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Hiker in Melanon Trail
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Menalon Trail-Leading Quality Trail
style :
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Duration :
8 days
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period:
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
GRSW036
Trekking Walking
price in double room from: € 475
Menalon Trail-Leading Quality Trail

Menalon Trail-Leading Quality Trail

The Menalon Trail in the Peloponnese

  • Surprisingly situated monasteries on the Lousios Gorge
  • Dimitsana’s Open-Air Water Power Museum
  • The age-old stone Zarziou Bridge on the Mylaon River
  • Sfyrida Hermitage hidden among the mountains
  • Pure countryside in unknown Greece at 1000 to 1500 metres
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Map walking Melanon Trail
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Route

Start: Stemnitsa   Finish: Lagkadia

Day 1: Arrive in Stemnitsa
Day 2: Through the Lousios Gorge to Dimitsana (13 km)
Day 3: From Dimitsana to Elati (19,5 km)
Day 4: From Elati to Vytina (9 km)
Day 5: From Vytina to Nymfasia via Zarziou bridge (12 km)
Day 6: From Nymfasia to Valtesiniko via Magouliana (16 km)
Day 7: From Valtesiniko to Lagkadia (14,3 km)
Day 8: Departure

Day 1:    Arrive in Stemnitsa

Travel to Stemnitsa from Athens or Kalamata Airport. Start off with a visit to the Menalon Trail office on the main square and get a glimpse of the treasures that lie ahead this week. Then wander round to the local Silver- and Goldsmiths’ Trade School and peek in at the village folk museum.

Day 2:    Through the Lousios Gorge to Dimitsana (13 km)

Set off from Stemnitsa and zigzag down an old mule track to Prodomos Monastery, an improbable site clinging to spectacularly high cliffs. The gorge leads next to the 963 AD ‘Old Philosophou’ Monastery and the more ‘recent’ New Monastery founded in 1691. Traversing lush vegetation on the left bank of the Lousios River, you cross Tzani Bridge to reach the intriguing Open Air Water Power Museum. Here you can inspect the nearby watermills and gun powder mills that contributed to the fame and wealth of Dimitsana, a town built on the ruins of the ancient Theftis.

Challenge: 5 hours, 13 km, 780 m ascent, 910 m descent

Day 3:    From Dimitsana to Elati (19,5 km)

Walk gently uphill to the edge of a pine forest and pause at St. Paraskevi church. Take in the splendid views and snap a few dozen pictures of villages nestled in the densely wooded landscape. Trekking on footpaths and dirt tracks through ancient farmland, you stop to gawk at remarkable threshing floors. The memorial at Zygovisti recalls its role in the 1821 Greek War of Independence. Take a break at the local café and press onward with renewed energy toward the Menalon’s Western Massif. A rampant ravine leads to the secret spring at Agios Georgios Church, lost in the wilderness, and thick trees take you up to the pass. Option of crowning the 1643m-high summit at Pliovouni, followed by a chance to catch your breath downhill on narrow roads and paths passing fountains and chapels to the mountain village of Elati.

Challenge: 7 hours, 19,5 km, 1215 m ascent, 995 m descent

Day 4:    From Elati to Vytina (9 km)

Wonder at Elati’s woodcraft workshop this morning then walk down toward the Milaon Riverbed. Stumble upon Pirgaki Springs, source that supplies Vytina’s water, and pause to rest and collect water pouring out of stone walls at Makrinou Fountain. The riverside vegetation becomes even richer and towering plane trees surround you as you admire abandoned watermills and cross a capricious wooden bridge. Zigzagging up the valley on a path carved right out of the rock, you hit Artotsi Fountain and the nearby Agia Paraskevi Church with panoramic valley views and mountains all around. Take tiny roads into Vytina, chief village of this remote region with all sorts of services and scrumptious local food.

