It is no coincidence that the name “Arcadia”, the name of this region in the heart of the Peloponnese in southern Greece, is synonymous with our ideal rural landscape. This lush and mountainous landscape is such a beautiful place that you may even feel like you have encountered one of the legends for which the Peloponnese is famous.
The area around ancient Gortis is a lovely place – a paradise for climbers. The monks of Prodromo Monastery have surrounding agricultural land and have walked along the Strait of Lucius between Aeus Andrehas and the monastery. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the beginning of the graded route. Walking along a graded path that follows the flow. The monastery itself quickly sits on the edge of a cliff above the path, and one of the few monks who live here shows you the murals if you appear when the monastery is open – closed between 2 and 5 p.m. Strict rules must be followed and if you are shy, you will be given a blanket to enter the monastery. Beyond the monastery, the path continues through two other paths, one of which is the ruined Paleá, which belongs to the tenth century. Another, Néa, dates from the seventeenth century. It has been renovated and developed in recent years, but the frescoes from 1663 are still intact and can be seen using a permanent janitor monk. The route is then winding along the river and takes less than two hours to cross the Paleohori to reach Dhimitsána. If you choose to walk this route, you will see why it is so popular among climbers.
The Minalo Mountains cover the long European distance E4. It starts in Vitina and climbs to the ski resort in Ostrakina and then lands again in Kardara. This is a very pleasant and diverse part of this well-known walk and offers beautiful views of the area.
Walking from the village of Vitina to the village of Stemenitsa is a special feature of walking in this area. Vitina is a popular mountain resort with Athenians living in the city who come here to taste the fresh mountain air. From the central square of the village, take the road leading to the northwest village. The beginning of the route is well marked with yellow labels. This will take you first of all to the Milantas River in the beautiful strait and along its shores to reach a beautiful and desolate mill and a wooden bridge. After about an hour of walking, head to the fountain of Aghios Theodoros, then to the top of the beautiful plateau covered with walnut trees of the Church of the Living Spring. Passing Eftakarvelou, turn right and continue until you reach a crossroads. At the crossroads, turn left and follow this route for five kilometers or more to reach Astenitsa.
These trails are just a few examples of the many great hiking trails throughout Arcadia. Come to the Peloponnese to discover some of them yourself.