Parapotamio (riverside) Metropolitan Park covers an area of approximately 165,000 m2, located next to the Arachthos River, on the eastern end of the city, behind Krystalli Square (Central bus station).
The lake around which the Park was formed is artificial. It was created due to irrigation and electricity supply problems and supported by the creation of the Pournari barrage, which was built in 1975 to utilize the water resources of the river Arachthos. Thus, in 2000, the Public Power Corporation undertook to finance and design the lake and the lakeside Park as a place of rejuvenation and recreation. The Municipality of Arta later contributed to the project.
Today, the lake is a small ecosystem that has transformed a formerly unpleasing area on this side of the city. The Park’s location next to the river and around the lake acquires natural beauty enriched by the sunset’s colors and their reflections in the water. The various species that live in the lake (fishing is prohibited) along with the geese on its shores compose a lively wetland and a pleasant environment for walking and leisure.
In Paralimnio Park, you can meet various visitors from carefree groups or hikers, walkers, and cyclists, to children playing or feeding geese and the elderly taking a walk enjoying the serenity. There are also those accompanying their pet on their walk and others taking photographs of the lake and the river’s beautiful view.
Cultural events and ecological activities have taken place in the Park. For example, in 2013, the Park was the finish line of the cycling race, which took place before the seven-hour music event “”Urban Bike Music Festival.”” In 2017, the cultural association “”Skoufas,”” in collaboration with the Municipality of Arta, organized the celebration of Clean Monday and Koulouma (The customs of the Clean Monday outing are called koulouma) in the Park. Also, in Parapotamio Park, the music group “”Krotal Arta,”” a group of musicians that use percussion instruments exclusively, had held events, creating original and unique sounds.
In addition to the cultural events in the Park, in 2014, the nationwide voluntary organization “”Let’s do it Greece””, in collaboration with the Municipality of Arta and the department of the Red Cross in Arta, became active in order to clean Paralimnio Park. Since then, dozens of volunteers have gathered to clean the area.
Arta’s Parapotamio Park, although it can accommodate future infrastructure, has the specifications of a leisure park, like those found in cities around the world, where residents can escape for a while from the buzz and routine or even organize a variety of events. In this sense, it was named “Metropolitan”.
The path of Vidra is a riverside path in the middle valley of Arachthos that connects the prefectures of Ioannina and Arta and belongs to the municipalities of North Tzoumerka and Arta. Most of it stretches along the west bank of the river. It starts from the bridge of Plaka, crosses the Tzari Bridge, and ends at the hydropower complex (watermill, whirlpool, possing tub) in the flatland of Skoupa. It is 17,560 km long and runs through the settlements Plaka, Raftanaion, Monolithi, Platanoussa, Dafnoti, and Skoupa, while three vertical sections complete the d.
The path is accessible through the Plaka Bridge or vice versa from the Tzari bridge, the villages, and the vertical routes (A2, A3, and A4). It is fully labeled and secure. There are springs, water fountains, and kiosks for the hikers’ rest along the path.
The actions that take place are:
– Hiking by mountaineering clubs and individual visitors.
– Visits of primary and secondary schools from all over Greece, mainly on the vertical path A2 of Skoupa.
– Mountain running race (Vidra’s Trail) once a year.
Peranthi hill, also known as Valaora or Petrovouni, is a low geological formation (height 218m) in an NW-SE direction that extends from the coastal wetlands of Amvrakikos to the edges of the Tzoumerka mountain range. It is surrounded to the north and east by the Arachthos River, which follows along the hill as it heads to its estuary to the south. Between the northern fringes of Peranthi and Arachthos, the ancient Amvrakia was founded, which later gave its place to the Byzantine Arta, from where the modern city takes its name. Thus, this rocky outcrop was the natural fortification of the city from the south, enhancing the protection offered by the river from the other sides. The hill’s name comes from antiquity, as evidenced by the Roman historian Titus Livius (1st BC-1st AD), who describes it as a “”rough hill”” that the inhabitants of Amvrakia call Peranthi. Information is also given by Dionysios Kalliphontos, which belongs to the Minor Geographers of antiquity. He calls Peranthi a “”sacred mountain”” where the people of Amvrakia perform worship ceremonies. This view is confirmed by the research of N. G. L. Hammond in the 20th century and the discovery of a sacred Cave of Nymphs, Hermes, and other deities on the hill’s east side.
The strategic geographical position of the hill range was not only exploited by the ancient inhabitants of Amvrakia and Byzantine Arta. During the 1821 siege of the city, it was the Greek revolutionaries’ stronghold and became the place for many battles during the civil war after 1944.
Today it is the suburban forest of Arta, a place ideal for walking, exercising, cycling, and doing various explorations. The cleaning of the paths (total length 10 mm) and their signaling is a voluntary work of the Mountaineering Association and the Association of Runners of Arta.
The top is accessible from the provincial road of Arta – Kommeno and the National side road of Antirrio-Ioannina, at the height of the swimming pool. There is also access through the villages of Limini and Peranthi.
The Tourist Kiosk, a pleasant place for rest and recreation, is located on the hill above the city. Finally, at the top, Arta’s hospital has been built on an older military campsite. The Urban buses of Arta (KTEL of Arta) run daily trips to the hospital.