Beyond Aghios Stefanos the land gets more and more rural, and rugged as well. All of the small towns along the way have wonderful old stone stations, which add to the delight of the journey. At Afidnes there is a wonderful large taverna near the station, with high ceilings, a lot of wood in its construction, and very good food. Since the train makes many runs per day, this is a good place to get out of the city, have a meal and walk around. The village backs up to the forested Parnitha mountain, green all year round. Hikers who want to explore Parnitha might want to get off at Sfendali and find the trail, which is about 300 meters from the train station. The hike is pleasant and gradual, the ascent taking about four hours, and with quite a variety of flora and fauna. At Oinoi, passengers heading towards Thebes or further north should get off and change trains. In any case, there's a short stop here. Proceeding towards Chalkidha (ancient Halkis, often spelled Chalkis) in Evia (Euboea), the train now passed through wheat fields to the coast, with nice views along the way. There are three more stops and then the train passes under the new suspension bridge (built in 1993) and around the Evripos Bay and finally pulls into the old station below the1688 Turkish fort called Karababa. From here one can walk over the old channel bridge that crosses over the 40meter side strait which is the narrowest crossing between Evia and the mainland anywhere along its considerable length (see Evia), and where the currents change every few hours for no reason that anyone understands.
This trains connects western Attica with the Peloponnese. This first section is 36km, and is most double-track. There are many running every day and are much faster and more pleasant than driving on the crowded national road. In addition, there are good views. The domed station for the Peloponnese in Athens is on Railroad St. (appropriately). One gets to it via the SPAP station in Piraeus.
The train to Elefsina stops in Aghios Anargiri station
and in Ano Liosia, which is on the southern slope of Parnitha. Elefsina was the birthplace of Aeschylus and home of the
Sanctuary of Demteter and the Elefsinian Mysteries. The ancient road, The Sacred Way led to the sanctuary, which
after Delphi, the most important sanctuary in ancient Greece. Its rituals (called 'Mysteries') were performed for nearly
1500 years, and their content well concealed. During the 5th century BC, up to 30,000 devotees participated in the sacred
The site and museum are open Tues-Sun 9:30am -3pm.
The first railway line, which was of the meter gauge type, was built by a private company in 1881, and connected the western market town of Pyrgos to its port at Katakolon (12km). In 1884 the Piraeus-Athens-Peloponnese Railway Company (SPAP) was founded, and one line reached Cornith by 1885; Patras was connected in late 1887; in 1890 the Patras-Pyrgos segment was added; line was extended south to Kalonero and Kyparissia later in that decade. Another branch line was added in spring of 1891, from Pyrgos to Olympia, and a private company built an atypical 75cm line from SPAP main line at Diakofto near Aigion 22km up through the dramatic Voraikos River gorge to the town of Kalavryta (see Kalavryta). Yet another company connected Mili (an important port at the time in the eastern Peloponnese south of Argos to Kalamata, a distance of 172km. The Mili-corinth link was completed in the early 20th century. The overall picture is that of a single circular track, the meter gauge Peloponnese railway which encompasses a circuit of the entire region.