The Diros Cave, which is considered to be one of the three most beautiful caves in the world, is situated to the south of Areopoli in the gulf of Diros. It is characterized by impressive stalactites and stalagmites and by its incredibly beautiful geological location. The visitors can admire only part of the 3 km, even though the exploration team of the cave, which started exploring in 1949, has explored more than 10,000 square metres. The Diros Cave of Glyfada is the biggest and most famous cave in Greece and it attracts thousands of visitors every year.
One of the most beautiful places in the Peloponnese is definitely Elafonissos, which is characterized by astounding exotic coasts and white sand. Every summer thousands of tourists visit this paradise-like location to enjoy the turquoise blue water and the incredible beauty of the area. This island is a protected area and it has been incorporated in the network Natura.
Agios Nikolaos "Petrified Forest"
The Agios Nikolaos Petrified Forest stretches from Agia Marina in Agios Nikolaos to Campos Vion and Elafonissos. It is a petrified forest which is something rare in Europe and it is 2-3 million years old. The uniqueness of this forest is also attributed to numerous fossils and findings of various sea creatures. The Agios Nikolaos Petrified Forest can be admired from the beach of Agia Marina and from Spitha in Agios Nikolaos.
For more information contact:
Municipality of Vion (+30) 27343 60100
To the east of the Peloponnese at a stretch of land of about 500,000 acres there is the famous Mount Parnon. This mountain is widely known thanks to its incredible natural beauty and its significance in the ecological zone of Greece. The biggest part of Parnon consists of various trees such as plane trees, black pine trees, fir trees, chestnut trees and many more. It is important to mention the cedar tree forest which is located near the monastery of Malevi and is considered to be unique in Europe. The flora of the mountain is made up of numerous species of rare plants, some of which have medicinal properties. Parnon with its beautiful landscape, large gorges and colourful valleys is certainly a destination for those who love hiking but for others as well.
The trails in Mount Parnon
Itinerary Vamvakos – Monastery of the Great Tourla
At an altitude of 950 metres on the slopes of Mount Parnon and more particularly at Vamvakos one can find the beginning of the marked trail, which after a two-hour hike leads to the mountain shelter that is situated at an altitude of 1,450 metres. Then on, if you cross the forest road and follow the sign you shall reach the top of the Great Tourla, which is the highest peak of Mount Parnon and it is located at an altitude of 1,935 metres. The overall itinerary is about 9.5 km long and it takes approximately 4-5 hours to hike it.
Itinerary Tsintzina – Monastery of the Holy Unmercenaries
The itinerary to the monastery of the Holy Unmercenaries starts at an altitude of approximately 1,000 metres and more particularly in the village Tsintzina. This itinerary lasts for about one hour and a half and its length reaches almost 5 km. The whole trail is marked with blue triangles to help the visitors.
Itinerary Tsintzina – Meganailias – Rahi Psari
This itinerary starts from the village Tsintzina at an altitude of 1,000 metres and it reaches the south peak of Mount Parnon. In the beginning, we follow the trail which is marked by red triangles and then on, we follow the trail that will lead us to the church of Prophet Ilias. Afterwards, we shall continue south towards Meganailia, which is the second highest peak to the south of the mountain (at an altitude of 1,780 metres). From Meganailia we continue our course northeast towards Pahi Psari, which is the highest peak in the southern side of Mount Parnon at an altitude of 1,839 metres. The overall length of the itinerary is estimated to be over 10 km and it takes more than four hours to hike it.
The trails of Taygetos
The itinerary starts at an altitude of 320 metres through a stone-paved trail which is located to the north of Mistras and leads to the village Taygeti at an altitude of 700 metres. The length of the itinerary is approximately 2.5 km and it takes about 60 minutes to hike it. Then on, a second trail starts from the village Taygeti and within about two hours it leads to the monastery of Faneromeni. Many other trails can be found there, such as the very well-known European E4, which leads to the settlement of Anavriti. At this point, there is an itinerary that leads to the mountain shelter of Taygetos.
A few metres over the village of Parori and if we follow the stone-paved trail we shall reach a small but astounding gorge, which overlooks the incredibly beautiful field of Laconia. If we continue walking we shall see that the trail takes us to the cave monastery of Panagia Lagadiotissa and then, it heads towards the high slopes and the deep gorges. The last intermediate stop of this beautiful itinerary is Panagia Zagouna, which is located inside a large cave. Finally, we reach the well-known Monastery of Faneromeni. It is a very beautiful itinerary that lasts approximately 2.5-3 hours.
Itinerary Anavriti – Agios Ioannis
Numerous hiking itineraries start at the settlement of Anavriti as it is connected with the European path E4. A short but iconic itinerary is the one that leads to Agios Ioannis, which is located on the eastern side of Mount Taygetos. This itinerary is about 3.5 km long and it takes you about 60 minutes to hike it.
