Close to Athens, a magical lush landscape dominated by the sound of running water and the intoxicating scent of grilled meat and mouthwatering souvlaki; Livadia combines certain elements that give it extra points and make it an ideal destination for a pleasant day trip from the Greek capital.


The town lies at the foot of Mount Helicon with its impressive castle rising on the hill of Prophet Elias, above the gorge of Erkyna, between steep cliffs, creating a wild landscape. At the gorge’s mouth lie the springs of Krya, from which the river Erkyna flows. A natural park, a unique landscape, a gift to the residents of Livadia and visitors who seek contact with nature.

An idyllic setting

The beauty of the area affords a sense of serenity that only nature can offer. Beneath the huge plane trees, which provide ample shade in summer and let the sun shine through their bare branches in winter, the flowing waters of the river create a dreamy expressionistic landscape. The dense vegetation that reaches the banks of the river, the small waterfalls at different levels, the bust of the nymph Erkyna, the work of sculptor Spyros Gourgiotis from Livadia, dramatically placed on a rock, as if emerging from the waters, create a mythical scene.

Striking stone arched bridges connect the banks of the small river, many paved alleys cross the area and numerous benches allow visitors to sit and enjoy romantic moments to the sound of the water.

The famous souvlaki of Livadia

Livadia is famous for its souvlaki and generally for its amazing grill shops. At the springs of Krya, right on the river, there is “Xenia café bar” – or as locals call it, “the jewel of Krya”- as well as numerous other cafés offering great coffee, nice refreshments and delicious sweets and ice cream. Apart from the cafés, there are of course many grill houses and taverns that serve the traditional, popular and praised souvlaki of Livadia, kokoretsi, kontosouvli and other similar dishes, which you may enjoy in an exceptional natural environment, overlooking the springs.

In case you want to take a deep dive into the meat-eating tradition of the town, look for the tavern “Ta Kopsidia” a little further away which serves handmade tzatziki, tyrokafteri (spicy Greek cheese dip) and tyropsomo (Greek cheese bread), excellent ribs, lamb, pork and chicken kontosouvli, burgers and much more. On national public holidays, book a table prior to your arrival (+30 22610 88100, Stratigou Ioannou 97, Livadia).

While strolling around the town, pay a visit to the traditional, quaint little bakery “Gourgiotis” (+30 22610 28218, Stratigou Ioannou Dimitriou 40, Livadia). Vintage tiles on the floor and walls around the wood-fired oven, lovely fermented bread as well as pies and pastries. Spyros Gourgiotis, a baker by profession, is the one who crafted the bust of the nymph Erkyna at the springs of Krya, since sculpture is his hobby.

If you want to wander a little further away from the springs of Krya, consider visiting the Byzantine castle of Livadia on the hill of Prophet Elias. The surviving buildings date back to the 14th century, when the city was under Catalan rule. Particularly impressive is the wall with three rectangular towers and a two-storey building with the church of Agia Barbara on the ground floor and the church of Agia Sophia on the first floor.

How to get there: From the Athens – Lamia national road, take the exit to Kastro (castle) and drive for another 30 km. If you want to go directly to the springs of Krya, you’d better take the second exit or else you’ll have to go through the busy town centre. If you want to avoid the tolls, take the old Thebes – Livadia national road. Livadia is 130 km from Athens.