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Odontotos: Greece’s Amazing Cog Railway of the Peloponnese

odontotos rail greece
The Odotonotos railway in the Peloponnese, Greece. Credit: Public Domain

The “Odontotos” railway in Greece, one of the few surviving cog railways in Europe, travels across the country and over and through its spectacular mountains.

People in many mountainous countries in Europe and beyond are used to cog, or “rack,” railways, trains which have been technically altered by the addition of cogs, or teeth, to be able to safely climb mountains.

Although Greece’s railway network is not massive, as it only connects its largest cities, the local train service between the towns of Diakopto and Kalavryta in Achaea, Peloponnese has its own, unique history and beauty.

The Odontotos railway in Greece is a popular tourist attraction

Traditionally known in Greece as ”Odontotos,” which means ”the one with the teeth,” it once served as the main means of transportation for those who lived in the mountainous villages of the northwestern Peloponnese.

Now, the Odontotos serves as a popular tourist attraction, and tens of thousands of people every year go there to enjoy the beautiful landscape while they sit in comfort on this historic train.

The modern route runs for a total of 22 kilometers (14 miles) from the town of Diakopto through the famous gorge of Vouraikos and the old monastery of Mega Spilaeon, all the way up to the historic town of Kalavryta.

Odontotos’ track is one of the narrowest to be found in Greece.

Currently, Trainose, Greece’s only train operator, has plans to construct an additional network which will connect Kalavryta with the ski resort in that region.

The Peloponnese

Just a 1-hour drive away from Athens, the Peloponnese region offers many different historical sites, culture and beauty spots to tourists looking for a spectacular trip to Greece. There are many reasons why this region of Greece is one that you do not want to miss.

The Peloponnese remains one of the most popular destinations in Greece thanks to a unique past that blends with a natural landscapes boasting forests, mountains, beaches, and caves.

Ancient sites, monuments, castles and Byzantine churches are also part of the unique features that the area offers to those choosing to visit.

Home to the port city of Patras, the largest city in the Peloponnese, Achaia is the place to go for beautiful mountain and seaside landscapes — including some of the most desirable beach destinations in the region along the Corinthian Gulf.

Achaia, considered Greece’s “seaside gate” to Western Europe, is one of the most historic sites in the Peloponnese. You will also pass the iconic Rio-Antirrio Bridge on the way to Patras.

The Peloponnese Region is known for having a variety of activities as well as a very diverse landscape. From hiking to spelunking to sunbathing to wine tours, there really is something for everyone in this region of Greece.

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