- Rocky terrain
- 10 km
The Vouraikos Gorge is located in Achaea, 13 kilometers northeast of Kalavryta. Together with the mountain range of Mount Helmos (also known as Aroania Mountains), it constitutes a unified protected area that has been designated as a National Park of Greece since 2009. The gorge stretches for approximately 20 kilometers and is traversed by the Vouraikos River, from which it derives its name. The Vouraikos River is located in Achaea and has a length of 37.5 kilometers.
The flora of the Vouraikos Gorge is considered remarkably significant, as it is home to several endemic species with special scientific value, some of which are rare and protected, such as Campanula rupestris (rock bellflower), Stachys parolinii (wild spike), Aurinia moreana (Morina alyssoides), among others. The wildlife of the area also finds refuge in the steep forested mountainous slopes surrounding the gorge.
In 1889, within the gorge and alongside the Vouraikos River, construction began on the unique cog railway in Greece, initiated by the government of Charilaos Trikoupis. The study was entrusted to French scientists. Charilaos Trikoupis envisioned the railway line extending to Tripoli, but delays in the construction of the Diakofto-Kalavryta line and cost overruns ultimately prevented the railway from ever being extended. The construction of the cog railway was completed during the administration of Georgios Delyannis in 1896 and was inaugurated on March 10, 1896. It connects Diakofto to Kalavryta, with a total length of 22 kilometers.
In the northern Peloponnese, nestled between Mount Chelmos and the eastern extensions of Mount Panachaiko, lies a hidden gem of Greece – the Vouraikos Gorge. This remarkable natural wonder, stretching over 20 kilometers, has been sculpted by the Vouraikos River over millions of years. It has earned its place within the Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park due to its abundant flora and diverse ecosystems.
The gorge offers a captivating tapestry of waterfalls, enchanting caves, swift and crystal-clear streams, refreshing springs, and awe-inspiring rocky cliffs, ensuring an unforgettable experience for hikers. The trail we’ll embark on is an integral part of the extensive E4 European Trail network and cuts through this protected region.
During our 5-hour hike, we’ll trace the footsteps of the most prominent attraction in this area: the “Odontotos” Rack Railway. Constructed in 1896 to connect the towns of Diakopto and Kalavryta, it has become an essential feature of this region, often hailed as the most “spectacular rail route” in the Balkans.
Our journey begins in the charming village of Zachlorou, where we’ll have the chance to immerse ourselves in the breathtaking landscapes and traverse this pristine nature reserve until we reach Niamata. From there, we’ll hop aboard the renowned Odontotos Rack Railway, treating ourselves to magnificent vistas throughout the scenic ride back to Kalavryta. This hike is relatively easy and suitable for adventurers aged 10 to 70. Prepare for an unforgettable hiking experience through the captivating Vouraikos Gorge!
Comfortable clothes (preferably quick-drying material: cotton or polycotton not denim)
Obligatory light hiking shoes or hiking boots
Hat , sunglasses, sunblock
Waterproof jacket/membrane (for the rainy days)
Your own personal water bottle
English speaking Experienced Guide
First aid kits and other necessary equipment
Rack rail tickets