Kalavrita: The historic & picturesque town of Achaia


Kalavrita is one of the most historical cities of Achaia prefecture and it is built in an altitude of 756m., on the spot of Ancient Kynetha. Kalavrita city is located 77km southeastern to Patras. You can go to Kalavrita through Chalandritsa or Diakopto or through the fantastic course Diakopto-Kalavrita by the (Odontotos) rack railway.

Kalavrita is a mountain city, which is located just an hour away from the wonderful beaches of Korinthiakos Gulf and gives the chance to the visitor to combine for vacations, mountain and sea. There are numerous hotels, guesthouses, cafes, restaurants and traditional taverns for the needs of all the visitors.

Kalavrita Map

At Kalavrita , the visitor can find many interesting and important archeological, historical and religious monuments such as the Archeological site of Ancient Lousi, the Sacrifice spot of the people of Kalavrita with the statue of Greek mother, the Municipal Museum of the Holocaust, the Palace of Palaiologina, the Holy Monastery of Agia Lavra, the Holy Monastery of Mega Spileo, the Holy Monastery of Makellaria, the Holy Monastery of Saint Nikolaos Vlasias, the church of Panagia Plataniotissa and other small and big monuments which present the great history and the culture of the area.

The Archeological site of Ancient lousi is situated near the village Lousiko of Kalavryta Municipality. The Austrian Archeological Institute discovered the important Arcadian city Lousi and the excavations are being continued. It has already been discovered the temple of Artemis Imerisia, a building of the 3rd B.C. century, the city market and many private residences.

The sacrifice spot is one of the special monuments of Kalavryta; it is situated eastern to the city, 500m from the center, at the Kapi hill on the way to the Ski Center. There, at the hill of Kapi on 13th of December 1943, were executed all men of age of 14 and above, by the German conquerors. Today, on the hill there is a large Cross. At the columns which surround the central spot are written all the names of the families of the victims and at the catacomb there are small oil-lamps one for every family.

Next to the catacomb dominates the stone sculpture of the hurt mother, symbol of the Municipality which created the artist Anna Vafia. Every year on 13th of December, after the requiem at the cathedral church of the city, a mournful procession ends to the Sacrifice Spot, where it is held a memorial prayer.

The Municipal Museum of the Holocaust of the people of Kalavrita is one of the most historical monuments of Kalavrita, a historic place which is connected to the German Domination period and mainly to the horrible tragedy of 13th of December of 1943.

Palaiologina’ s Palace is a restored building of rare beauty, of 15th century. It is located at Agiou Alexiou Street and travels the visitor to the ages when the glorious Palaiologi family lived.

Kalavrita Monasteries

The Historic Monastery of Agia Lavra is located 5km away from Kalavrita and was built in 10th century by a hermit. It was completely burnt by Turks in 1585 and 1827 and by Germans in 1943. Later on, it was rebuilt and took its now position and form. In 1821 was the centre of the Greek Revolution against the Turk domination. It was the place where the banner of the Greek Revolution was raised and the oath-taking of the fighters took place by Paleon Patron Germanos.

The most valuable exhibits of the monastery are the banner of the Greek Revolution of 1821, the icon of Saint Georgios, the Gospel which was donated by the Empress of Russia Catherine B’, the embroidered with gold vestments of Palion Patron Germanos etc.

Mega Spileo Monastery. The Holy Monastery is situated at the 10th kilometer of Kalavrita-Pounta-National Road Patras-Athens and it is built at an impressive landscape at the entrance of a natural cave, at a height of 924m. It was built in 362 by the monks Simeon and Theodoros from Thessaloniki who saw a vision to go to Achaia and find the Holy Icon of Virgin Mary made by mastic and wax, from Evangelist Lucas. The walls of the church at the monastery are decorated with frescoes from 1653. There you will also find handmade Gospels and vestments.

The Holy Monastery of the Assumption of Virgin Mary of Makellaria is located at the right side of Selinountas River, opposite to the village Lapanagi of Kalavrita Municipality at a distance of 30km away from Kalavrita city. It is built by the General of Ioustinianos, Velisarios in 532 A.C. In the middle of the Monastery you will find the church of Virgin Mary. The most valuable treasures of the Monastery are the Miraculous Icon of Virgin Mary and the jar with the Miraculous oil.

