Et in Arcadia ego !
Groups of 6 to 24 people
Included in the Tour:
- Athens pick-up and drop-off (toll fees, fuel, liability insurance included as well)
- Two (2) nights in the hostel, one (1) night in the mountain refuge of Mainalo.
- Tickets for forestry history museums, hydrodynamics, Kapsia cave, Kalogri winery, Tripoli military museum.
- Five (5) meals.
- Coffee and Dessert (Stemnitsa & Tripoli)
- Activities (hiking-horse riding).
Day 1 : Athens-Kapsia Cave-Kalogri Winery -Vytina-Piana. (198 km)
Our Arcadia sightseeing tour starts by visiting Kapsia village with the homonymous cave, located just 154 km away from Athens, which claims a place among Greece’s 10 most remarkable caverns.
Just a stone’s throw from the cave, we will drive to Kalogris Winery,ο Peloponnese’s first certified organic winery.
Kalogris family will welcome you with a guided tour in the restored building dating back to the 1870s where you can get a spectacular insight into organic agriculture and taste unique organic wines accompanied by traditional pastries!
Our next stop is at Vitina picturesque village. Wander the charming narrow streets of this amazing place, take time to do your shopping among the traditional shops (don’t miss out on the local honey!) and grab your coffee next to Aghios Trifonas church placed in the central square.
As a wonderful day comes to an end and we ride back to our hotel through a magnificent itinerary surrounded by the fir-tree forest of Mainalo, round off your day with appetizing meat plates and delicacies (mezedes) at “Panas” traditional taverna in the local square of Piana!
Arrival at Papanikola hotel
Day 2: Dimitsana - Water Power Museum - Stemnitsa - Prodromos monastery - Ancient Gortyna - Hrisovitsi - Piana (109 km)
After a typical Greek traditional breakfast has been served, we start our day off with a visit to the Open - Air Water Power Museum on the outskirts of Dimitsana. Thanks to the museum’s great audiovisual equipment, you will have a great chance to discover the traditional installations and water- powered mechanisms such as the gunpowder mills, the watermills and the tannery and travel back in time to a period when hydromovement was being exploited by residents and small businesses catering to local needs, such as weft cleaning, tsipouro liquor distillation and flour production.
We continue our day trip to Stemnitsa, undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary traditional villages in Greece and of course a great spot to enjoy your coffee or dessert in its charming square or take a stroll along the beautiful cobble-stoned roads with the scenic houses.
Enjoy a breathtaking 15 minute trail to the Holy Monastery of Timios Prodromos, which was built in the 16thο century. Hanging off the cliff precariously perched, offers panoramic views across the Lousios gorge and its verdant landscape. We will follow a 2km very well maintained and signposted hiking trail, taking us to Ancient Gortyna on the river’s mouth - one of the most significant Arcadian cities of the ancient times - where you can admire the impressive archaeological remnants.
On your way back to the hotel, sample a great variety of delectable local specialties like delicious appetizers, salads, home-cooked meals and freshly grilled meat plates, as you stop at a traditional restaurant in Hrisovitsi village. Immerse yourself in the region’s rich culinary culture at “To Steki tou Moria” !
Transfer to hotel and overnight stay.
Day 3 . Chrysovitsi Forest History Museum - Horse Riding - Kolokotrinis House Limpovisi - Mainalo Shelter (75 km)
After breakfast our group sets off for the Forestry Museum in Hrisovitsi, where you will be given the opportunity to trace the first steps of the Industrial Revolution in Arcadia, while at the same time comprehend the vital importance of Mainalo mountain in local history and culture.
Later on the day, we are about to visit the village of Elati and enjoy a unique horse ride through the stunning forest along with Christos and his horses .
Along the way, you will also discover the historical village of Libovisi,village of the Kolokotronis family which stands invincible, towered up at 1200 metres altitude above the Mainalo canyon. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the place, where twelve generations lived and prepared for the constant threat of attack during the Greek War of Independence in 1821. You will get the chance to explore the ancestral home of Theodore Kolokotronis - prominent hero of the Greek Revolution - which now runs as a museum and hike on a nearby path for approximately 2 hours, following in the footsteps of the great leader. Don’t leave without tasting greek traditional pasta and fresh meat right next to the historical café and quenching your thirst with babbling water right from the water spring by the centenarian plane-trees.
Departing for the climbing shelter of Mainalo Mountain right after lunch , we are going to settle in our shared rooms, get some serenity moments in the cozy living room and take in the views at an altitude of 1620m. Just as the sun sets , we will enjoy a glass of home grown wine accompanied with local treats (mezedes) right next to the fireplace !
Day 4: Mainalo Shelter – Areos Square – Tripoli War Museum – Athens (169km)
After a high-energy breakfast, you might opt for an idyllic, circular hike trail of 2 hours and 15 minutes guided by Ares, our shelter’s host, and a qualified trail ride leader.
After the hike,our next stop is Tripoli city, the capital of Arcadia. We will visit Areos Square, the second largest square in Greece, where the statue of the general kolokotronis dominates.
We should not miss the opportunity to drink a traditional Greek coffee at "megalo kafeneio", one of the oldest coffee shops in Europe where it has been operating non-stop since 1840.
Right next to the cafe is the Tripoli war museum, it mainly includes exhibits from the war of 1821, as well as the war of 1940. In the halls of the War Museum and in its collections, you can see in relief the history of Tripoli and all of Arcadia.
A delicious meal at "Kafe Potiraki" awaits us full of appetizers and unique flavors to close our excursion in the best way.
The journey to Arcadia has come to an end.
Back to Athens.
* For the stay at the refuge you will need an optional sleeping bag or set of sheets, pillow case.
* The shelter staff may as well provide you with the aforementioned equipment with an extra charge of 3€ per person.
Total distance 531 km