Itinerary Kalivia Sohas – Soha – Lakomata – Tsarkos
This itinerary starts at Kalivia Sohas, where we can find the beginning of the trail that after about two hours shall take us to the stone-built settlement of Soha, which has a hostel. The trail stops a little bit before the entrance of the village and it comes into another trail that, if we follow it, after about an hour and a half will take us to Lakomata. At that point the trail meets the European E4, which then leads to the mountain shelter of Taygetos.
Itinerary Maganiari Spring – Taygetos Shelter – Top of Profitis Ilias
The itinerary starts at the Maganiari Spring, which is located at an altitude of 980 metres and leads to the peak of Mount Taygetos. Hiking through the beautiful forest the most important part of the itinerary are the springs of Varvara, which can be reached after about three hours. Afterwards, we move on to the mountain shelter of Taygetos that is located at an altitude of 1,550 metres. After we have reached the shelter we see the European path E4 that will take us to Lakomata and then on, to Profitis Ilias which is located at an altitude of 2,400 metres. This itinerary is about 8.5 km long and it takes about five hours to hike it.
Itinerary Koumousta – Pentavli / Shelter of Taygetos
The itinerary starts at the settlement of Koumousta that is located at an altitude of 750 metres on the slope of Taygetos. Then on, it takes us through the forest area of Pentavli that is at an altitude of 1,200 metres. The overall length of the itinerary is approximately 7 km and it takes about two hours to hike it. It is characterized by a beautiful natural landscape as it passes through springs, lakes and waterfalls. This itinerary is connected to the European path E4 which leads to the mountain shelter of Taygetos.
Itinerary Koumousta – Monastery of Gola
An itinerary that lasts about an hour and a half starts from the medieval village Koumousta, which is located at an altitude of 750 metres, and leads to the monastery of Gola. This monastery is characterized by the portrayal of ancient philosophers and it is unique in southern Greece. The overall length of the itinerary is estimated to be about 3.5 km and the time needed to hike it is approximately one hour.
National trail Ε32
The national trail E32 starts at beautiful Vitina and it takes us through the gorge of Loussios, the mountains of Arcadia and the amazing slopes of Taygetos towards Gythio or Kardamili. All the itineraries of this trail are marked red or white.
European path Ε4
The European Alpine Path E4 passes through mainland Greece and it ends up in Cyprus. The itinerary starts at Corinth and through Tripoli it crosses Laconia and goes to Gythio.
Itinerary Agios Petros – Karies – Vresthena
The European Alpine Path E4 starts from Agios Petros in Laconia and after crossing a beautiful forest road it reaches the village Karies after about 10 km. Then, there are many trails, some of which reach the top of the Mount Parnon, which is located at an altitude of 1,935 metres. An itinerary of about 2.5 hours starts at Karies and it takes us to Vresthena where we can see the Monastery of the Holy Unmercenaries.
This itinerary starts at Vresthena and it takes us at first to the village Theologos and after about 2 km to the city of Sparta. After Sparta and more particularly after the end of Lykourgos Avenue the itinerary continues towards Kalamata or Mistra.
Itinerary Mistras – Monastery of Faneromeni – Anvriti – Lakomata
This itinerary starts from Mistras, passes by the Monastery of Faneromeni and two and a half hours later it ends up in Anavriti, which is located at an altitude of 790 metres. Numerous local trails start here. Starting from Anavriti and crossing the beautiful forests of the mountain we reach an area called Lakomata, which is situated at an altitude of 1,280 metres. This itinerary lasts approximately 3 hours and it is considered to be relatively easy.
Itinerary Lakomata – Mountain Shelter of Taygetos
Starting from Lakomata we continue our course towards the shelter of the Greek Alpine Association in Sparta, which is located at an altitude of 1,550 metres. This itinerary lasts about three hours and at that point there are numerous smaller or larger hiking trails. One of them leads to Profitis Ilias, which is at the peak of Taygetos at an altitude of 2,400 metres.
This itinerary starts at the mountain shelter of Taygetos, passes through the beautiful area of Pentavli, which is well-known for its amazing springs, and it ends up in Agios Dimitrios about 2.5 hours later (at an altitude of 1,490 metres). Starting from that point, approximately four hours later we reach Arna, which is characterized by stone-built bridges and traditional water mills that are next to the river. We continue our course from Arna and after crossing the stream of Agia Marina (at an altitude of 580 metres) we finally arrive at the Monastery of Panagia Giatrissa, which is located at an altitude of 1,000 metres.
Itinerary Kastania - Gythio
This itinerary starts at Kastania and after passing by the settlements Vardounia, Desfina, Ahoumata, Platanos and Agios Vassilios, it takes us to beautiful Gythio. Next to this area there is also the widely known forest of Vassiliki which is ideal for a short getaway.