marshes, farmland, varied coastline and many little uninhabited islands that are teaming with birdlife, fauna and flora. Officially known as the National Park of Lagoons of Messlonogi-Aitoliko, Kato Rou, the Acheloos and Evinos rivers, and the Echinades Islands, the park falls under the RAMSAR convention and NATURA 2000 network, underlining its role in maintaining European biodiversity.
Its notable natural attractions include:
• Dunes created by the debris of rivers and lagoons acting as a barrier against the open sea.
• Hills that were formerly part of the Echinades Islands and which the flowing action of the Acheloos River has brought ashore
• Mount Varasova which is a wildlife reserve for game and a part of the majestic Arakynthos Mountain
• Kleisoura Gorge which is considered officially an ‘area of natural beauty’ and within a specially protected zone to preserve the endangered population of griffon vultures
• Fraxos Forest (near the village of Lesini) grows with laurel, silver birch trees, and creeping plants. It is home to the otter and several bird species (magpies, woodpeckers, etc.)
• Echinades islands, several of which have been joined to the mainland by alluvial deposits. These islands were the site of ancient battles and were mentioned in the writings of Homer, Thucydides and Pausanias.