flight greece

On the north coast of the Peloponnese, at a distance of 150 km from Athens and 67 km from Patras, we find the municipality of Akrata, as well as the city of Akrata, a town with 5,000 inhabitants which is the capital of the region East-Aigialeia. People have been living in this area ever since ancient times. Todays city Akrata was built by inhabitants from the mountain village Chalkianika. Who left the mountain and came to the coast to cultivate olives, grapes and raising. Akrata played an active role in the revoloution of 1821as well as and in the 2nd World War. This is the town were Spiros Peresiadis, the great drama – writer (1854 – 1918) lived and worked.

lake of Tsivlou

lake of Tsivlou

In the Municipality of Akrata there is a wide variety of landscapes, from beasces to alpine meadows and high rocky mountains and those visitors exploring the fertile mountain valleys with springs and rushing waters will find a small haven of unsurpassed beauty. On the north side there are extensive stretches of beautiful coastline on the shores of the Gulf of Korinth. One shouldn’t miss the pretty coastal town of Platanos with its beaches with pristine waters where one can enjoy fresh fish and local delicacies. In the coastal town of Akrata one finds a 5 km long beach, well equipped hotels with willing and friendly personnel, rooms to rent, and shops selling popular art and tourist goods. There is a varied choice of entertainment here, many fish taverns, restaurants, coffee shops and bars where you can enjoy yourself in the typical Greek way. The large amount of tourist facilities, the wonderful cosmopolitan beach together with the nearby mountains attract many vacationers, both Greek and foreign, during the summer months. In Akrata one finds except the Agios Charalambos church which feast day is on the 10th of February, when many celebrations are organized, a center for protection of the environment and a cultural association.

Ski Center of Kalavrita

Ski Center of Kalavrita

The mountainous area south of Akrata is of particular tourist interest and so we find ourselves leaving the sea behind and heading for the mountains. A place well worth visiting is Zarouchla. To get there one starts from the city of Akrata simply following the signs to Zarouchla. Half way on the route one should take a detour to see the wonderful lake of Tsivlou, a place of great natural beauty and an ideal place for nature – rambling the year round. The locals call it the jewel in the crown of this area. Further on the way one meets picturesque villages scattered in dense forests on the slopes of Chelmos  mountain. These villages, which are called the “kloukinochoria” keep the folk tradition alive and the visitor will be captivated by the way that marvelous beautiful stone mansions blend in with the natural environment. Our next stop is the traditional village of Agia Varvara with its impressive stone mansions some of which are now pensions. You can admire the Argiriadis tower and the house of chieftain Theocharopoulos. In the village Zarouchla (at 1000 m) it’s worth while to visit the Byzantine church of the Panagia and the towers built in the 18th and early 19th centuries by skilled stone masons.

mega spilaio

mega spilaio

Next are the villages Perstera, Mesorougi (where one can admire the church of Agios Georgios with a wooden handcarved temple) and Solo (have a look at the towerhouse of chieftain Nikos Soliotis) You will soon discover that the quiet surroundings are in perfect harmony with the warmth and hospitality of its inhabitants. Near to Zarouchla one finds the impressive fir forest of Zarouchla, which is worth a visit and offers another picture in every season. High above tower the high peaks of Helmos mountain, one of the highest mountains of the Peloponnese and certainly the highest one in the prefecture of Achaias. Its highest peak is 2,355 m. In between the Helmos peaks one finds the Stygas valley with its famous cataracts, while there are numerous paths leading to the highest peaks for those who want to do some mountaineering. From the village Peristera (1050 m.) one can set out to make a great hike to the waters of the Styx as they pour over a cataract. A guide can show you the path which follows the Styx valley through pine and fir forests to the place where the Styx Cataract or the Mavroneri (Black Water)  Waterfall plunges spectacularly on to a granite rock with a fearful noise. The waters of the Styx run into the river Krathis, which in turn flows into the sea near Akrata. This area, with its scattered villages on the slopes of Mount Chelmos is a place of great natural beauty and well worth a visit.

ancient theatre of Aigeira

ancient theatre of Aigeira

Lovely trips can be made in the surroundings to:
– The major archaeological sites as Ancient Delphi, Olympia, Corinth and Mycene, as well as to the nearby ancient theatre of Aigeira.
– Patras, the capital of Achaia, and an important commercial centre. The city enjoys a lively cultural life while its port is Greece’s gate to Europe
-Egion with its many attractive buildings of the architect Tsiller, the beautiful Psila Alonia square and the shrine of Panaghia Tripiti.
-Famous monasteries such as Mega Spilaio (which is built partly into a cave and dates from 326 AD) and the monastery of Agia Lavra (where the banner of independence was first raised in 1821).
-The “caves of the lakes” near Kastria – The Ski Centre on the large plateau of kserokambos on Helmos with a spectacular view towards the gulf of Corinth. – Diakopto the starting point for a trip on the famous small funicular railway that climbs up the Vouraikos gorge to Kalavrita.

Useful Information
Town Hall: 26960-22710
Akrata bus station: 26960-22513
Akrata train station: 26960-31291
Taxi: 26960-22959
Center for Environmental Education: 26960-23394
Police Station: 26960-22100
Health Center of Akrata: 26960-22222, 22256
Hospital of Egion: 26910-22222
Ski Center of Kalavrita: 26920-22174

Categories: Touring

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