Built over a 100 years ago, this railway is still the best way to go from Diakopto (at the coast) to Kalavrita (in the mountains). It runs through a canyon along a raging river and the views are amazing! You can also hike there, just follow the railway tracks. You only need to bring a timetable of the trains with you (they don’t go that often) so you know when to avoid the parts where there is no space to step aside (read: very steep down into the raging river and on the other side not enough space to stand, even if you press to the rocks tightly).
My plan was to take the train to Kalavrita and then walk back. It would be around 24km long and going down 700m. Unfortunately I was not feeling well. Plus, when I was in the train and saw some of the parts I would have to walk… To me it seemed to dangerous. My Dutch upbringings are strongly rooted inside and walking on railway tracks made a little voice in my head scream: “No! No! You’ll die!” Plus, it was freezingly (below zero) cold outside. So in the end I didn’t walk. Later I saw photo’s of people that did and it made want to go back so badly to walk the part. I will someday.
Anyway, it felt good just to enjoy the trainride. Looking outside, seeing the beautiful nature. Being inside with the other tourists that were enthusiasticly shouting every other corner, taking pictures with flash through the windows.
I did walk a little bit. There are two station between Diakopto and Kalavrita. I got out at one of them, Zachlarou. From there you can walk to a monastry high in the mountains. It’ll take about one hour. The path is gorgeous, very small (but not dangerous at all) and the only people I met were some goat herders. They were very nice and we tried to have a conversation in the little Greek I knew. We didn’t surpass exchanging names and countries, but it was fun.
In the end, I really want to go back to take the hike. But even from inside the train it is already very beautiful.