We have been in the general area of Orini Nafpaktia and of Nafpaktos Greece city before. However, this is a big area.
Many think that this mountain over Nafpaktos Greece can be tracked and explored in a day. Yet, that is far from the truth.
The main reason is the road network and way too many curved roads. Thus, while in terms of distance, moving around the mountain is not that long, it will take you many hours per day.
We recommend to start from the mountain top and move down by -if possible- staying in different locations every few days.
For example, you can start from Ano or Kato Chora and then move to Platanos.
After that, you can move near Chani Bania (if you fancy rafting too).
Here is what we experienced.
Arriving at Ano Chora, Nafpaktos Greece
We were welcomed to stay at around 1000mt, at Xenios Chalet.
A terrific place with a fantastic view and great food. This was just for a weekend (starting from Friday night and leaving Sunday noon).
The area is excellent for short escapes since it will take you no more than 3.30 to 4 hours from Athens through the Corinth/Rio route.
Alternatively, you can choose the Athens/Nafpaktos route, passing from Galaxidi and stopping at Delphi since it is in the middle of this route.
So you have many options there, and you can organize this as a multi-day trip, without having the chance to be bored at all.
We took the Corinth route, and we arrived at Kato Chora (where Xenios Chalet is situated). Check this place out.
We would be happy to sit and relax there, but we came here to explore as many as possible places of interest. So, we had a good rest. This was our “room/house.”
Is this the perfect place to relax or what? And it is open for all four seasons.
Walking the Kakavos Gorge path
One of the reasons we went to that area was the Kakavos Gorge. Terrific place.
When you start the route, the forest changes along the way, at some points, you get the feeling that you are transported at another location.
To start the Kakavos Gorge route, you take the exit road from Kato Chora, towards Ano Chora.
Now, this can confuse some since you go down the road instead of up (Ano means up, while Kato means down in Greek).
You will walk in such shady paths around 30 minutes before finding the labels for the Gorge entry point. The entire route is around 3 hours with relaxed walking. We mean 3 hours one way.
That intermediate route is very relaxing and with great views, streams and stone bridges, like this one.
The area is famous for their chestnut trees. See what I mean?
And here you see the first sign for the path.
Lots of beehives along the route as well.
Now, at some point, you will encounter two things.
A sign that says this is the route for Kakavos Gorge AND Ampelakiotissa village. Follow them for a few meters.
You know that you are on the right path when you see that cement thing with a crooked bridge (maybe it will be fixed when you go there).
You may also see many cows since the area is famous for them too.
The photo is right. The bridge is not.
No worries. You can go around that bridge going a few meters downhill and up again.
At the other end of the bridge, you will find this sign pointing to the left.
It may seem weird as the Gorge is at your right, but the path will turn when you climb up.
The route is stunning. Check these photos.
The whole route is very well marked.
Though, at some points due to many drops of rain and snow, it seems like it stops.
Look better, and on the other end (!), you will see it marked, showing the way. We encountered two spots like this one above, along the path.
There were many mushrooms in the forest. Some large ones. Check these. We don’t know if they are edible, but they sure are cute and impressive.
And then, after almost 45 minutes of additional slow walking in the forest, we reached the bridge of Kakavos Gorge (photo is taken from the other side).
We spent some time to relax before taking the -approximately- 2.5-3 hours back.
Well, it was quite an achievement, so we gave it a little bit more time. Did we have fun?
Well, look at us.
The path across the Kakavos Gorge reaches the village of Ampelakiotissa if you want to continue that too.
It lands inside the village. That village is a typical one of the areas.
Orini Nafpaktia and the general area of Nafpaktos Greece is a place full of trees, green and waters. It resembles Pelion in some way.
Cruising Orini Nafpaktia Villages, to Nafpaktos Greece
To go there, you need to leave Kato Chora and take the road that drives through chestnut and pine trees.
Short route, but a beautiful one. If you stay at Kato Chora, you can even walk there and back.
Ano Chora Village
This is one of the typical small villages in the area. Simple, quiet, chocked in green!
Of course, there is always a big church in the village center.
You may be surprised, but this bus is very famous. It is considered a monument.
The reason is that this bus was the one which was transferring people up and down from Nafpaktos Greece—talking about lots of hours in narrow, curvy roads, with snow, rain and all.
This bus even had a nickname. Hold on. It is “The Carnival.” Yep.
The bus owner, donated this bus to the village for the future generations to see how (tough) things were in the past.
Want a refreshment by the way? Here is a small square in Ano Chora of Nafpaktos where you can bath in the sun and fresh air.
Well, we wanted to see more of this mountain, so we moved on.
The Monastery of Ampelakiotissa
Around 45 minutes of driving from Ano Chora, there is a famous monastery. That is the Monastery of Ampelakiotissa.
It is a stunning monastery situated at a magnificent place (as monasteries usually are), overseeing the village, which carries the same name.
And of course, there is a legend too.
Here is the main yard, from inside.
Here is the tree related to the miracle which is related to the Virgin Mary in this area.
The story says that on this tree, a picture of the Virgin Mary was found by the villagers.
The picture was thrown to a river 3 to 4 times by conquerors of this area. Legend says that every time the image returned here.
At night time, the shepherds from the mountain across saw a light, every single night.
As they were curious (and a little scared), they reached this place to see what the light was about, and they found the picture.
Until recently, another relic was existing there. The hand of Saint Polikarpos. But it was stolen in 2014. The empty relic case is still exhibited there.
Great view, right?
Leaving towards Evinos Dam and the town of Platanos
If you want to go to Platanos village from Ampelakiotissa, you have two options.
One is to drive back around 30 minutes and take the road that drives to Chomori and Platanos.
I wouldn’t suggest this one unless you have a 4wheel drive car. It is a dirt rocky country road.
In all cases driving all the distance back means lots of hours. We don’t suggest that.
The other option you have is to take the road that exits Ampelakiotissa towards the top of the mountain.
This road is modified like that: The first 2-3 km is an old asphalt road, the next 7km are paved with gravel and relatively easy to drive upon, then you have new asphalt road which in some parts is a bit damaged but easy to drive through. Then it is asphalt all the way.
ETA to Platanos: 1.5 hours.
During our drive there, we took a small detour to admire the Evinos Dam.
It is spectacular!
Leaving Evinos Dam, the route goes uphill through forests. I was in that area many years ago. The colors at Autumn are amazing.
You know you are on the right route towards Platanos when you meet the Chani of Liolios’ place.
The Village of Platanos
Then you meet the village of Platanos.
Before entering the village, we suggest stopping at the church of Saint George. The church is not the thing here. It is the view. Just climb the stairs up and have a look.
The village of Platanos from another angle.
At the main square entrance, you are welcomed by the statue of Georgios Karaiskakis. A hero of the Greek Revolution of 1821.
The main square is stone-paved and emits a rather relaxing feeling. As usual, the village church is at the center.
We were starving at that point but couldn’t find a restaurant open, right there at the square.
Yet, we had some prior information for the area, so we sought a hotel restaurant called Ifigenia’s Houses.
There we had a terrific meal.
The night was approaching, though, and we had to drive back to Athens.
A very interesting and full of adventures and sightseeing weekend came to its end, yet -as we were driving- we were planning the next one.
Until next time, have fun!