Kalavrita

Greece is well-known for its beaches and cosmopolitan islands; unfortunately, not enough people, apart from the locals, realize the country’s potential as a mountainous destination.

Rich in history and located on a spot of profound natural beauty. Kalavrita is only three hours from the capital, on the northern part of the Peloponnese.

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History

Combining some of the most beautiful mountains of Greece, history and natural wealth, Kalavrita occupies a central position in Greek history. It was in the nearby monastery of Hagia Lavra that the first Flag of Freedom was raised by the Bishop of Patras in 1821, calling all Greeks to rebel against the Ottoman Empire.

The Monastery was burned down three times in its long history. Twice by the Ottomans during the Greek Revolution and once by the German occupation forces, who executed the monks who failed to escape.

World War II

The Germans were particularly harsh to the people of Kalavrita. Stunned by the severity of the resistance they met there, the frustrated Nazi official, after burning out the nearby villages, assembled every male resident in a nearby field and executed them in what was one of the darkest days painfully etched in Greek memory.

Today on this very field lies a stone monument to commemorate the tragedy of Kalavrita. A series of white stones on the ground spell out the words β€œPeace” and β€œNo More Wars” calling all visitors to their haunting message of peace.

How to reach Kalavrita

One option is to reach Kalavrita by car. The other option is to immerse yourself in the surrounding nature by taking the Odontotos (roughly translated as tooth-train), a rack railway train that climbs up the mountain at 22km an hour, in a spectacular journey, following the stream bed of the Vouriakos river through a narrow gorge up the mountains, through tunnels, over waterfalls, along cliffs and through forests of pine and oleander.

Ski & other activities

Here you ski at a state-of-the-art ski park with 12 slopes and special snowboard and snow tube parks, for a fraction of the cost compared to other European destinations.

If skiing isn’t your thing then enjoy the countless activities offered in the region including hiking along the European Path E4, mountaineering on Mt Helmos, climbing, mountain biking and even paragliding down the slopes.

The Cave of the Lakes

Another true wonder of the area is the Cave of the Lakes.

The surroundings inside the cave look like the setting of a science fiction movie with the cave walls ornamented by a colorful stalagmite and stalactite formations as well as other structures hanging from the ceiling like delicate chandeliers reflected on the waters underneath.

Here you can walk on a metal walkway following the maze of cascading lakes and subterranean passageways or take a boat and explore the lakes from the water level within the cave.

More Peloponnese Destinations

  • Mani

    Features: ● Beaches ● Stalactite Caves ● Tower Houses

  • Kalamata

    Features: ● Castles ● Beaches ● Olives

  • Olympia

    Features: ● Ancient Sanctuary ● Olympic Games ● Religious Center

  • Patras

    Features: ● Rio Antirio Bridge ● Carnival ● Day Trip from Athens

  • Nafplio

    Features: ● Romance ● Castles ● First Capital of Greece

  • Kalavrita

    Features: ● Ski Center ● Cultural Sights ● Mountain Village

  • Mycenae

    Features: ● Archaeological Site ● Bronze Age Site ● UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Monemvasia

    Features: ● Medieval ● Romantic Destination ● Island Fortress

More Peloponnese Destinations

  • Mani

    Features: ● Beaches ● Stalactite Caves ● Tower Houses

  • Kalamata

    Features: ● Castles ● Beaches ● Olives

  • Olympia

    Features: ● Ancient Sanctuary ● Olympic Games ● Religious Center

  • Patras

    Features: ● Rio Antirio Bridge ● Carnival ● Day Trip from Athens

  • Nafplio

    Features: ● Romance ● Castles ● First Capital of Greece

  • Kalavrita

    Features: ● Ski Center ● Cultural Sights ● Mountain Village

  • Mycenae

    Features: ● Archaeological Site ● Bronze Age Site ● UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Monemvasia

    Features: ● Medieval ● Romantic Destination ● Island Fortress