The central Peloponnese consists of one big region, the Prefecture of Arcadia. This special region is so big that can combine equally great mountains and the marvelous Aegean sea. It stands right in the middle of Peloponnese and it is very famous to Greeks all year round and especially in winter time due to the snow center in Menalon mountain.
Full of green valleys and forests of unparallel beauty, Arcadia has a long history through the ages. It is known as it is the hometown of many heroes and important people in Greece. Whatever season of the year you choose to visit this region, the only thing for sure is, that you will not be bored and you will probably return soon to discover more. Craving to have the same feeling of warm hospitality and the wildness of the landscape it is possible to find yourself planning the next visit to this ancient land soon enough.
On day first, start by choosing the place that you are going to spend your two nights in Arkadia. The mountainous village of Vytina, well known for its beauty, it could be a very nice choice since it is a picturesque small town. The Seleni Suites Boutique Deluxe Hotel is a unique luxurious hotel complex was designed according to top-notch specifications and at the same time with indisputable respect towards the traditional architecture. In the same town, you may choose the Art Mainalon hotel. A luxurious hotel made of carved stone and wood. In Art Mainalon hotel, the unique combination of the made with care aesthetics and of the spacious areas warranties an enjoyable stay.
Another small village nearby is the Levidi. There are several traditional guesthouses here as well that can accommodate you for one or two nights. Villa Vager is the crown jewel of the whole area with many discriminations and awards every year. With a lot of antique furniture and architectural details sourced from Greece and abroad, plants from Peloponnese, and years of work, the essence of Villa Vager grew into the elegant and welcoming place we dreamed it would be. The alternative place to stay could be Menalia Villas & Suites nesting in green forests and in a privileged location up on the mountain Menalon. It is the ultimate way to feel the nature of Arkadia and leave simple, authentic vacations.
After you settled your luggage and have a look outside of your window, it is about time to leave your cozy room to have some new adventures. It is better for you to arrive as early in the morning as your schedule allows you. The colors in the morning under the sun are marvelous whether it is winter time or summer. Start your trip by exploring the surrounding villages such Bytina, Lagadia, Levidi, Dimitsana, Karytaina and Stemnitsa.
In Dimitsana do not miss to pay a visit to the unique Open-Air Water Power Museum. It highlights the importance of water power in traditional society. Then, in Karytaina by good weather, you can visit the Castle of Karytaina built on a steep cliff at an altitude of 700m. in the 13th century (1245), in the south part of the village. It is a medieval Frankish castle with a significant history.
Each of the villages has its own story to tell and its secret paths to take, the delicacies to taste and the village’s squares where all the residents have a cup of coffee and have chit-chats. What a wonderful moment to leave! Blend with the locals and try to do what they are doing in the everyday life and so to understand the main differences between the various towns and villages.
By noon it will be wise to make an hour or so stop to have lunch and try some of the best food in Greece. Arcadia is famous for the traditional freshly made pies and casserole food, the good wine and other homemade dishes that will never forget. Pick a village to have your lunch according to your road trip plan and have one lunch of your lifetime. Sto Kioupi, in Dimitsana, was created a restaurant offering authentic tastes of the old times and the previous generations. Also, Kokkina Pitharia in Vytina is a stone build restaurant with lovely decor and a warm interior serving local recipes with local ingredients.
If you choose to visit Arcadia during winter you will find yourself in huge surprise discovering a snow center in Menalon mountain. The snow center is small yet modern and fully equipped with the necessary facilities to help you have some great time exercise your favorite sport enjoying the Arcadian slopes. The chalet on the foot of the mountain can provide you some hot drinks and a warm corner after a long day in the snow.
This expedition will take you all day long and late in the afternoon before you return to your hotel to take some rest and be prepared for the next day’s trip, it will be interesting to visit Mainalon Forest History Museum. The Mainalon Forest History Museum operated tools and reporting practices logging and processing of woods. Thus revives an entire page of Arcadia since lumber it is a part of the Arcadian culture.
Tripoli town will be the first stop on day two! Here you can have a nice coffee in the Arcadian capital and visit the Copper Museum. A surprising and unexpected museum that collects over years hundreds of bronze objects from all over Arcadia. The area of Mantinia is known for the fine wines. If you are in the mood for wine tasting and you have the curiosity to observe a winery or an estate up close, then visit Tselepos Estate. By taking advantage of the ecosystem of Arcadian land Tselepos Estate set moschofilero vineyards at an altitude of 750 meters.
Next stop, after having a breathtaking ride among forests and mountains, rivers hiding in the trees and beautiful fields, you will reach Monastery Of Malevi. It is one of the three most important monasteries in the Kynouria province, together with Loukou and Elona. The monastery is located on a wooded slope surrounded by fir trees, 920 meters above sea level, in the Agios Petros region. Monasteries in Greece are part of the Orthodox Church and of high importance especially during wars and the hard periods of invasions.
The seaside of Arcadia has many beautiful villages and small towns facing the Aegean sea. Leonidion and Astros are among the others the two most important having both ports with access to others seaside towns and nearby islands. Very close you will find some of the longest and naturally formed beaches with crystal clear waters and a lot of fish taverns to taste the fresh seafood. Spend the noon and your afternoon by the sea watching the seagulls flying above and the calmness of the sky.
Arcadia peninsula is one of the biggest in Greece with a lot of different landscapes and points of interest to discover. No matter if you are a winter type of a traveler or summer you will find numerous things to do and spend your time here. The most unique is the nature itself since here you will notice that it is wild and endless. High mountains and deep gorges, green valleys and secret, old forests, creeks among centenarian trees and other trees full of oranges and tangerines and lemons. Colors and strong environmental antithesis.
This is Arcadia. A mythical place and a well-kept secret. Feel its vibes and breathe its air for as long as you stay. Leave and take one tiny piece of heaven with you until you return to continue the voyage to the unknown and the undiscovered with many more surprises to experience.