A breath away from Athens and at an altitude of 756m. at the foot of Helmos, the historic Kalavryta is built. They are a very popular and interesting destination, offering the opportunity for various activities all year round.
The city of Kalavryta got its modern name during the Frankish period because of its rich, cool springs.
The region from which the Greek revolution of 1821 began, with its important historical, natural and tourist attractions, the Kalavryta offers a variety of options for the visitor.
In the wider province of Kalavryta one can visit very important religious, historical, archeological, natural and tourist attractions, relax and engage in various sports. The Ski Center, the Vouraikos Canyon Railway Canyon, the Lakes Caves, the historic monasteries of Agia Lavra and the Big Cave and the beautiful mountain villages of Kalavrita are just a few of the challenges in the area.
Agia Lavra is a historical monastery in Kalavryta, one of the oldest monasteries in Greece and mainly in the Peloponnesian area, known as the starting point of the Greek Revolution.
It is located about 4 kilometers west of the city of Kalavryta on a hill at the foot of Mount Velia and at an altitude of 933 meters.
The Monastery was founded in 961 AD. This first monastery was completely destroyed by fire in 1585. The monastery then remained deserted for 15 years until a Calabrian tailor named John, disillusioned with his wife's infidelities, decided to leave the world and return to the monastery. In 1689 the monastery was moved to its present location.
The monastery was tested in 1715 (2nd Turkish occupation) and mainly in Orlofika. In 1826 Ibrahim burned down the monastery but the monks had managed to abandon it and take most of the relics with them. It was rebuilt in 1828, destroyed by the earthquake of July 24, 1844, and rebuilt in 1850. On December 14, 1943 the monastery was set on fire and the Nazis executed those monks who had not left the monastery. Finally, 1950 was restored to its present form.
The most precious treasure found in the monastery is the banner of the 1821 militia swearing-in (the curtain of the Temple's Nice Gate), the first, that is, the flag of the Greek nation, which is in the arms of the militants of 1821.
Clan of Pausanias
The world's oldest climate is in Kalavryta.
A lively natural monument 100 meters long and about 3,000 years old still blooms !!!
The Pausanias branch is located near Kalavryta, in the settlement of Sella Pagkratiou (on the border of the Achaia-Arcadia prefectures), in the courtyard of the church of Agios Nikolaos. It is estimated to be about 3,000 years old, since as early as 160 BC, Pausanias refers to it as a "curious phenomenon" because of its size.
Although the blossom, it no longer has the capacity to produce fruit. It is about 100 meters long, has 9 trunks and many of its branches have climbed the holly. It is worth noting that, according to the inhabitants of the village, many of its trunks were cut by the Germans during the Occupation. The vine has been declared a Nature Monument in 1975.
Vouraikos Canyon - Cog Railway
The Kalavrita - Diakopto Tooth Railway and its unique route through the gorge of the Vouraikos River are one of the most beautiful natural attractions in our country. It has been described as the most spectacular railway line in the Balkans.
Next to the train tracks there is a path that was used by locals in the past. Today the same trail has been marked with symbols of the international E4 trail used by hikers both Greeks and foreigners. The downhill takes about 6 hours and the uphill takes about 7 to 8 hours.
The Tower of the Pietemes or the Ptemes
The famous Pittimage Tower is in an elevated position in the Lower Lucous. Maintained in good condition, it is one of the oldest towers of the mountainous Peloponnese (dating to the 17th century) and is a characteristic specimen of fortified dwellings (with a large number of loopholes) and a unique (in its layout and form) circular defense tower. It was an exclusively center of resistance against the Turks (before and during the Revolution of 1821) and has been characterized as a historically preserved monument.
Here he met Papaflesas (after Vostitsa) with the Pemezes who informed him of their support for the beginning of the liberation struggle.
Many of the Pittimas, whose descendants exist to this day, have excelled as military, politicians, scientists, scholars, and have developed intense national, political, and cultural action, participating in many ways in common.
Planitero is a mountain village at an altitude of 700 meters, close to Kalavryta, built on the beautiful plane tree forest of the fountains of the Aorani River and is known for its many watermills and fish farms. Within this tree-lined forest, a popular tourist destination, there are several taverns and restaurants where one can taste the region's famed river trout.
The magnificent plane tree forest of Planiterus, along with the Aranius springs - the waters gush through the rocks - are protected as part of the Natura 2000 network.
Monastery of Big Cave
Monastery of Mega Spilaio is a historical monastery of Kalavryta. One of the most important pilgrimages to Orthodoxy in Greece. The monastery, which is considered the oldest in Greece, was built in 362 AD.
The monastery is located ten kilometers northeast of Kalavryta on the road that connects the Patras-Athens highway with Kalavryta, and is built at the opening of a large natural cave (hence the name) of the Helmos mountain range, above the steep ravine. of the Vouraik River, at an altitude of 899 meters. Completely in harmony with the wild and spectacular scenery of the area, the eight-storey complex of the Monastery captures even the most indifferent visitor.
