Touring in Central & Western Greece: Amphilochia

Amfilochia by nightAmfilochia is a town and a municipality in the northwestern part of Aetolia-Acarnania, on the site of ancient Amfilochia.

Amfilochia is situated by the Ambracian Gulf and features an amphitheatre. Amfilochia dates back to the ancient times and also features the ancient cities of Amphilochian Argos and Limnaia.

Amphilochian Argos

Map of ancient EpirusAmphilochian Argos was the most important city in Amphilochia in Ancient Greece, situated on the Ambracian Gulf.
According to Greek mythology it was founded by Amphilochus after the Trojan War. According to Thucydides (2.68), Amphilochus, not caring for the situation in Argos, founded “Amphilochian Argos and the whole region of Amphilochia”.

Argos was later colonised by its Ambraciot neighbours at the invitation of the Amphilochian Argives. According to Thucydides, “at that time [the inhabitants of Amphilochian Argos] became hellenized, regarding their present language, by their Ambraciot fellow-settlers.” These Ambraciots later drove out the Amphilochian inhabitants of the city. The Amphilochians allied themselves with the Acarnanians and also with the Athenians, who despatched thirty ships under Phormio that successfully drove the Ambraciots out of Argos.

The Ambracian Gulf

The Ambracian Gulf, as seen from the Space Shuttle in November 1994The Ambracian Gulf, also known as the Gulf of Arta or the Gulf of Actium is a gulf of the Ionian Sea in northwestern Greece. About 40 km long and 15 km wide, it is one of the largest enclosed gulfs in Greece.
The towns of Preveza, Amphilochia, and Vonitsa lie on its shores.

AmfilochiaThe entrance to the gulf is through a 700-meter wide channel between Aktio (ancient Actium) on the south and Preveza on the north; a recent road tunnel connects the two.

The gulf is quite shallow, and its shore is broken by numerous marshes, large parts of which form an estuary system. The Louros and Arachthos (or Arta) rivers drain into it; for this reason it is warmer and less salty than the Ionian, and a current flows from the gulf into the sea. It is rich in grey mullet, sole, and eel.

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