Kalavrita is a town, a province and a municipality in the East Central part of the prefecture of Achaea. It is located 77 km SE of Patras (1.5 h driving through magnificent and eye-catching nature) and 180 km West of Athens. Kalavrita is a popular tourist destination and can be visited throughout the year.
Cog Railway (Odontotos) which links Kalavrita with Diakopto going through Vouraikos Canyon, is one of the most beautiful natural sights in Greece. It has been mentiοned as the most beautiful train trip in Balkans.
Diakopto is located 22 Km near Kalavrita. The journey takes one hour and the speed of the train ranges between 30 and 40 Km/h at usual rail and 6 - 15 Km/h at cogs. The slope of the ground does not allow the movement of a usual train, so between the rails there are cogs that allow the operation of a mechanism to raise the train from the level of the sea at the station of Kalavrita which is 750 metres above the sea level. The little cog train known in the past as the 'odontotos' (= tooth train), is well known to train lovers all over the world, because its journey along the gorge, is one of the most spectacular railway rides.
Next to Railway there is a path, which is a part of international path E4. This is used by a lot of hikers. Places like the Vouraikos gorge deserves your visit as well as your protection since this sort of natural beauty is rarely found anywhere in the world.
The ascent begins at the village Peristera (or Solos). Only a few kilometres before the village, situated within a forest, the lake Tsivlou is a spot of great beauty (700m). You start off on a rural road that leads into a pine forest and then you continue on a footpath until you come to a spot of great view (two and a half hours). Here the path has collapsed somewhat, which may be misleading, however, continue on for another half an hour until you reach the base of the waterfalls of the Waters of Styx.
The School of Kalavrita, built in the early 20 th century was completely burnt by Nazi, on 13 December 1943. After libaretion from Nazi, it was reconstructed. In 1986 it was declared by Ministry of Culture as historical monument and nowedays it houses Museum of Kalavrita Holocaust.
The most important historical monument of the Greek Nation sits on the pertinent hill north of the monastery of Agia Lavra. It is that of the Heroes of the Revolution of 1821, which commemorates the sacrifice of those who fought for the Independence of the Greek Nation against the Turks. The monument was officially revealed on the 24th of March 1971.
The monument is composed of three statues depicting the clergy, for their participation in the Revolution, the fighters of the Revolution and Freedom from the Turkish rule. Each year, celebrations are held to commemorate the historical day of the declaration of independence, and the Municipality of Kalavrita organizes activities which include a memorial service, the deposition of wreaths, a one minute silence in the memory of those who fought and the playing of the national anthem.
Planitero is a picturesque village, which is located 25 km from Kalavrita, at an altitude of 700 meters, on the road leading to the Kleitoria. The landscape that visitors see as they reaches Planitero is breath-taking, as it is surrounded by a dense plane-tree forest of exceptional beauty. The location is also known for the trout fishery. There are a lot of traditional taverns there, where visitors can taste delicious local dishes and trout. Above the forest lies the village of Planiterou.
The area is suitable for trekking and climbing and it is protected by National and International Treaties; it is a Natura area.
This is a typical building of Kalavrita. It is mensioned that Paleologina's Mansion was probably built by Thomas Paleologos and it was owned by his brother Konstantine in 1440. Kalavrita was a very important cultural center that period. The same period Konstadine Paleologos present the Mansion to Princess Katherine Palologos, who was aristocrats's daughter from Chalandritsa and was related with imperial family.
Despite all the adventure tha Kalavrita suffered during wars, "Paleologina's Mansion" has survived all the disasters of the town. Only time and some changes made by Turks has influenced it. The last owner of the building, Vasilios Tsaparas, offered it to Municipality of Kalavrita in order to maintain and save it.
Nowedays Paleologina's Mansion is used as cultural center, where take place meetings, lectures and other activities.
The monastery of Agia Lavra was built in 961 AD, on Helmos Mountain , at an altitude of 961 meters, and can be described as the symbolic birth-place of modern Greece. It stands as one of the oldest monasteries in the Peloponnese.
It was built in 10th century but was burnt to the ground in 1585 by the Turks. It was rebuilt in 1600 while the frescoes by Anthimos were completed in 1645. It was burnt again in 1715 and in 1826 by the armies of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt. In 1850 after the rebirth of modern Greece, the building was completely rebuilt. The monastery was burned down by German forces in 1943.
It is famously linked with the Greek War of Independence , since it was here that the call for "Eleftheria I Thanatos" was first heard on 17 March 1821 , launching the revolution against the Ottoman Empire. That day, Bishop Germanos of Patras performed a doxology and administered an oath to the Peloponnesian fighters. The revolutionary flag was supposedly raised by Bishop under the plane tree just outside the gate of the monastery.
On the hill opposite, a monument to the heroes of the Revolution of 1821 looks down upon the monastery.
This is one of the most re-known arcadic cities which controlled the whole area of Epanokambos. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Austrian Archaeological Institute has carried out systematic excavations and has discovered, in the city's agora, the Doric temple of Artemis Hemera or Hemerasias (Artemis that is dawning), constructed early 3rd century B.C. Built on the remains of an older geometric style temple of the Goddess, the temple bears an odd design, with a “bouleuterion” (council building), a fountain house and the “propylon” (gateway).
