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Located in the regional unit of Achaea, Kalavryta is a Greek town full of history and beauty. During the Frankish Occupation of Greece (13 century A.D.), it was given that name due to its many cool water springs. Its first name was “Cynaetha” probably because hunting was very common during those times. Nowadays, Kalavryta is a lovely summer as well as a winter destination with various worth-visiting sites.
Kalavryta is one of the most historically loaded places in Greece. It was in there that during the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821 the flag that signifies the Greek revolt was raised. This flag was raised and blessed by the bishop Germanos III of Old Patras, one of the most prominent figures of Greek history. He was actually the one to proclaim Greece’s first uprising against the Ottoman Empire at the Monastery of Agia Lavra, located 4 kilometers west of Kalavryta town. One should really visit this legendary church for one more reason; it is also one of the oldest monasteries in Greece. Notably, it was founded in 961 A.D. It has been burned and destroyed several times throughout the years but it has been rebuilt. Nowadays, it hosts significant religious as well as historical relics that surely do worth the visit.
Just 17 kilometers away from the town of Kalavryta, there is the unique “Cave of the Lakes”. Having a considerable length of 1,980 meters, this cave is bound to inspire you nothing less than awe. This cave hides something rather unique; it has successive lakes that prevent water’s continuous flow, thus its name.
The formations of its stalactites are impressive, to say the least, and will certainly amaze you with their strange formations. Several fossils are belonging to different periods inside the cave; there is even a fossil of a hippopotamus! This cave is mentioned by the ancient Greek geographer Pausanias when he described a myth about the two daughters of Proetus, the King of Tiryns (a place also located in the Peloponnese) who fled into the “Cave of the Lakes” when they became mad.
If you love nature, you should really travel by Cog Railway (Odontotos) through Vouraikos Canyon. This railway links Kalavryta with the town of Diakopto (also located in the regional unit of Achaea). This amazing trip lasts for about one hour and it is said to be the most amazing trip by train in the Balkans. It is worth mentioning that Odontotos has been operated for 120 years. If you love both nature and hiking, you can go hiking around the area! Another great place for hiking is Planitero, about 25 kilometers away from Kalavryta town. This heaven on earth is full of walnut and plane trees and the bubbling springs of the Aroanios river. Make sure that you taste local dishes with trout before you leave; there are truly delicious!
If you are planning on visiting Kalavryta in winter, you have to know that you made a really great decision and that Kalavryta is a famous destination among skiers. Before you start your trip to Kalavryta, you should also know that it is an ideal destination for families.
Learn more about Kalavryta here