During the Revolution of 1821 the Monastery was a beacon of Orthodoxy and Hellenism, but also a center of resistance against the conquerors, and although it received many attacks, it was never conquered.
In modern times it was again destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1937, under the auspices of King George II who also founded its new wing. In December 1943 the Nazi troops looted the monastery and executed 16 people, visitors, slaves, and monks. Another nine monks were executed at the "High Cross" site. The remaining cells from the 1934 fire were set on fire. New buildings were erected after the war.
Lake Tsivlou is located in Achaia Prefecture, at an altitude of 700m. about the slopes of Helmos. It was created in 1913, when a large landslide caused the Krati river bed to be blocked. The lake has a surface of about 83 acres and a depth of about 80 m. The name of the lake comes from the village of Tsivlos, which was partially submerged after the landslide.
Today Tsivlou Lake is an important wetland that hosts many species of flora and fauna. It is also a popular leisure and promenade destination.
The telescope of the National Observatory of Athens, named Aristarchos, is the largest telescope in the Balkans and the second largest in continental Europe, located at the top of the Nereidorahi of Helmos at an altitude of 2340 meters.
The preferred reasons for the top of Chelmos for its location is that there is a functional infrastructure, due to the installation of the ski resort, where road access is easy, there is electricity and telephone and does not suffer from city light pollution. It is also one of the darkest regions of Europe (the telescope is above the clouds) at a high rate each year and can observe images of excellent quality.
It's worth a visit, because the view from there is breathtaking.
The Lakes Cave is at an altitude of 827 meters and is 17 km away. from Kalavryta and 9 km. from Clitoria.
It has 13 stepped lakes that make it unique in its kind to the world. The utilized length of the cave is 500 m. while its total length is 1,980 m. The visitor enters the cave by an artificial tunnel leading directly to the second floor from a total of three. The lakes pass by elevated artificial bridges where the visitor can admire the stalagmites and stalactites that have been created over the centuries, in this unique wonder of nature.
Kalavryta Ski Resort
Kalavryta Ski Resort is just 15 km away. from the historic town of Kalavryta.
It has 13 slopes of varying degrees of difficulty, at an altitude of 1700 meters. and 2300m.
The creation of the Kalavryta Ski Resort was an idea of Panos Polka (who was mayor of Kalavryta from 1974 to 1990), with the aim of promoting the development of the region based on tourism. The Helmos Mountains have always been a attraction for mountaineering and skiing enthusiasts and the idea was promising, but was met with skepticism. Thus, Polkas created the first municipal enterprise in Greece, according to European standards, to exploit the project.
The Kalavryta Ski Resort opened its "gates" to the public in the winter of 1988. After the death of Panos Polka in 2002, the Kalavryta Ski Center was named after him as a tribute to his work.
St. Taxiarchis Waterfalls
One of the most beautiful places in the province of Kalavrita, are the beautiful waterfalls of
Agios Taxiarchis, in Ano Vlassia, just 25 minutes from Kalavrita.
These are the waterfalls of the river Selinountas that, according to Pausanias, originate from Erymanthos and flow into the Corinthian Gulf. The waterfalls (actually, a double waterfall) are located at the end of the gorge, when the river seems to enter a cave.There the waters unite, falling with momentuma lake, to be reunited with Selinountas. Next to the imposing setting,there is a mysterious cave with underground lakes. To go down to his bank river and look at the waterfalls, have been built stone stairs, the which descend to a slope between plane trees and lead us to this a miracle of nature.
The waterfalls of Agios Taxiarchis were a point of reference for Greek mythology, since Kallisto and all the nymphs of the goddess Artemis passed through here and bathed naked in their cool waters. From here, Panas passed with his entourage, drunk on the amazing wines of the area.
The Holy Pilgrimage of "Panagia Plataniotissa" is located on the road Kalavrita-Aigio via Pteri, at a distance of 30 km from the city of Kalavrita.
In a green location with abundant and cold water, is the church of "Panagia Plataniotissa" which has been formed in the pit (hollow) of a huge plane tree, which came from three plane trees that grew together, and over time joined and created the admirable masterpiece of nature.
This historic plane tree has a height of about 25 m., a perimeter at the base of 16 m. and in the middle of 12.65 m. and has a capacity of 20 people. There is a small iconostasis with two columns which form the Beautiful Gate.
The icon of the Virgin of "Vrefokratousa" is imprinted on the plane tree, at a height of 3 meters from the ground inside the pit.
According to tradition, the image was imprinted on the plane tree during the years of iconoclasm, when monks of the Great Cave to save the image of the Virgin of the "Infant", transported it from place to place and so spent the night in the village of Klapatsouna (as it was called then), in the natural pit of the plane tree. In the morning, when they took the picture to continue on their way, they were surprised to see its imprint on the trunk of the tree, at the location where they had touched it. This is how it was named "Panagia Plataniotissa", a name that the village itself later took.