A Journey on the Odontotos Train | Diakopto - Kalavryta

Train station in Kalavryta and backdrop of the stone built structrure.

Nestled in the heart of Greece, the Vouraikos Gorge offers a mesmerising journey through rugged landscapes and picturesque scenery. One of the best ways to experience this natural wonder besides hiking is aboard the historic Odontotos Train that will take you from Diakopto to the charming town of Kalavryta. Discover the scenic wonders of the Vouraikos gorge en route by strategically organising your journey in alignment with the seasonal timetables of this remarkable train expedition.

The Odontotos Train, also known as the Diakopto - Kalavryta Rack Railway, is a narrow-gauge rack railway (“Rack” or “Cog” comes from the cog wheels these trains use that mesh in the rack rail, helping them to operate on steep grades) that has been operating since 1896. The approximately one hour journey covers 22 kilometres, taking passengers on a breathtaking route through Vouraikos Gorge and the village of Zachlorou, offering panoramic views of lush greenery and cliffs. Along the way you can enjoy views of the river that flows below creating a stunning backdrop perfect for those instagrammable shots you always plan on taking.

Make a point in stopping at the intermediate station Mega Spilaio and visit the Monastery whose impressive structure, built between cliffs, stands as a testament to both spiritual devotion and architectural splendour. As you wind through the gorge alongside the Vouraikos River, cascading waterfalls and natural pools dot the landscape and the river plunges almost vertically beneath the railway bridge at the Katarraktis location. The following location you should be looking forward to is Dikastiria. The name was inspired from a small semicircular cave where the enchanting formation of stalactites crafts a captivating scene resembling a courtroom. Final stop; Kalavryta! Its name literally means good waters in ancient Greek. The town is steeped in history, notably recognized as the birthplace of the 1821 Greek Revolution, which unfolded within the walls of the Agia Lavra Monastery. Moreover, this town bears the weight of more recent martyrdom, vividly preserving the memory of the German Occupation and the Holocaust. A sombre chapter unfolded on December 13, 1943, when German troops executed nearly the entire male population and razed the town to ashes, marking it as one of the gravest atrocities of World War II. Kalavryta nowadays stands as a highly sought-after and significant tourist hub. The ski centre, renowned as one of Greece's largest, holds a unique distinction as one of few destinations where skiing in the mountains seamlessly intertwines with beachside swimming, with the shores of Diakopto merely 20 kilometres away.

Plan your trip carefully to make the most of this historic railway adventure, immersing yourself in the natural beauty and rich history that define this picturesque region of Greece. Whether you're a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a memorable excursion, the Odontotos Train promises an enriching and awe-inspiring journey.
Odondotos train crossing the gorge under breathtaking cliffs

Mega Spileo monastery and a backdrop of the clifs