A palynological investigation of a Holocene profile from Lake Voulkaria, western Greece, was carried out as a contribution to the environmental history of the coastal area of northwestern Acarnania and the Classical city of Palairos. It shows that deciduous oaks dominated the natural vegetation of the area throughout the Holocene. Until ca. 7000 B.C. Pistacia occurred abundantly, while other evergreen woody taxa were rare. At ca. 6300 B.C. an expansion of Carpinus orientalis/Ostrya can be observed. Around ca. 5300 B.C. spreading of Erica indicates a change to a drier climate and/or first human impact. Since ca. 3500 B.C. an increase of evergreen shrubs now clearly indicates land-use. The foundation of the Classical city of Palairos led to a temporary expansion of Phillyrea maquis. Within this period, molluscs of brackish water indicate the use of the lake as a harbour after the construction of a connection to the sea. The deciduous Quercus woodland recovered when human impact decreased in the area, and lasted until modern times.