The area west of Tripoli is a tangle of medieval villages, remote monasteries, precipitous ravines and narrow roads that wind their way through the valleys of the Menalon Mountains. It is the heart of the Arkadia prefecture, and you’ll find it’s an area with some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Peloponnese.
Today we will drive from Athens to Ancient Gortys which was among the most important Arcadian cities of the ancient world, known for its Temple of Asclepius. From there we will follow the path which unfolds in parallel with Lousios, a river with crystal clear waters that runs through an incredibly steep gorge towering up above us. On our way to Dimitsana, first we will meet the isolated monastery of Prodromos, which is built into the side of a rock and looks absolutely stunning. Then we will ascend to the Old Philosophou Monastery dating to 963 and then to the New Philosophou Monastery who was founded in a less restricting place in 1691. The path is finishing at Dimitsana, and just before entering the village we will do a stop to visit the Open-Air Water Power Museum, a thematic museum which highlights the importance of water-power in traditional society. Focusing on the main pre-industrial techniques that take advantage of water to produce a variety of goods, it links them to the history and daily life of the local society over the ages.
Overnight in Dimitsana, Enastron (L,D)
Hiking distance: 10 km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Athens to Elliniko 211km / 2h 30 min
The road to Ancient Olympia cuts through some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Arcadia, passing traditional villages that are among the region’s loveliest.
First stop will be the magnificent temple of Apollo Epicurius, one of the best-preserved examples of classical architecture thanks, primarily, to its isolation. From there we will continue onwards Ancient Olympia, where alongside with your guide, you will walk through the impressive ruins where Olympic Games were held every four years beginning in 776BC. The Olympia museum is also a must visit, as it including some of the most important works of Classical art such as the sculpted decoration of the temple of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the famous Hermes of Praxiteles.
After lunch in a nearby village it’s time to return to Athens. In case you wish further exploration, you can use the option of extending your trip by one more day, and visit the archeological site of Delphi, nestled in a broad cleft on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassos.
Dimitsana to Apollo Epicurius 55 km / 1h 15min
Apollo Epicurius to Olympia 51 km / 1h 10min
Olympia to Athens 291 km / 3 hours
We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Tripin Adventures. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants.