Traveling to mountainous Arcadia for three days? …if you are looking for a unique destination close to Athens, this is one of the best options for you. All year round destination, mountainous Arcadia will enchant you with its beauty. With our article we will give you ideas and tips for the perfect gateaway to the mountains of Pelopennese in Arcadia!
Few words about Mountainous Arcadia
The mountainous Arcadia is located on the western side of the Arcadia region. Located in the center of Peloponnese, is just 200 km from Athens. There you will find picturesque villages such as Stemnitsa, Dimitsana and Karitaina which are also one the most famous villages in the area. You will also find the Mainalo mountain, which is 1981 meters high. It is a historical area as it is contributed substantially to the struggle of the Greek war of indepedence of 1821.
What to see in Mountainous Arcadia
When you travel to arcadia you will find many sightseeing places of interest during driving. As the main sightseeings of the area we stand out…
Water power Museum
The open-air water power museum belongs to the cultural foundation of piraeus group. In this museum you can discover the technology used by the region’s traditional communities as early on as the 16th century in order to cover their basic needs. You will find a powder, which made the gunpowder for the revolution, tannery, water friction and watermill. Details of the museum’s operation can be found here.
The library of Dimitsana was founded in 1764 and until 1821 it was enriched with 5,000 books, a huge number for the time. After the 1826, only 600 books were rescued after using the paper to make cartridges for the fights, during Greek war of indepedence.
The library of Dimitsana is the oldest library in Greece
Ski resort in Mainalo
In Mainalo you will find the ski resort for skiing and winter activities in general. More information and opening hours can be found here.
Ancient Gortys is one of the most important Arcadian cities of the ancient world and its heyday is placed in the 4th century BC. It was one of the stations on the route followed by spartan athletes on their way to compete in the Olympics. Races, as the ancient road Olympia – Megalopolis – Mycenae – Isthmus – Athens passed through here.
The philosopher’s monastery is located in the ravine of the River Lousios, south of Dimitsana. The old monastery is also known as the “Hidden School”, because according to tradition it operated there during the Turkish occupation school which later developed into a great seminary.
The Monastery of Prodromos is located between the villages of Stemnitsa and Dimitsana. It is built at the root of a steep rock in The Lousios River, near the philosopher monastery. It was founded in the 4th century and is one of the most beautiful monasteries of the Peloponnese.
4+1 Picturesque Villages
In the area there are many picturesque villages which worth be visiting. We present to you the ones we like dthe most during trekking in the area, which you can also see easily via google earth:
It is a very beautiful stone village that is well worth giving from your time. At the entrance of the village you will find an old third bridge. You should also definitely visiti Agia Kiriaki, a Greek orthodox church. Agia Kiriaki is a single-aisled basilica with a dome covered with copper leaves, built in 1834. Close to it you will find the Public Library and the School. Finally, in the village there is also the open-air museum of water power.
In Stemnitsa you will wander in very beautiful alleys. You will find, today’s ruined, impressive four-storey tower house of Roilos, the mansion of Bourazos and the church of “Panagia in Stemnitsa” with the characteristic bell. Finally, in the castle of Stemnitsa you will admire the amazing view of the village.
It stands out the castle, also known as the “Toledo of Greece”, built in the 13th century. Karytaina is a proclaimed traditional settlement, as it retains the color of the medieval castle town. It has an amazing view and definitely deserves your attention. On the banks of the River Alfios is the bridge of Koukos. It was built in 1880, it is a one-arched and its height is 34 meters.
A very beautiful little village with traditional small square. If you want to go to the Mainalo ski resort Vytina is a good choice, since it is nearby. If you are looiking for an instagrammable place you should go through the “love raod”, for a photo.
Places to stay in Arcadia
You can travel to Mountainous Arcadia just for one day but we think that is better to stay for a couple of days instead. Throughout the area you will find many traditional guesthouses and picturesque hotels for a pleasant stay available for all bugdets. We preferred to stay in Dimitsana, Stemnitsa and Karitaina for one night at each accommodation. But we could also stay in one of the villages we described above as the distances are short and pleasant.
What to do – activities
If you prefer outdoor experiences and activities, Arcadia is one of the best places to do so, close to Athens. There you will find many long and short hiking trails. We enjoyed, as a short and easy route the path that starts from Ancient Gortys and ends after one and a half kilometres in the carved on the rock Monastery of Prodromos, following the flow of Lucius river and passing next to old watermills and over Bridges. You can also go rafting on the Lousios River and enjoy all its magic.
Hiking and rafting are the best choices for outdoor experience in mountainous Arcadia
Places to eat
In Arcadia you will find amazing Greek traditinal food. There are great taverns and resaturants and we sugeest that you visit some of themduring your visit to Arcadia:
Travel to Mountainous Arcadia is one of the best options for outdoor activities close to Athens, all year round. If you want more ideas for destinations near Athens keep reading our website and find out more about destinations in Greece.