Dimitsana Travel Guide
Dimitsana is the most popular destination in mountainous Arcadia, a charming village located literally in mountains and gorges. Built on hills just above the gorge of the river Lousios is a place of tradition, history and natural beauty. It stands out for the stone architecture that can be seen everywhere: in the cobbled streets, in the churches and in the tower houses.
More about Dimitsana:
In antiquity there was the city Teuthis which was visited by Pausanias in 174 AD and recorded the information in the book "Arcadian".
Due to its mountainous location there was no turkish presence during the turkish occupation. In the 17th century in Philosofos Monastery, in the inaccessible gorge of Lousios, there was a School and a library. In 1764 they were transferred to Dimitsana where a library and the Theological School of Dimitsana were founded. Many scholars and priests graduated with more prominent personalities being Patriarch Gregory V and Palaion Patron Germanos, both from Dimitsana in origin.
During the 1821 Revolution in the gunpowder mills of Dimitsana the so valuable for the Struggle gunpowder was made. Shrapnel shells, cartridges and gunpowder were made here with the power of water for this and it was named "gunpowder depot of the Nation".
2. What to do in Dimitsana
At the center of Dimitsana
The walk in the village starts from the center where all the cafes and souvenir shops are located. Enjoy a drink and a sweet in their warm environment and then get lost in the cobbled streets for exploration. It's worth standing in the square on the side of the road to see from above the gorge of Lousios with a view towards Megalopolis.
Ecclesiastical museum (house of Patriarch Gregory V)
This is the paternal house of the Patriarch of Constantinople Gregory V, which has been turned into an ecclesiastical museum and ecclesiastical objects of that time are exhibited.
Agia Kyriaki Square
Here is the School of Dimitsana with the library and the folklore museum, the statue of Gregory V under a plane tree dominating the square and the church of Agia Kyriaki which was built in 1834 with a dome covered with copper sheets.
The statue of Patriarch Gregory V
The church of Agia Kyriaki
At the edge of the square you can see up close the Dimitsana clock tower that can be seen from all over the village. The bell and its mechanism were sent as a donation by the Dimitsanites of New York around 1900. In 1934 marble sculptors from Tinos completed the construction of the bell tower which today is the most characteristic image of Dimitsana.
Open-air Museum of water propulsion
In the dense vegetation of Lousios, the rushing waters of the spring of Ai Giannis give life to the renovated facilities of the mills for you to see up close the professions of another era when Dimitsana had thousands of inhabitants.
The museum includes water mills that used to wash clothes, a flour mill that ground wheat, a tannery that describes in detail how skins were processed and a gunpowder mill with clubs for the production of gunpowder.
An impressive and unique museum of its kind in Greece that is definitely worth a visit. Of course the visit takes place under the sound of the rapid flow of water.
Inside the gorge in an idyllic location it's worth visiting the New Philosofos Monastery. It was built in the 17th century on a natural balcony and is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The Old Monastery is located nearby built into the recesses of the rocks, access is via a path of moderate difficulty from the New Monastery. It was built in the 10th century and operated a Secret School that evolved into the School of the New Monastery.
3. Where to eat in Dimitsana?
- at Kapilio ton Athanaton: with specialty the wild boar burger stuffed and the pancetta braid. It's located below the clock tower of Dimitsana overlooking the gorge of Lousios
- at Kioupi: delicious menu with a great variety. The wild boar stew and the pork fricassee stand out
- at Teuthis: classic cooked and grilled dishes. Specialties are roasted rooster and lamb oregano
- at Drymonas: try traditional dishes such as salted egg, pork with plums and rooster with lasagna
4. How to get to Dimitsana?
It's 200 km away from Athens. Get the Athens - Tripoli National Road. After the tunnel of Artemisio you pass the tolls of Nestani and right after there you turn right at the exit for Vytina. Get the main road without turning anywhere, you make the round of Mainalo mountain actually, you pass through Levidi until you reach Vytina. From there follow the signs for Dimitsana.
6. One more tip
Dimitsana is an ideal base for getaways to the villages of the province of Gortynia: Stemnitsa, Elliniko, Tropaia, Lagadia and Valtetsiniko.
7. Photos of Dimitsana
View of Dimitsana
The clock tower of Dimitsana
The main street
Lousios river gorge