Kalavryta: The Perfect Weekend Getaway

Only two and a half hours from Athens, this charming little town in the mountains of Ahaia in the Peloponnese, offers the perfect weekend getaway.


Day 1

Weekends are quieter in the center of Kalavryta until noon because most people are at the ski resort. Take a stroll along pedestrianized 25th Martiou Street to see the grocery stores that sell local goods to start your day. After parking the car, we went to Nero kai Alevri, where we had coffee and loukoumades with various pralines (44 25th Martiou, Tel. (+30) 26920.295.72).

We then went to the central plaza to see the two bell tower clocks of the Metropolitan Holy Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos. One displays the current time, while the other stops at 14:34, the moment on December 13, 1943, when the Germans executed the city’s male citizens (visit the Municipal Museum of the Kalavritan Holocaust for more information click here).

 

For dinner, we recommend Peri Orexeos (57 25th Martiou, Tel. (+30) 26920.244.44), a cozy traditional taverna with vegetarian options, where everything we tried was excellent. Mame sure to order the chickpeas, they are a pleasant surprise. The restaurant does not take reservations. If you want to continue your evening with drinks, stop by the bar Skinikó (59 25th Martiou).

Day 2

We started with coffee and pancakes at 1977 (37 25th Martiou, Tel. (+30) 26920.241.53), and by 11:00 a.m. we were at the Kalavryta Railway Station to board the famous Odontotos train bound for Diakopto. The train runs alongside the Vouraikos River, crossing the Vouraikos gorge at a slow speed, allowing you to enjoy the scenery and take photos of the wooded slopes, bridges, and steep cliffs. The experience will be unforgettable! Make sure to reserve your seat in advance, here.

We returned to Kalavryta around 13:30 and made the 25-minute journey to the Cave of the Lakes. The cave serves as a refuge for 10 species of bats and at least four species of endemic cave-dwelling invertebrates. It is also of great biospilaiological and paleontological interest, as human and animal bones, including those of hippos, have been discovered there. On the way back, make a stop at the Hill of Kapi, the Site of Sacrifice, which features a monument to those executed here in 1943.

We stopped at the Mikro Chalet snack bar near the city center, which is famous for its pork chop sandwiches. Praxitelis, right across the street, treated us to homemade wine and raki. Make sure to try all four varieties of the honey he produces, which you can also purchase.

Late on a Sunday afternoon, the taverns in the center of Kalavryta are nearly full. We chose to eat just outside of town, on the road to Athens, at Katafygio with its beautiful mountain and sea views and delicious food – it also has vegetarian options (Tel. (+30) 26910.972.92).

INFO

Where to stay

There are numerous guesthouses and hotels to choose from in Kalavryta. We chose Pirgos Gerodimou, a traditional guesthouse with comfortable rooms and friendly hosts.

Getting there

Kalavryta is located 2-2.5 hours away from Athens via the Olympia Odos. The toll cost for a one-way trip is €9.30.

Note

 

We traveled with a small dog, and all the places mentioned allowed pets. The same was true for the accommodations we chose.



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