“Syrrako and Kalarrytes” is like the “Beatles and the Stones”. People spend hours arguing about which-one they prefer but- truth is- they are both genius- and fans know it. So if you have climbed all your way to Syrrako then stay long enough to visit its little sister- village Kalarrytes. Both stone-built jewels-same stone built mountainous (1.120m) beauty. A stiff but all verdant gorge separates them. Forget about your car and the 5 minutes road ride and add an unforgettable pleasure to your trip hiking the old path down the river and then up to the village(60’min.) through the gorge. You can also do it the opposite way to enjoy Syrrako’s view dangling from the mountains as the pathway turns just outside Kalarrytes
Once you reach Kalarrytes take a coffee or meal to the village square…
Enjoy the calm and go back in time to imagine the life of traditional communities. For centuries people of these lands where prominent merchants, famous wool textiles manufacturers, skillful tailors and cloth designers, silversmiths and artisans. They held firms all around Balkans, central Europe and Italy (eg famous Bulgari and Nessi originate from here). Some well-known figures of mainland Greek public life (Greek prime-minister Koletis, poet Krystalis, several high education teachers, doctors etc) were raised on these lands while they were still in Ottoman rule. These communities were radically deserted during the independence revolution. They did not manage to become part of Greece but until 1913.
From independence revolution on, they were part of the borderland of Arachtos River, separating the newly formed Greek state from the Ottoman regions. New communities of nomadic stock-breeding (travelling all the way to the neighbor Thessaly or Preveza regions in summer) were also deserted after WWII and the civil war: a period that marked a catastrophic trend in Greek society: rural depopulation and urbanization. Now the village is almost unpopulated.
Take some time to imagine traditional life of montane transhumance and nomadic pastroralism up along the mountains to the sea. If you are a hiker or lover of eco-friendly sustainable architecture fix a room for the night and stay. For this is your place! The village forms a complex system of exemplary building in streams and ravines. Take a walk around- the sound of water will not stop accompanying you-there at least 35 stone bridges connecting different neighborhoods which are formed along the water-streams….reminds you of something?…-well it’s all environmentally tailored, short scale, uses regional material, respects ground inclinations and incorporates water-streaming …isn’t this the definition of responsive sustainable architecture?
Take dinner and rest. The sound of water will always be omnipresent. Make sure you get up early because there are a lot of things to do around as well!!