The Holy Monastery of Saint Nikolaos of Vlasia is situated over the village Vlasia, at the top of an overgrown mountain, which according to the tradition, was built in 7th century A.C. by a monk from Agio Oros. The Monastery was burn three times and was rebuilt three times. In the past 100 monks lived at the Monastery but today it is deserted. From the yard of the Monastery the view is excellent and presents the mountain tops of Erymanthos and the valley of Selinountas River.

The Holy Monastery of Panagia Plataniotissa is situated in a distance of 30km from the city of Kalavrita on the road of Kalavrita-Aigio (through Fteri). The small church of Panagia Plataniotissa is shaped into a plane tree hollow, which comes from the union of three plane trees which grew and joined together to create this admirable miracle of nature. The plane tree’s height is approximately 25m, its perimeter to the bottom is 16m and its capacity is 20 people. The church is celebrated on 8th of September.

Kalavrita Natural Attractions

The area of Kalavrita also offers many landscapes of unrivalled beauty and exceptional art samples which were created only by nature:

Vouraikos Gorge-Odontotos (Rack) Railway. The rack railway of Diakopto-Kalavrita and its wonderful course in the gorge of Vouraikos River are one of the most beautiful sights of Greece and it is mentioned as the most spectacular railway course of the Balkans.

The special feature of the gorge is the small train which crosses it. The construction of the railway was decided during the governing of Trikoupis, according to a grandiose plan to connect all areas of Greece by rail. This work ended in 1895. Diakopto is located 22km from Kalavrita and the course lasts 1 hour.

Odontotos train offers to its passengers a fascinating course through overgrown landscapes, imposing rock shapes and waterfalls to continue to the narrowest spot which is called “Portes” (doors) from where the train passes through a tunnel.

Next to the lines there is a path which is signalled as a European Path E4 and it is used by Greek and foreign hikers. The course lasts approximately 6 hours for the coming down and approximately 7 to 8 hours for the going up. Every year the third Sunday of May it is organized by the Association of Climbing and skiing of Kalavrita, the Greek Passing with the participation of hundreds of climbers and hikers.

Spileo Limnon (Cave of the Lakes) is situated near the village Kastria of Lefkasiou Municipality, on the road of Patra-Kalavrita-Klitoria-Tripoli. It is 17km away from Kalavryta city, 9km away from Klitoria and 60km away from Tripoli.

The cave is a rare natural creation which offers labyrinthine corridors, mysterious galleries and special stalactites and stalagmites. It allocates repeated, terraced, three floored lakes which makes it very special globally.

Ydata Stygos (Styga water) is located at the imposing, rocky Neraidorachi of Chelmos Mountain at an altitude of 2.100m. It is an impressive waterfall which is shaped by the fall of water from a height of 200m and flows to Krathis River. The Ancient Greeks believed that water of Styga guarded Hades and terrorized Gods and mortals who swore lies.

Pafsania’s vine is located above the street of Klitoria-Tripoli, at Chani Kotsioleti of Sella settlement, 10km from Klitoria. There you will find three impressive huge trunks trail on the perennial holm-oaks, next to the old small church of Saint Nikolaos. The vine took its name because in ancient times Pafsanias visited it. It seems like the age of the vine is at least 3.000 years old and it is officially characterized as a natural monument.

The ski center of Kalavrita is situated 14km from Kalavrita city, it is very well organized and have 100.000 visitors every year, mainly young people, skiers of all levels. The ski center allocates capacious spaces for parking, first aid services, two chalets, renting and selling equipment shop and two ski schools. There is also a big wooden, Finnish chalet of 1.200 sq.m. which is located next to the parking and offers fast food service and a well organized cafe.

In addition, there is a building for various occasions of 700 sq.m. at the spot Vathia Lakka with canteen, spaces for public use to the service of the skiers, WC and parking for the snow-rollers. The streets are ploughed on a 24 hour basis by three snow-ploughs, while five snow-rollers deals the preparation of the tracks every night.

The ski center offers seven lifts, twelve tracks of 20km of total length with various levels of difficulty.

Kalavrita Video

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