery of Elias the Prophet of the 17th century stands).
Then, the river traverses the marsh area that very easily floods and it is called Louros’ swamp, between the villages of Petra and Stroggyli, to the east and Stefani village to the west, close to Rodia lagoon. Louros also, accepts the tributary from the hills of Valaoriti (Sfinoto village etc). The “periurban grove” and the “Monastery of Agios Varnavas” are onthis tributary’s course to Louros, which has been regenerated by the European Programme Leader I funds. Then, it traverses the plains of the communities of Nea Sampsous, Nea Sinopi.
Finally, after an easy and waterway part at the plain of Flampoura, the river flows into Michalitsi River, at the mountain of Salaoras, of the Amvrakikos gulf. Earlier (1912) the River Louros from its estuary to Filippiada was navigable throughout its length and indeed there are pictures of boats that carry munitions during the Liberation war form the Ottomans (Nikos Karampela’s album, 1996).