Winter escape with children in Kalavryta

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Rich in nature, with significant cultural and historical attractions and a popular ski resort, Kalavryta is rightfully one of the favourite winter destinations, steadily expanding its popularity throughout the year.

Certainly, it is a great choice if you want to take a family excursion or if your group of friends includes children. And this is because the town, located at an altitude of 750 metres on the slopes of Helmos, has suitable infrastructure and its road network is very good, especially if you consider that we are talking about a mountainous area.

If you are planning a family trip in the near future, we definitely recommend that you read this article.

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Even if you don't have any specific plans, Kalavryta is an ideal destination for one of the next weekends, with the added advantage that because it is developed for tourism, you will find everything you need there, and no special preparations are required before you start.

Entering the historical Kalavryta, one of the first things you see is the train station.

The old train station in Kalavryta
The old train station in Kalavryta

It starts from Diakofto, and after passing through Zachlorou, it reaches here, completing a magical route.

The designation "toothed" is due to the "teeth" the train trains use to climb the steep inclines. Crossing the Vouraikos gorge, the train travels 22 kilometres, climbs to an altitude of 750 metres and reaches Kalavryta after about 1 hour.

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Diakopto–Kalavryta railway

The route is now purely touristic, and for it, there are three daily itineraries with corresponding return itineraries from Kalavryta. In addition, it is impressive that the train crosses the Vouraikos, passing through places where beauty and wildness alternate.

A place with history

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The War Memorial of the Massacre of Kalavryta

A stop at the memorial to the fallen of this place of martyrdom is mandatory. There, one of the greatest atrocities of World War II took place. On December 13, 1943, the German soldiers executed the entire male population and then proceeded to eradicate the settlement.

The monument with the large white cross, the names of the 500 men who were executed and the slogan written in large letters, "No more wars, peace", is impressive but, at the same time, discreet construction, which will pique the curiosity of children interested in history.

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The continuation of the walk includes wandering within the settlement. The main street of Kalavryta is the pedestrian street, and you will pass by here either to sit down for coffee and food, to buy souvenirs (including toys), or simply for a walk.

In the village's central square, the bell tower of the metropolitan church dominates, with the hands of its clock having stopped on the day of the Kalavryta Massacre, while there are also busts of heroes from 1821.

The village square is very beautiful and protected, with plane trees, which lends itself to endless play with the children, who can skate and cycle since everything is paved and away from road traffic.

It is worth visiting the Museum of the Kalavryta Holocaust, which is housed in a building from the beginning of the 20th century, the old Primary School, which was built with a donation from the benefactor Andreas Syngrou.

Another building that deserves your attention is the Byzantine mansion of Palaiologina, which today functions as a venue for cultural events and conferences.

What should be pointed out is that thanks to its excellent layout, the pedestrianised part of the city with its squares and large sidewalks, Kalavryta is a place where you can be sure that children will find space to play and move around.

In the Cave of the Lakes

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Cave of the Lakes

The Cave of the Lakes is worth a visit anyway, but especially if you are travelling with children, a visit there is a must. Unique of its kind in Greece and extremely rare worldwide, it is about 15 kilometres from Kalavryta.

Of the total 1,980 metres of the explored length of the cave, 500 metres can be visited. It is not one of the caves that impresses so much because of its stalactites.

The special part of this cave is what has given it its name. The lakes create a setting reminiscent of a movie about a world from another planet.

Of the total 13 cave lakes, the visitable route passes through three and walking over them is an unforgettable experience. Especially if one comes in winter or spring, one will see more water and small cascading "stone waterfalls" from the solidified waters.

The tour guide is very informative and will make your visit there even more interesting and fun for you and the kids. The cave is open from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays and until 5:30 PM on weekends.

At the Ski Centre

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Kalavryta Ski Centre

Kalavryta and the slopes of Helmos are lucky to host one of the country's best and most organised ski centres. It is 15 kilometres from the Achaean town and extends from Xerokampos (1,700 m.) to Neraidorachi (2,340 m.).

There are 14 pistes and eight lifts (three are for children). The Styga lift ends at one of the highest altitudes in a Greek ski resort and the longest pist in Greece, Nefeli. There is also a track for snowtubes and snowmobiles.

For children, you can rent sledges and use the Snow Park.

The Snow Garden is the winter paradise of small children who cannot yet use the lifts. With special equipment and interactive educational media, children's first contact with snow occurs in the garden's limited area.

It's an ideal spot for unforgettable family moments and smiles. In the chalet, you will enjoy coffee, drink, and food, and you will also find equipment rental shops and ski schools. When there is no snow, activities and mountain sports are organised.

In Kato Zachlorou

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Kato Zachlorou

About halfway along the route of Odontotos, a small, quiet village above the gurgling waters of the Vouraikos River.

A peaceful place, "hidden" in the virgin forest surrounding the deep gorge of Vouraikos, with large stone guesthouse buildings rising above the train line and the scenery around the station reminiscent of earlier times.

The lush vegetation, the old taverns, the stone buildings of the station with the tiled roofs and, of course, the iron bridge that the children will love complete the landscape.

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Kato Zachlorou

From the walks next to the train tracks and beyond to the most exciting hikes on the small path that looks like it is flying next to the river waters, Zachlorou is a village that resembles a green painting.

Another hiking option is taking the train to Kato Zachlorou and returning to Kalavryta. You will need about 3 hours.

These are just some options you will have in an area so blessed with nature and history. There are others, such as the plane forest of Planiteros with its running waters and trout farms or the Monastery of the Great Cave, but also places of natural beauty such as Lake Tsivlou.

Some family accommodation options

Achaiko village: 40 kilometres from the city of Kalavryta, Achaiko Chorio is a settlement guesthouse where you will have the opportunity for agro-tourism activities in a place reminiscent of a children's camp.

Orias Guest House and Farm: The guesthouse inside an organic farm is ideal for children. It has comfortable rooms, restaurants, and a programme of activities.

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Orias Guest House and Farm
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Filoxenia Hotel & Spa
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Georgio's V Chalet

Filoxenia Hotel & Spa is a welcoming hotel in the centre of Kalavryta with an ideal combination of stone, wood, colours, and services offered. It has a beautiful view of Helmos and the settlement, while the carefully decorated rooms will make your stay ideal. The place also has a spa.

Kalavryta Canyon: this is also the centre of Kalavryta. Its two-floor suites can accommodate up to 4 people, which makes it an ideal choice for families. It also has restaurants and a spa.

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Area Synest Nature Suites
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Filoxenia Hotel & Spa

Georgio's V Chalet Kalavryta is located on the slopes of Helmos, among fir and pine trees. It is made entirely of stone and wood and consists of five buildings. Hospitality is provided with an emphasis on detail and quality. You and the children will enjoy breakfast with a fantastic view of the mountain slopes.

Area Synest Nature Suites: offers boutique accommodation in Synevros Achaia, in the area of ​​Akrata, just 2 hours by car from Athens. It consists of double and triple family rooms and a suite. Area Synest Nature Suites is a special accommodation because it is located in the heart of the green forest of Synevros and the Krios River.

READ MORE: Grevena, the authentic town with mountain beauty that fascinates.

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