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South of the Ambrakian Gulf - Western Sterea Ellada Page 1

area mapIpiros is to the north and west of the province of Etolo Akarnania pictured left. The inland area is very dry with the town of Agrinio (around 35,000 population) on the way, though it can be bypassed to the west.

This is a tobacco growing center and transport junction (linking air services for Athens and Ioannina). It was almost totally rebuilt after an earthquake in 1887.

There's a small archaeological museum here. The site of the ancient town has been identified above the village of Megali Hora, 4km to the northwest of the modern town.

Ancient Stratos (click to read)

Ancient Thermon (click to read)

South of Agrinio

South of Agrinio once crosses the irrigated plain between Lake Trikhonis and and Lake Lysimakhia before heading into the hills. The monastery of Aghios Eleousas is in a limestone cleft, after a pretty valley. When leaving the monastery, you get a view of the Etolliko lagoon. There are remains of a Byzantine fortress (13th century) at Angelokastro; olive trees cover the coastal plain. Before you reach Messolonghi, there are turnoffs for Oiniadai and Etoliko, the latter a medieval refuge town of around 5000 inhabitants which is situated on an island between its lagoon and the larger seaward Lagoon of Messolonghi. Fine stone bridges join it to the mainland at either end. In the 15th century church of the Panaghia there are wall paintings. From Etoliko a paved road heads west into flat, arable countryside. If you cross the river bridge you can see a medieval tower in Katokhi (3000 population).

Ancient Oiniandai (click to read)

Ancient Nea Pleuron (click to read)

South from Vonitsa

South from Vonitsa on the coast This stretch of coastline is rather dry and bleak, but if you have your own vehicle you'll find some nice little beaches with no people on them. The town of Mytikas features a lone of old houses along a pebbly shore right across from the island of Kalamos. There are a few hotels and some tavernas geared towards locals, some with very decent prices. East from the village is 2km of beach which, at least until very recently had remained without tourist development, in fact, the beach has been empty of any commercial enterprise whatsoever. The further you walk, the nicer it gets, and is flanked all the way with mountains.

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