The people of Greece are looking forward to the opening of tourism and freedom of movement. All of us, probably, passionately dream of a trip to nature, since from May 15 it will become available in connection with the abolition of quarantine.
So, if you have already thought about where to ride, then, probably, the story about “mermaid places” will seem interesting to you. Just two hours from Athens, there is a fabulous place with small waterfalls, watermills, plane trees, lush vegetation and objects of mythology. This is the Erkina River, in Kria Livadias (Έρκυνας, στα Κρύα της Λιβαδειάς).
Livadia is famous for its taverns with exquisite traditional dishes and, in particular, specially prepared meat. However, the city hides many beautiful corners of nature for those whose requests are not limited only to “eating food”.
The mythical image of a sunken statue washed by a river
The Erkina River itself is an excellent reason to visit Livadia. In fact, this is one of the two rivers in Greece that bear a female name. The second, Neda, is located between Elis and Messinia. The river creates a unique image of nature, but the place where the female head of the nymph Erkina suddenly “appears” out of the water is especially impressive.
But what does mythology say about her?
According to Greek mythology, Erkina was the friend of Persephone (who later became the “Queen of the underworld”), the daughter of Demeter (goddess of agriculture, grain and fertility). Once, two young women were playing in a beautiful gorge with a goose. The bird escaped from Erkina’s hands and hid in a cave, behind a rock. When Erkina or Persephone (there are different versions) moved the rock, a stream of water poured out, forming springs and a river.
Since then, believers have come to bathe in its waters when they visit the famous oracle Trophonius, who was nearby. Waterfalls, watermills, stone bridges, lush vegetation and a mesmerizing stream of water make up a unique image worthy of artists’ paintings. In the middle of the river there is a sculpture created by the artist Spyros Guriotis. This is Erkina, who looks out of the water, as if intending to drag you with her on a “mythological” journey.
Other attractions in the Pigi Kria area: the theater, the ancient springs of Oblivion and the Memorial, part of the Byzantine castle.
How to get to the Erkina river in Livadia
The access to the Erkina River is very easy. Follow the national road Athens-Lamia. Take the Castro exit and after 30 km you will be at your destination. You will cross Livadia by car, along the narrow streets of the city you will reach the round central square, where Cold Springs await you, which will charm you at first sight. Get out of the car and continue your walk, enjoying the river, plane trees and the beauties of nature.
Information in Greek
Οδηγείτε στην Εθνική Οδό Αθηνών – Λαμίας και στρίβετε στην έξοδο προς Κάστρο και σε 30 χλμ. βρίσκεστε στον προορισμό σας. Θα διασχίσετε με το αυτοκίνητο τη Λιβαδειά για να φτάσετε μέσα από τα στενά δρομάκια της πόλης σε μια στρογγυλή πλατεία, εκεί σας περιμένουν οι Πηγές Κρύας, που θα σας γοητεύσουν με την πρώτη ματιά. Αφήνετε το αυτοκίνητο και συνεχίζετε με τα πόδια για μια βόλτα μέσα σε τρεχούμενα νερά, πλατάνια και φύσησ.