Challenge: 9 km, 3 hours, 350 m ascent, 500 m descent

Day 5:    From Vytina to Nymfasia via Zarziou bridge (12 km)

Head from Vytina back to Artotsi Spring and pick up the zigzag path leading down to Mylaon River. Pause for a pic at the pretty wooden bridge then trek north upriver. Approaching Zarzi you come upon a gorgeous single-arch stone bridge with 2 coquettish side-openings and pass a peculiar limestone pillar walking up to Old Vytina. Back on the Menalon Trail you meet the Mavra Litharia, a massive limestone boulder, and come to a second ancient stone bridge – one which once connected Vytina to the western Gortynian villages. Rocks, bushes, oak groves and spruce forests accompany you and you hike downhill toward the tiny village of Nymfasia and your accommodation, situated on the route to Kernitsas Monastery.

Challenge: 4 hours, 12 km, 630 m ascent, 830 m descent

Day 6:    From Nymfasia to Valtesiniko via Magouliana (16 km)

Step out to Kernitsa Bridge and clamber up a steep path to the huge monastery complex surrounded by immaculate terraced fields. Sit in silence for a bit, then walk off into a dense pine wood leading to the refreshing sacred spring at Sfyrida Hermitage. It’s easy to imagine ancient ascetics meditating in this mystic atmosphere. Hiking beneath the long steep slopes of Kastro, an age-old footpath leads to Gavros Spring and miniscule Magouliana, ideal for a tavern or café stop.
Once refreshed you amble along to a supreme vista point surrounded by stone threshing floors. A downhill stretch leads to the ruinous 1920’s Mana Sanatorium, then you hike uphill to the clustered building of Valtesiniko, known for its expert woodcarvers. Later, meet the pleasurable challenge of choosing a local tavern for dinner.

Challenge: 5.5 hours, 16 km, 1200 m ascent, 930 m descent

Day 7:    From Valtesiniko to Lagkadia (14,3 km)

Viewed from the tip-top of Valtesiniko village, the northern plains spread out below you as a surfaced track surges up to 1250 metres. A regal ridge path connects to the crumbling Byzantine fortress of Valtesiniko and you find yourself surrounded by stunning wide-open landscapes on the way to Agia Triada Church. Seek some welcome shade in a cool pine wood and stop off at Krya Vrysi spring, then hike uphill again to a new perspective from the col. Lagkadia has finally come into view and fields give way to the Rapi Watermills as you approach. The Menalon Trail ends here, in the heart of this traditional village of ‘stone builders’.

Challenge: 5 hours, 14.3 km, 810 m ascent, 980 m descent

Day 8:    Departure

Your self-guided walking holiday comes to an end today after breakfast and you travel to Athens or Kalamata Airport.

'standard' hotels

All hotels of this trip are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
Below you find the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, we book a similar alternative for you and inform you about the alternative booked. 

Extra overnight:
You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way. We can also book a hotel in Athens city or in Kalamata for you before and/or after the trip.

Stemnitsa Guesthouse
Xenonas Stemnitsa (Stemnitsa)

The guesthouse is situated in the center of the village Stemnitsa and has only a few comfortable rooms. Mrs. Garifalia offer a good home-made breakfast. The local tavern is just a footstep away.

www.xenonas-stemnitsa.gr

Theonimfi Guesthouse
Guesthouse Proselinos (Dimitsana)
Proselinos is located in the center of Dimitsana and it is one of the renovated houses, that followed the strict guidelines of the Greek architectural authorities and fully preserved the traditional architecture of the mountains of Central Peloponnese.
 
Anagnostou Home Stay (Elati)
Anagnostou Home Stay (Elati)

In the tiny remote village Elati, you will stay in the private house of the family Anagnostou. Mrs. Vana will pamper you with traditional hospitality and make sure you will have a careless sleep after your walking day. She speaks English and this is an opportunity to get to know the local life in the Arcadian Mountains.

