The Plaka > Locations > Kalavryta >
Getting to Kalavryta
Located in the North central part of the Peloponnese, between Patras and Corinth, you can get there by rail or bus.
You can get to the Kalavryta area by taking a bus or a train (or driving). If you go by train or bus, you should transfer at Diakofto (on the coast) and take the narrow gage train up to Kalavryta. area map

The line from Athens to Patra (with stops along the way) is one of the main Greek trunk lines with numerous passenger trains of at least two classes. I paid 3,580drx ($12) for a round trip Athens-Diakofto on the express train in late 1998. I understand that bus fare would be cheaper.

The detail map on the previous page shows you the local area around Kalavryta, Zachlorou and Diakofto. Click here for a very detailed map of the coast area.

Now, about that narrow gauge train.

train on bridge

Photo taken at Zachlorou. The station is to the right, the path to Mega Spilieo behind me.

The train is just two cars with a power car in-between. It runs from the railway station in Diakofto to Kalavryta with a stop at Zachlorou. You board it in Diakofto at the main railway station, just a few feet from the main platform.

You can watch the engineer, if you like.

engineer's view

It is a scenic route up the gorge, with many bridges, narrow canyons and views. The train uses a rack system to get up the steeper grades, climbing 700m during its 22km journey. The line was built by an Italian company in the 1885-95 period and used steam locomotives until the early 1960's. The gauge is 0.75 meters.

Now, I need to be careful here and I hope I don't offend my Greek friends. This is a scenic trip. However, some of the rhetoric I've read would have you believe that this journey is without equal on the planet, make you forget Switzerland. Sorry, it's not that good. Further, I live near the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and there are many scenic trips here as well that are far more dramatic. So, don't make a journey here just for the scenery. Come here for the history and to see rural Greece. Take the scenery as a plus and you will not be disappointed. "Trees hanging down on impossible places from the mountain slopes and the continuously changing view of the river leaves even the stoics amazed." (From a local guidebook. Maybe I'm just a cynic.)

The round trip was, I think, 1,000 or 1,500drx (approx. $3-5). Travel time is about one hour from end to end. There are four round trips a day, loosely connecting with main trains in Diakofto. All this is as of late summer 1998. Check locally for updated info.

An interesting hotel in Zachlorou.

Last modified 5/23/2000; © 2000 John P. Nordin