Mavra Vouna, or Black Mountains, are solid limestone mountains on the borders of Achaea and Elis, no taller than 249 metres. They are about 45 kilometres from Patras, and around them one can visit the villages Araksos and Paralimni, as well as the thermal springs of Araksos and the beaches Gianiskari and Kalogria.
They were named Mavra Vouna because the vegetation looks black from afar, since Oak and Fir used to grow on them; though few parts of the original forests remain. Most are destroyed by overgrazing, logging and the abuse by logging companies, as well as fires.
Mavra Vouna, along with the lagoons of Araksos and Prokopos, that are right by the mountains, are protected by the Ramsar treaty; the ecosystem is completed with the addition of the Kotychi lagoon and the forest of Strofylia.
Several native species can be found on the mountains, like Centaurea Niederi, as well as more common ones like the Pistacia tree, the Cypress bush, the Common Redbud and the almond-leaved Pear tree. Fauna is also important, since the rocky slopes allow for a perfect shelter for nests and hiding holes for small mammals, reptiles and birds of prey alike. The importance of Mavra Vouna for the balance of the ecosystem is high, since many rivers and forests are watered by the waters that come down them.
Recently, radars, military outposts and naval bases have been installed on and around Mavra Vouna.