Aiora Suites
Aiora Suites (Vytina)

The small guesthouse offers 12 spacious rooms and a large public living room with beautiful fireplace and large windows offering panoramic views. The breakfast is excellent with many local delicacies and fresh products.

www.aiora-suites.gr

Agropoli Xenonas  (Nymfasia)
Agropoli Xenonas (Nymfasia)

The Agropoli gueshouse consists of 8 separate houses, each offering a one or two bedroom apartments. The breakfast is being served in the central building and is prepared by the family. The views from the complex are breathtaking and because it is located outside the village of Nymfasia, you really experience the peacefulness ot the countryside.

www.agropoli.gr

Petrinos Pyrgos (Valtesiniko)
Petrinos Pyrgos (Valtesiniko)

It took many years of effort to restore this beautiful tower house of four floors, situated next to the Agios Theodoros church in the center of the village Valtesiniko. Nowadays it offers 7 comfortable rooms. The guesthouse has a nice living with fire place for chilly evenings and cold winter days and a breakfast room where a rich breakfast is served every day. Nearby are a couple of taverns offering traditional food. 

www.petrinos-pirgos.gr 

Kentrikon Hotel
Kentrikon Hotel (Lagkadia)

Hotel Kentrikon belongs to the well-known Maniatis family in Lagkadia. The family runs a tavern as well. The hotel is built in modern style and offers smooth services and an extensive breakfast buffet. It is conveniently located in the center of the village near the central square and crafts shops.

www.maniatis-hotels.gr

practical info

 

This trip can be booked all year round starting on any day of the week

Because of the altitude of the trek (between 1000-1500m), the best spring period is after 20/04 until end of May. Also June, September and October are very suitable periods for this trip. July & August average temperature is 32 Celsius. It is also a great winter destination. 

The nearest airport to the Menalon Trail is Athens Airport, but also the airport of Kalamata is possible. From Athens Airport it takes app. 3 hours by public bus and from Kalamata app. 2 hours to get to Stemnitsa (via the city of Tripoli).  

You may also book a private transfer from Tripoli with S-Cape.

ARRIVAL AT ATHENS AIRPORT

You can travel by public transport from Athens Airport to the KTEL bus station Kifissou with a direct

Express Bus. 

There is direct bus from Bus station Kifissou to Tripoli, app. once per hour. 

Information: 210 5132834 or 210 5153510 (KTEL Arkadias)

From Tripoli Bus station to Stemnitsa:

You can take a taxi on the spot. A prepaid optional taxi transfer can be booked at the time of your booking. 

DEPARTURE FROM ATHENS AIRPORT

From Lagkadia to Tripoli Bus station:

You can take a taxi on the spot. A prepaid optional taxi transfer can be booked at the time of your booking.

There are 3 public buses daily: 08:00, 15:00 and 19:10 hrs.

From Tripolis Bus station to Athens is a long distance bus, app. once per hour.

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ARRIVAL AT KALAMATA AIRPORT

You can travel by public transport or taxi from Kalamata Airport to the KTEL bus station Kalamata.

There is direct bus from Bus station Kalamata to Tripoli, app. 5 times daily. 

Information: 27210 28581 (KTEL Messinias)

From Tripoli Bus station to Stemnitsa:

You can take a taxi on the spot. A prepaid optional taxi transfer can be booked at the time of your booking. 

DEPARTURE FROM KALAMATA AIRPORT

From Lagkadia to Tripoli Bus station:

You can take a taxi on the spot. A prepaid optional taxi transfer can be booked at the time of your booking.

There are 3 public buses daily: 08:00, 15:00 and 19:10 hrs.

From Tripolis Bus station to Kalamata is a long distance bus, app. 5 times daily.

We can send you GPS tracks of this trip upon request and after booking.

included

Included

  • Accommodations on bed & breakfast basis
  • Luggage transfers as mentioned in the program
  • Detailed road book, GPS tracks and maps in English
  • Original map of the region, Anadigit 1:25 000
  • 10 € per booking contribution to the non-profit organization of the Menalon Trail
  • Souvenir T-shirt Menalon Trail

Not included

  • Tourism tax

Optional Services

(to be booked in advance, net rates)

  • Transfer from the airport of Athens to the bus station Kifissou (dep. buses to Tripoli) or versa
  • Transfer from Tripoli bus station to Stemnitsa
  • Transfer from Lagkadia to Tripoli bus station

 

reviews

12-07-2018

"A series of wonderful walks through wooded gorges and meadows full of spring flowers. The trip did meet our expectations. Thank you!, We were well looked after and your information was excellent"

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