Trekking experience in the mountainous heart of the Peloponnese

MtMai1 HikingEco-toursCultureSelf guided DimitsanaVytinaStemnitsaElatiNymfasiaMagoulianaValtesinikoLangadiaOlympia
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7 DAYS
LEVEL 3
This is a unique hiking experience based on the certified European path “Menalon Trail”, in the region of mountainous Arkadia, in the center of the Peloponnese. Mount Mainalon is a unified natural, cultural and historical space, which has inspired European art and literature over the centuries. It is a unique geomorphological formation where the continuous succession of dozens of peaks and ravines, hundreds mountainous meadows and high plateaus forms an impressively varied relief. The area of Mainalo mountain range presents a great variability of habitats offering shelter to many Greek endemic plant species. However, the most important formations are, that of the forest ecosystems with, Abies cephalonica (Greek fir) and Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana (Palla’s pine), which are the thickest and best represented in the Peloponnese. Several remarkable amphibians, reptiles and mammals have been recorded in this site. (NATURA 2000, GR2520001)

ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome in mountainous Arkadia

Transfer to Stemnitsa; the town of silversmith. A picturesque historical village with stone mansions and typical stone paved allays, overlooking the high cliffs of Lousios Gorge; built on the site of the ancient Arcadian city of Hypsous, at an altitude of 1080 m. Overnight in Stemnitsa.
Transfer: Athens – Tripolis – Stemnitsa, approx. 3 h / 200 km

Day 2: Crossing the spectacular gorge of Lousios River

Today you hike through Lousios Gorge! After breakfast, you leave the traditional settlement of Stemnitsa and after passing a zone of old fields you enter the spectacular gorge. You walk on the old connection path, visiting Prodromos’s and Philossopher’s Monasteries; nested on the vertical cliffs. You continue your hike and after passing the open-air museum of hydropower, you reach the traditional settlement of Dimitsana; a picturesque historical town at the opposite side of Lousios Gorge. This is the most lively village of the mountainous area of Gortynia. You continue hiking over the hills and eventually you arrive at Zygovisti; a very quiet village on a plateau, at an altitude of 1200 m. Transfer to Dimitsana (9 km, 15 min). Overinght in Dimitsana.
Hiking: Stemnitsa – Dimitsana – Zygovisti, 16.7 km / 7h / moderate-demanding

Day 3: A beautiful hike through West Mainalon forest

Transfer to Zygovisti (9 km, 15 min). You leave the picturesque village behind and after the chapel of St. George you enter the forest of West Menalon Mountain. Today you go hiking in one of the most remote areas of the Peloponnese passing by springs, plateaus and saddles, whilst following the traces of old mule ways. You reach the highest point of the hole Menalon Trail; at an altitude of approx. 1550 m. A short side trip to the viewpoint of Paliovouni Peak, at 1634 m, is also possible. End point of today’s hike is the village of Elati. Transfer to the lively village of Vytina (9 km, 15 min). Overnight in Vytina.
Hiking: Zygovysti – Elati, 5 h / 14.9 km / moderate

Day 4: Hiking along the Mylaon Stream

Transfer to Elati (9 km, 15 min). Today you hike mostly on a path that follows of the Milaon Stream. The path winds through lush vegetation, passes by the acropolis of the ancient Arcadian city of Methydrion, the ruins of watermills and an old stone bridge. The trail leads to Vytina, continues to a lookout point into the Mylaon Gorge and then it goes down back to the riverbed. You continue hiking through the Mylaon gorge and eventually you reach the small picturesque village of Nymphasia. Transfer to Vytina (4 km, 10 min). Overnight in Vytina.
Hiking: Elati – Vytina - Nymfasia, 4h30min / 14.1 km / simple-moderate

Day 5: Kernitsa Monastery and Sfyrida Hermitage. Magouliana, the highest inhabited village of the Peloponnese

Transfer to Nymfasia (4 km, 10 min). Through a beautiful oak wood, you descend to the Kernitsa bridge and after crossing once more the Milaon Stream, the trail ascents to the modern monastic complex of the Kernitsa. You hike through a dense fir forest towards the impressive Sfyrida Hermitage; built against the steep slopes. You pass by a nice viewpoint over the plateau of Vytina and to the high peaks of Mt. Menalo, before arriving at the quiet picturesque stone village of Magouliana; today the highest inhabited village of the Peloponnese, at an altitude of 1240m. You walk through the alleys of this traditional settlement and eventually leave Magouliana, to continue hiking on a path that follows a riverbed with abundant vegetation towards Valtesiniko; another traditional stone village with impressive churches and a monumental old school building. Overnight in Valtesiniko.
Hiking: Nymfasia – Magouliana – Valtesiniko, 6 h / 15.5 km

Day 6: From the dense forest to the eroded hills

Today you go hiking on old mule tracks and dirt roads, passing by lookout points with splendid view, especially to the high mountains in the north. You cross several meadows and once more a dense fir forest. Then the scenery will change: You ascent the Langadia Mountains. Abandoned fields, lonely meadows and eroded hills characterize the landscape. Eventually you arrive at Langadia; an impressive stone village located in a panoramic position on the brink of a precipice at an altitude of 1000 m. Overnight in Lagadia.
Hiking: Valtesiniko – Langadia, 5 h / 13.9 km

Day 7: Farewell

This unforgettable trekking adventure to the mountainous heart of the Peloponnese ends. During the day, transfer to Athens or following tour*.
Transfer: Langadia – Tripolis – Athens, 3 h / 220 km approx.

Alternative day 7: Visit of Ancient Olympia

Transfer to Olympia. Visit to the museum and the Archaeological site. Overnight in Olympia or Katakolon.
Transfer: Lagadia – Ancient Olympia, 1 h 25 min / 62 km

HIKING

- 5 hiking days / 5 moderate to demanding hikes
- Not intended for professional athletes though a good shape is required.
- Equipment: hiking boots, hiking sticks (very useful), day backpack, raincoat. Depending on the season additional equipment may be recommended.

RATES

From 285 EUR in double room

SERVICES

- Accommodation: 6 night in traditional guesthouses
- Breakfast
- Roadbook and GPS tracks
- Transfers to the starting point of the hike / from the ending point of the hike, where required
- 24/7 emergency contact
- Professional liability insurance
- VAT 24% and all taxes

OPTIONAL SERVICES

- Transfers from/to Athens or Tripoli
- Guide for the hikes
- Car rental from/to Athens or Tripoli
- Alternative day 7, visit to Anc. Olympia and overnight
- Single room or triple room

NOT INCLUDED

- Personal travel insurance
- Other meals than breakfast
- Snacks, drinks, tips
- Everything is not included in the “services” paragraph
 

NOTE

Simplified version of this trekking tour is also available.
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  • Dimitsana
  • Vytina
  • Stemnitsa
  • Elati
  • Nymfasia
  • Magouliana
  • Valtesiniko
  • Langadia
  • Olympia
 
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