5 things to do in mountainous Arkadia

John KarkalatosMarch 24, 2024

1. Visit the villages Vytina, Dimitsana, Stemnitsa, Lagadia


A trip to mountainous Arkadia without visiting some of these historic villages is out of question. First in line is the biggest village of Mainalon mountain Vytina, which is the most popular destination of the region because it has the most hotels. There you will see the church Agios Tryfonas, built with black marble, and the street of Love.

Dimitsana was the gunpowder warehouse of 1821, highlighted the personalities of the Struggle and its historical monuments are worth seeing. Stroll the picturesque cobbled streets and stop to see the clock tower, the library with the statue of the priest Palaion Patron Germanos and the churches. Take care to visit the open-air water power museum described below.

Also stately is Stemnitsa with the the wooden closed balconies of the houses making the difference. The square is dominated by Agios Georgios church of 1805 with the bell tower of 1877. It was the seat of the first Peloponnesian Senate and the first capital of the rebellious nation. Take a seat for galaktoboureko and coffee at the historic Gerousia cafe while at Heroon you will see the best view of the village.

Fourth and slightly more remote village is Lagadia, literally hanging in a ravine with a slope that reaches 70 degrees. The villagers were well-known stone builders, something that can be seen everywhere in the buildings of the village. It is worth seeing the Gymnasium - Lyceum and the Taxiarches church which was built in 1808 within 40 days because that was the deadline given by the Pasha of Tripoli. Also try baklava as they make it in Lagadia, made with local honey and walnuts.

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2. Visit the open-air water power museum

Open-air water power museum

The river that gives life to the water power museum originates in the small church of Ai Giannis. The museum is unique of its kind in Greece, it explains how water gave life to the crafts of the pre-industrial era, the gunpowder mill, the mills, the tannery and the water mill for washing clothes. It is a very good activity for children too.

The entrance is €4 per person. The opening hours are:

3. Atsicholos bridge on Lousios river

Atsicholos bridge

In Lousios river you may go down from the Atsicholos stone bridge, which was built by craftsmen from Lagadia village probably at the beginning of the 19th century with an islamic arch. It is located south of Prodromos Monastery. At this point you will take very nice photos and you will admire the nature and the rushing waters of Lousios. According to mythology, the nymphs Neda, Agno and Theisoa, bathed the newborn Zeus in the river.

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4. Visit the Monastery Agios Ioannis Prodromos

Prodromos monastery

A monastery wedged into the vertical rock in the gorge of Lousios is a sight that will take your breath away. Its history is lost in the depths of the centuries, it was founded in the 12th century by the union of the ascetics of the gorge. The view from the balconies is magical. To get there you will need to walk a trail of 10 - 15 minutes. 13.00 - 17.00 it is not allowed to enter the Monastery.

5. Visit Kapsias cave

Kapsias cave

It is an opportunity to visit one of the most important caves in Greece, the Kapsia cave near the village of the same name. A large cave with richly decorated rooms. It is a very good activity for children too. Entrance costs €6 with guided tours per hour.