On a lower level, a very important Hellenistic domicile with a central courtyard was brought to light, while current excavations at an even lower level are revealing yet another important temple and a two-aisled stoa at the location called “Stadion”. The acropolis of the ancient city was identified a few years ago but has not yet been excavated. As a large area around the ancient town maintains its ancient structure, the whole surroundings have been declared as an archaeological site, to prevent any further deterioration. The archaeological site is located near the village of Lousoi or Soudena, 15km from Kalavrita.
Zachlorou is a beautiful traditional settlement, built at an altitude of 640 meters, in the
unique Vouraikos Gorge. It is located at a distance of 12 km from Kalavryta, in the middle of the path of the odontotos Diakopto-Kalavrita.
The name Zachlorou came from the Slavic "Zanglo", meaning "behind the mountains". Zachlorou was built during the Ottoman domination by hunted passers-by who came from the villages of Epirus in the Peloponnese. Its inhabitants are about 112 and are mainly engaged in agriculture and livestock farming.
From Zachlorou railway station begins a path that connects Zachlorou to the Great Cave. The path used it in old times, where the road to the Great Cave did not exist. The journey takes about 45 minutes.
The village is embraced by the largest forest of the prefecture of Achaia, fraught with pine trees, chestnuts, fir trees and offers the visitor moments of tranquility. In Zachlorou you will find hostels, hotels, rooms for rent as well as taverns where you can enjoy delicious local dishes.
Kalavrita is one of the best places to see if you are looking on deals on Greek holidays. This place is perfect for people that want to go on a ski holiday. The ski resort of Kalavrita is complete with the essential skiing gears and equipment. The atmosphere and terrain here is very ideal for skiing, making this place a haven for skiers. This is definitely the place to visit if you want to treat your loved to an exciting ski holidays!
The ski resort of Kalavrita is situated 15 km off the town of Kalavrita, at NW of Mountain Chelmos and at an altitude of 1700 meters (Xerokampos), to 2340 meters (Neraidorachi). It offers modern facilities, 8 lifts and 13 slaloms of all categories. Set up for the first time in 1988, the ski resort of Kalavrita gave strong impetus to the tourism development of the region. During the winter season (December to April) it is open daily from 8:30 to 16:00. On its premises there are garages, cafeteria, restaurants, shop selling and hiring ski equipment, as well as photographic equipment and a First Aid Station. Finally Ski Resort of Kalavrita is suitable for expert or novice skier, as courses can easily be arranged.
In Neraidochori, at the top of Mount Helmos and at a height of 2,340 meters, the new telescope "Aristarchos", one of the largest and most important in Europe, with a mirror diameter of 2.3 meters has been installed.
The most important monument in Kalavrita is the Site of Execution, which is placed on the hill Kapi, 500 meters nere the center of town, in the way to Ski Resort. There on 13 December 1943 all men who were more than 14 years old, were killed by Nazi.
Nowedays on the Hill Kapi, there is a very Large Cross, to remind visitors the Holocaust of Kalavrita. In colomns which are around the central gate, are listed the killed people names.
An ancient Arcadian city, one of the largest and richest of its time. It was founded by Kleitoras, son of Azanas and grandson of Arcadas. We can see many of its remnants (including the ancient theater) scattered over the large plain of Kleitoria.
The picturesque and traditional chapel of the Ascension of Kastria of Kalavrita (preserved unique monument of the 19th century), located a stone's throw from the legendary Cave of the Lakes, is celebrated on Thursday, June 13, feast of the Ascension of the Savior. The narrow chapel built on the rocks of a towering cliff and its sanctuary attached to a natural cave adorned with stalactites and ivy is a reference point of the wider region of Kalavrita and it is the surprise and the admiration for its visitors!
Historic Monastery 3km east of Filia. It is considered contemporary with the Agia Lavra Monastery, that is to say with a history of more than 1,000 years, founded by a Peloponnese monk of Agios Oros and dedicated to the Patriarch of Alexandreia Athanasios the Great.
Under the shadow of Helmos mountain mass, there is a plantain tree, next to which, at the roots of a rock, springs sources that then form the Aroane River. The springs of Aroani are located at the southwest of the mountain, at an altitude of 600 meters, next to the village of Planitero. The very etymology of Planitero village (plane trees and water) prepares you for the landscape you will meet.
The river springs from many points but most of the water comes out of the bottom of a pond lying at the root of a big rock. The river then crosses the south of the Katsana valley and meets Ladon and the River Trago, flowing at a length of 10 kilometers. The flow of water through the rocks is impressive and it is the waters of the Feneos basin and the mountain of Helmos that reach here through sinks.
In the borders of the prefectures of Arkadia and Achaia, enclosed by mountains and with the cool song of the river Ladonas to give another dimension to the landscape, we will meet some of the most beautiful and historical villages of Arcadia.
The sources of the Ladon River are at a height of 500m. In the area of Helosospilia, near the villages of Pagrati and Lykouria. Ladonas, 75 km long along with the Erymanthos River, are the two great tributaries of the Alfeios River. The easiest access to Ladon and its artificial lake is through the road Tripolis - Patras, the well known 111 that runs along the borders of the prefectures of Achaia and Arcadia. Coming from Nestani, Levidi you will cross the junction for the village of Pagkrati and turn left for Daphni Dam-Ladona-Mouria Dam.
The Pausanias vine has an age of more than 3,000 years and has been called a scientific wonder and monument to Nature's beauty. According to legend, it is the spot under which Pausanias sat on his travels from Mantineia. Every month of May it blossoms but it never has any fruit.