History and Tradition…
Visit the historic town of Kalavryta, one of the most exciting winter destinations of the Peloponnese, built on the slopes of Mt. Helmos!
A dreamy setting with picturesque squares, stone-paved streets and little houses welcomes romantic souls! The trademark of Kalavryta is its small cog-wheel train, the “Odontotos” (a rare example of a fully functional cog railway). Its 22 km journey from Kalavryta to Diakofto is one of the most spectacular rack & pinion rail trips! The narrow gauge tracks follow the Vouraikos River through tunnels, over water-falls, along cliffs and through forests of pine and oleander.
The tragic history of Kalavryta reminds us the darkest side of human nature; in 1943 German occupying troops murdered all male population over the age of 14 and burned the town…Visit the memorial built to honour the dead, a large white cross on the top of the hill where the villagers had been executed, as well as the Municipal Museum of the Holocaust of Kalavryta where you can see exhibits related to the history and the traditions of the town.
Kalavryta is associated with another glorious era of Greek History; nearby is situated the famous Monastery of Agia Lavra, where the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire was launched in 1821. It’s here that Germanos, archbishop of Patras, raised the standard of revolt.
Don’t miss the awe-inspiring Mega Spileon Monastery (Monastery of the Great Cavern) built in a giant cave and admire its wonderful frescoes and mosaic floors; explore the Cave of the Lakes, a true wonder of nature whose walls are ornamented with colourful stalagmite and stalactite formations.
Winter sport enthusiasts should definitely go to the Kalavryta Ski Center, one of the most renowned in Greece thanks to its modern facilities: 7 lifts, 12 slaloms, a snowboard park, a special slalom mogul and a snow tubing park! On its premises there are fancy cafeterias and restaurants where occasionally fun parties take place!
Need more adrenaline rush? In the vicinity of Kalavryta you can follow hiking trails, hike down the Vouraikos gorge, go mountaineering, climbing, off-road driving, mountain biking and parachuting!
Winter sports’ fans will definitely know the modern ski center of Helmos, since it has 12 runs, 7 lifts, and snowboard parks, mogul’s special track, unique park snow tubes, and many organized parties and events!
For those seeking action and intensity the choices are endless: walking in the part of the European path E4 (from Kalavryta to Kato Loussi - Planitero - Arbounas - Ag. Nikolaos - Tourlada - Krinofyta), hiking downhill Vouraikos, climbing in Helmos, climbing, route by car 4x4 to the lake Tsivlou, mountain bike and paragliding!