Hostel Elisson is situated in Kryoneri, the largest mountainous village of the Corinthian upperland. The 1.000 permanent residents are mainly farmers. Grapes (raisins & sultanas) & olive oil are both main products, cultivated for centuries in this village, keeping the population stable.
A vivid village with intense social life: 5 cafes, a greek tavern, 3 mini markets, 3 butchers, a bakery, a vegetables shop, a post office & a petrol station, are 7-days-a-week open, securing the needs of residents & guests.
Main local products: Corinthian raisins, grapes (Sultanas), olive oil.
The tradition & the cultural creativity are making the place attractive for visitors. There is an intense activity in the cultural & youth field.
The local society is served by an important infrastructure: health centre, school centre (kindergarden, elementary & secondary school with 125 students), playground at the square, football & mini-soccer with basket & volley-ball courts, culture centre, youth information centre, open air amphitheater.
Residents & guests can enjoy the traditional / environmental footpath leading to the Lower Fountain & the 35 Km hiking / mountain-biking tracks around the village as well.
People also visit famous & unknown local monuments & sights, such as the Mycenean kings tombs, the Byzantine monastery of Lechova, the Observatory & the Mougostos Oak trees forest.
The Sikyonia upland is of great interest from historical, cultural and environmental point of view. Kryoneri is situated in the centre of the Corinthian region, that allows the visitors to move easily through it, thanks to the good road net.
The amphitheater of Kryoneri:
The amphitheater, which is situated next to the new fountains of the village has a capacity of 300 places and was constructed in 2001 in order to meet the need of cultural initiative from the local population and from other institutions. It is the greatest amphitheater in the district of Sikyon and every summer, it hosts cultural events, such as theater performances, cinema festival for children and youth, music concerts, etc.
The oak forest Mougostos:
In the district of Kryoneri, we can find this green lung of the region, unique in its kind, a forest protected from the wild life of the city, crossed by a long path of more than 5 kilometres, ideal for a long walk or to explore by bike. It leads to a rocky hill from where it is possible to admire the gulf of Corinth.
The astronomical observatory of Kryoneri:
The astronomical base is a rare scientific institution in our region. The telescope, with a diameter of 1,20 metres, was one of the largest in Greece and the Balkan peninsula. During the last few years, thanks to the initiative of youthful institutions in Kryoneri, it has reached remarkable importance as space of scientific research and cultural activity.
The initiative “open doors” of the astronomical observatory is seen as a great cultural event in Corinthia. These appointments take place every summer at the beginning of August and include astronomical evenings (observation of the celestial bodies through telescope, visit of the astronomical station, thematic projection of videos) but also musical events. In this station, it has been planned the creation of a modern Astronomical Park that will include a Planetarium with an amphitheater for conferences and a small centre for various events, that will keep the telescope that has been serving since 1972 the investigators of the National Observatory of Athens as well as students and investigators of all the world.
The village has its name from the traditional fountains and the cold water spreading from the ancient sources of the Elisson river. The village is constructed in the shape of an amphitheater and has three traditional fountains and an old flavor mill that has been destroyed from a fire during the 80's. The Upper Fountain and the Lower Fountain are linked to thre Elisson river, which played a crucial role for centuries, covering the needs of the inhabitants.
The two Fountains situated in the centre of the village have been essential for the population, that for centuries has been able to stock up on water and to wash their clothes:
The Lower Fountain was abandoned in the 60's because of landslides. The old path, leading to the Lower Fountain, down to the river, has been restructured thanks to a European pilot youth project, lasted eight years (1999-2006), a unique project of this kind in Greece.
The “European Voluntary Service” was part of the programme developed in the years 1999 - 2004 with the collaboration of the Intercultural-Environmental Organisation “Filoxenia” and the young people of Kryoneri, and with the aid of the Corinthian County Government. The volunteers have brought back to the light the path, collaborating with the masons for the reconstruction of the stone wall and of the uneven path. The City of Sikyon later included the plan in the European Rural Development Initiative LEADER+, continuing the paving and the restructuring of the fountains (2004 - 2006). The aim of this public participation was the intensification of tourism in the region representing a reward to the many efforts of the previous decade for increasing the alternative development of the region.
The main objective was to explore the region under the eco-touristic point of view, based on hiking or riding a bicycle, to get to know better the region. This job is considered very important since connects the job of voluntary service and the social work of the young people with the offer of the local development and the will to maintain the cultural inheritance thanks to the astronomical observatory, the monastery of Lechova, the flour mills. The organization of support and hospitality in collaboration with the forest inspectorate of the Corinthia have undertaken the configuration of the forest path that follows the course of the Elisson river, that constitutes the natural extension of that path and connects the two fountains with the old bridge and the flour mill.
The Upper Fountain, the one situated in the middle of the village, centrally positioned, keeps on refreshing the villagers and many visitors as well, coming from the coastal zone of t he Corinthia, taking water for domestic use. the fountain was renovated in the frame of a European rural development and eco-tourism programme, creating a pleasant space of refreshment and cultural creation, with the open amphitheater and the small park.
The fountain of Pirona, built in the year 2000 by the municipality of Sykion, uses a new kind of stone in harmony with the ancient one and with the environment; we find it on the road from Kiato to Nemea (wine road) that crosses the one leading to the monastery of Lechova, approximately at 500 meters from Kryoneri.
The stone fountain, the old bridge and the ancient flour mill constitutes an architectural complex of great beauty, surrounded by Elisson river and the beautiful natural landscape. These works were all built between the XVIII and XIX century and are connected to the village through the path of the river.
The community of Kryoneri has a very active social life with plenty of Associations and Entities:
- Cultural Youth Association
- Filoxenia, Intercultural-Environmental Organization
- Sports Association "Aetos"
- The olive oil Cooperative
- Two parents' associations of elementary and secondary schools of Kryoneri
- Trinity Church committee
- Local authority council
Activities and events are hosted in different venues, such as "Polykentro" - culture centre, Youth Centre, Amphitheater, football stadium, secondary school's sports place and motocross area.
Activities: cinema, choir, sports activities (karate, aerobic, football, volleyball, basketball, ping-pong), traditional folklore dances, seminars, events, conferences, Cultural Week in July, astronomical observatory's open doors, carneval festivities etc.