Situated at the crossroads between the Peloponnese and the rest of the Greek mainland, the region of Corinth is easy to reach from Athens. Known ‘attractions’ in the region are Loutraki (a coastal town with thermal spas, a casino, resort hotels, in short, not my thing), the Corinth Canal (bungee jumping, anyone?), the ancient city of Acrocorinth (I am embarrassed to admit: drove by many times, never visited), the vineyards of Nemea (I certainly have tried many of the wines, among the best in Greece) and the mountains (now we are talking!).
The village of Trikala
I have spend quite a few weekends and short holidays in the village of Trikala in the mountains Corinth. When, in the late 1990s, I first visited it, there wasn’t much to it. It was just a little village (actually, three villages, as Trikala is divided in a lower, middle and upper part) in a beautiful area, with a limited choice of places to eat and stay. Hotel Helydorea was the main reason people (including myself) came here for weekends.
The village has changed a quite a bit since. There are now several decent hotels and inns; the choice of restaurants has increased, and there are also some vaguely trendy little bars. There’s even a tiny ski resort now. Clearly, Trikala has been discovered and is on its way up. The area is beautiful and unspoiled, wonderful for walks and hikes. The skiing is a bit of a joke (there’s only one lift for the time being!), but when there is snow, you can also go on a snowmobile trip or rent a sleigh. In other seasons you can rent mountain bikes, or, if you are the adventurous type, climb to the summit of Mount Ziria (with certified guides) and make a descent into the Flambouritsa Gorge. It’s also a beautiful area to drive around; don’t miss the lake of Doxa or Feneou.
A Buddhist Retreat
At barely a half-hour (beautiful) drive from Trikala you will find the Buddhist Centre Karma Berchen Ling, where people come to study Buddhism, meditate and share experiences. Several times per year the centre organizes Buddhist retreats, meditation and courses, but visitors are welcome any time to get information, have a cup of tea, and to admire the Kalachakra Stupa of Karma Berchen Ling. After more than 20 years of preparation, this Stupa was inaugurated in August 2010 by Lama Chogdrup Dorje and Lama Ole Nydahl, an event that drew thousands of visitors to this magical spot in the mountains.
Small hotels and other special places to stay in Corinth