Odontotos rack railway Kalavryta Greece
A gorge of extraordinary beauty and a small train that becomes one with the wonderful natural landscape as it climbs the slopes of the Achaean mountains.
Man’s attempt to tame the elements of nature, in this case, was done with great respect, thus offering an excellent aesthetic and functional result!
A result of unsurpassed beauty that brings thousands of tourists to the region every year while at the same time leading many to characterize the railway line as the most spectacular in the Balkans. Not unfairly.
The Vouraikos valley used to be a lake, as was the entire area around Kalavryta.
Its waters looked for a way out to the sea and created this imposing canyon which later surrendered to the momentum of the river of the same name which has been deepening it for years now in a way that even the greatest sculptor would envy.
But let’s start from the beginning. Vouraikos gorge is located in Achaia, 13 km northeast of Kalavryta. Together with the mountainous mass of Helmos, they form a single protected area that has been designated as a National Park since 2009.
The gorge is 20 km long and flows from the Vouraikos river, to which it owes its name. In 1889, inside the gorge and next to the Vouraikos river, Odondotos is the only railway in Greece began to be built by the Government of Charilaos Trikoupis. Its construction was completed in 1896.
From then until today, the Vouraikos river and Odontotos flow together. The train has integrated so well into the natural environment, it looks as if it has always been there. The way it was built did not burden the ecosystem of the canyon. With the wood and stone of the area, the technicians made for the sake of the train works that you think nature made by itself.
The route starts from Diakopto, crosses the Vouraikos gorge, passes the village of Zachlorou and ends in Kalavryta. The journey takes about 1 hour.
Odondotos is not just the “train”.
The Vouraikos gorge and the Diakopto-Kalavryta rack railway are a unique attraction in Greece.