A road trip that I did in July 2015 at the slopes of Mount Parnonas, where I intended to explore some of the picturesque villages that lie in this beautiful area.
- Agios Petros
It is a mountain village on the north side of Parnonas at an altitude of 950 meters and has 675 inhabitants. It’s a traditional village and its beautiful square is dominated by the church of Saints Peter and Paul. It is one of the oldest touristic villages in the area, and is 5 km from the famous monastery of Panagia Malevi, where religious people have been coming for decades. The village has nice taverns and is worth visiting if you are in the area. Saint Peter and the surrounding villages are chosen by many hikers and climbers as there are paths that lead to the peaks of Mount Parnonas and to the mountain lodge.
Kastanitsa is a mountainous village in Arcadia built on the slopes of Mount Parnon at an altitude of 840m. It belongs to Tsakonochoria, the villages that were founded by Tsakones. The residents here speak a unique modern Greek dialect. The traditional Tsakonian architecture, characterized by houses with stone slate roofs, remain preserved even today. At the top of the northern hill above the village lies the ruins of a castle built in the 14th century in order to fortify the region. Kastanitsa is a traditional village with a beautiful square, in which it is worth sitting and drinking a glass of wine, especially in the afternoon. It’s quite picturesque and definitely my favorite destination in the region.
Polydroso is a mountainous village in Laconia built on the slopes of Mount Parnonas at an altitude of 1,100 meters. It is one of the most mountainous villages in Laconia and there are only 51 permanent residents here. In winter, almost everyone abandons it, as the temperature falls to below 0 degrees Celsius, while snow fall can reach more than half a meter. But in the summer the natural beauty of the village with its plane trees is an attraction for locals and others passing through. Polydroso was previously called Tsintsina, as they speak the Tsakonian dialect here as well.
Kosmas is a traditional mountain village in Arcadia at an altitude of 1,150 meters. It is a popular tourist destination, especially on weekends, when it becomes full of people enjoying a meal, coffee or dessert in the beautiful square with the perennial plane trees. The stone houses here were built after the second world war, when on January 20th, 1944, German troops destroyed 498 of the 505 houses in the village.
Leonidio is a town in Arcadia with 3,800 residents. It was developed after 1826, when the Turkish army of Ibrahim destroyed the old capital of Kynouria, Prastos, forcing most residents to flee from there. (Διαμονή Λεωνίδιο)
A seaside village with taverns and trees that almost reach the sea, where you can protect yourself from the sun in the shade. The beach is decent, with small pebbles and a few cafes just above.