The “Karamanos” Hiking Trail

General information

The Karamanos cave (842 m) is located on the slope of a forested hillside, 2 km away from the Kryoneri village. The hiking trail starts at the Polykentro, then continues through the village and then uphill, giving you a marvellous glance over the Gulf of Corinth. In the north you can also see the Mount Parnassus, which in winter is covered in snow, in beautiful contrast with the blue of the sky and the sea. 
This audioguide can lead you along the trail while giving you an insight of the history of Kryoneri and it‘s residents.

The terrain is rocky, sometimes steep, therefore it is highly recommended that you wear appropriate hiking boots. As you climb uphill, the village will unfold before you, colourful and lively, with its numerous orchards of grapes and olive trees. 
Further in the distance, the Corinthian Gulf and the two small Alkionides islands will mesmerise your sight with their marvellous blue, changeable depending on the weather. 
To the other side, as you leave the gulf behind to go in the direction of the Karamanos cave, you will find a wide valley of lush forest, with eye-catching sceneries.


This footpath has a particular significance in the history of the village, being used as an escaping route from the frequent Nazi raids, who were searching for partisans. 

In 1941, when Nazi Germany occupied Greece, many Jewish families had to flee to remote villages high in the Peloponnese mountains. One Jewish family found shelter in Kryoneri, which was named Matsani at the time. The family was hidden by the villagers because of Papa Athanasoulis, who took them under his wing. During his Sunday sermon on the week of their arrival, he instructed the villagers to protect the family. He warned that though anyone who betrayed them to the Nazis may receive bonuses or money, they would face heavy retribution for their actions. To any Nazi collaborators, he would burn down their house, and banish them and their families from the village.  In this, the reverend, as an important spiritual leader, promised the family’s safety.

Every once in a while, Nazi soldiers would visit the village, searching for partisans and Jews. A lookout was stationed at all hours to watch for Nazi soldiers heading towards the village. When they were sighted, the lookout would run to the church, and ring the bells, alerting the village to their arrival.

To protect the Kimhi family, the partisan men brought them along to the mountains. They would stash the family in this cave, completely covering the entrance with shrubbery and plants. The family would then wait in this cave, in complete silence, for several days. When the Nazis left the village, one of the village boys would be sent to notify the partisans and the Kimhi family that it was safe to return.

The Kimhi family stayed in the village for 11 months. During this time, the Nazis visited the village 17 times. Their protection required the cooperation of every single one of the villagers. In one way or another, every one of the villagers protected the family, despite the danger that this posed to themselves and to their own families. The Kimhi family was hidden 17 times, and not once was their existence betrayed to the Nazis.

After 80 years, Rivka Jacoby, the former youngest member of the Jacoby family, returned to the village in June 2017 and said she wanted to bring her entire family to pay their respects and show their gratitude to the villagers.

She returned in September 2017, accompanied by 80 members of her immediate family, and together they made a final commemorative visit to the cave.

Furthermore, the experience of the Jewish family who was hidden by the villagers of Kryoneri in 1943 and the return of Rivka Jakoby is described in the documentation “A slice of heaven”.

And in November 2018 the villagers of Kryoneri were awarded the Yad Vashem “Righteous among Nations” award for their courage during the Nazi occupation.

Komoot route

  • Distance: 6,31 km
  • Duration: 1 hour 18 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Hiking gear: walking boots or hiking sandals, water bottle, a hat, trekking poles (if you need extra support)
  • Attractions: Polykentro, Church, Stumbling Stones, Amphitheater, Karamanos Cave

Natural landscape

This trail is perfect for every season, even during the wintertime. Every year between December 15 to February 1, during the Alkyonides Days the temperatures can even reach 20 degrees Celsius! This out of ordinary meteorological phenomenon is explained by several myths and legends. One of the them tells the story of Zeus, who fell madly in love with a beautiful girl called Alcyone. Because he was jealous of other men, he transformed Alcyone into a bird and to compensate for her grief, he dedicated her a full month of summer in the peak of the winter for laying her eggs.