Located in Achaia region of Northern Peloponnese, Vouraikos Gorge is part of Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park and offers a wonderful experience to those lucky ones who choose hiking in nature’s magnitude. According to Greek mythology, Hercules shaped the gorge so that his loved Vourak could find a way to reach him. Although a scientific explanation is far more likely, this legend inspires artists and nature enthusiasts from all over the world. And connecting Mount Chelmos with Mount Panachaiko, the gorge is an exemplary place of biodiversity and natural beauty.
Stretching for about 20 kilometers in length, Vouraikos Gorge consists of caves, waterfalls and of course lush greenery. As part of the E4 European path, the canyon is a place of rare charms. Niamata and Portes, Triklia, Sifoni and the final bridge at Dikastiria are some of the highlights during your route of Vouraikos, so be sure to pin them on your map. The legendary Kalavrita village is also part of the route.
The path begins at Diakopto village and it is worth noting that it follows the same route as the famous Odontotos rail track. Odontotos means Cogwheel, which is how the train is enhanced and facilitated to pass through the narrowest, steepest passes of the route. So the added element of adventure features walking on the very same tracks, where the local train will be passing shortly. Doesn’t it take your breath away? However, drivers are truly accustomed to hikers and therefore no worries are valid.
On the second Sunday of each May, there is a special event held by the Kalavryta Mountaineering Club. The Annual Crossing of Vouraikos Gorge is a unique opportunity to inaugurate the summer season that approaches. A lot of different cultural events take place, in a festivity that dates back to 1931. This is an excellent opportunity to combine the hiking experience at the gorge, along with a glimpse at century-old customs and traditions in the area!