This 7-day self-guided hike along the Menalon Trail in Arcadia, Peloponnese, takes in the some of the most breathtaking scenery in Greece, and the certified guides from Trekking Hellas will help you through the spectacular gorges, mountains, rivers and valleys of this special region.
Apr - Nov
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WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Based on 4 reviews
I will help you on this 7-day self-guided hike along the Menalon Trail in Arcadia, Peloponnese, where not only will we be exposed to the raw natural beauty of the mountains, rivers, gorges and valleys that dot the Greek countryside, but we will also learn more about the ancient villages, towns and ruins that we encounter along the way.
The Menalon Trail is located in the Greek region of Arcadia, in the central Peloponnese, an area renowned for its dramatic landscapes, historic ruins and monuments, and its importance in Greek history and mythology. The trail itself is the largest organized path in the country.
Our adventure begins in the village of Stemnitsa, where all general information and safety briefings will be dispensed before we tackle the trail.
We hit the trail on day 2, as we head to our first overnight stop of Dimitsana via the truly spectacular, towering and majestic Lousios Gorge.
The subsequent 2 days are full to the brim with hiking and culture, as we traipse and travail through vast tracts of forest, huge and endless fields, jaw-dropping ravines and a wide array of gorgeous and mesmerizing rivers and waterways.
Some of the villages and towns we encounter include Zigovisti, a significant location of the Greek Independence War, the mountain settlement of Elati, and the stunning small settlement of Nymfasia high up in the mountains.
The last 2 days of hiking entails yet more mountain paths with epic views out over the scenery and terrain, with frequent stops at waterways and interesting cultural relics such as monasteries, churches and ruins.
The 6th day is spent going from the mountain village of Valtetsiniko to our final destination of Lagadia, with the abundance of tranquil, peaceful and idyllic scenery surrounding us on this last hike.
We then say our goodbyes on the 7th day in Valtetsiniko, weary yet happy at having hiked through a truly magnificent and exquisite part of Greece.
Book now to experience the best natural scenery Greece has to offer, whilst learning about its fascinating past!
To explore a different part of Greece, try our 5-day Self-guided trek along the E4 Trail to the top of Mount Taygetus (2,404m), Peloponnese, here!
- Accommodation included
- Guiding fee
- Luggage transfer
Accommodation in double rooms with breakfast
Lunch box x 5 days with local homemade products
Luggage Transfer from hotel to hotel throughout the trip
Map of Mainalo Trail
Welcome briefing in Stemnitsa and support emergency service
Price does not include:
Dinners, arrival transport to Stemnitsa and from Laggadia, and trekking Hellas guide.
Secure your spot with just 25% payment
48-hour free cancellation with 30-day advance booking
Arrive to Stemnitsa and settle to your hotel. A local representative meets you in order to brief you and give you all the necessary material for your tour.
From Stemnitsa, the village of goldsmiths and headquarters for the Peloponnesians Senate in 1821 we cross the famous Lousios Gorge to get to Dimitsana.
En route, we cross old farmlands pass through the church of the Transfiguration of Christ and admire the view of Lousios gorge before going into the paved path that leads to the Prodromos Monastery, nested right on the gorge’s walls, with a fountain in its courtyard (open every day, closes at noon). We continue to the Old Philosophou Monastery dating to 963 and then to the New Philosophou Monastery founded in 1691. Afterwards, via an old mule track, we traverse to Dimitsana passing through interesting bridges, heading towards the Open Air Water-Power Museum famous for its mills that in the past creates the wealth of Dimitsana.
The section Dimitsana-Zigovisti ascends from the Lousios valley to the outskirts of the fir forest. The trail head starts in Dimitsana and passes next to important historical buildings. Heading out from the settlement, we take the footpath that ascends gently and arrives on the first plateau, intersecting a dirt road and the church of St. Paraskevi. This location offers splendid views of the median basin of Lousios river with the settlements of Dimitsana,
Paliochori and Zatouna standing out in the wooded landscape.
The route to Zigovisti follows a succession of footpaths and dirt roads winding a plain of old fields, passing by the small monastery of St. Apostoli. The paved path heading to Zigovisti meanders through a long array of the big threshing floor. Just after passing through the Immortals Memorial, the guard of Theodore Kolokotronis, leader of the 1821 Independence War, we enter the center of Zigovisti. The memory of the battles, the sacrifices and the heroes of the Greek independence war of 1821 have imbued this small yet historically significant village with a great sense of patriotic pride.
The Zigovisti – Elati section straddles the Western Menalon massif. The trail heads through a beautiful ravine continues through a crooked dirt road and an artificially reinforced footpath to the Bourniades Spring. We then smoothly ascend to Bilali Pass, an important node of old paths that connected Radou and Stemnitsa. From Bilali Pass we ascend to the saddle between Pliovouni and Fragovouni (short cut leading to the peak of Pliovouni 1,643 meters, the highest peak of this route). Then following a steep path we enter Vlachika Plateau and follow the path to the mountain settlement of Elati.
The route descends from Elati to the riverbed of the Milaon River, where it meets the obvious pathway situated on the banks. Following the well waymarked trail (parts paved, parts plain path) we pass by the big water drilling rig of the Pirgaki Springs (that supplies Vytina with water) and then the stone built Makrinou Fountain. We enter for 970 meters a dirt road wending to the place name Ellinika, under the hill where the Acropolis of the antique city Methydrion was located. Hiking under the main road linking Vytina to Dimitsana we follow the nice, old mule track to Vytina. This part is the richest section of the route; moving across Milaon River in high riparian vegetation of plane trees and passing by three consecutive abandoned watermills.
After resting and provisioning, we leave Vytina and continue on the route leading to Nymphasia through the Old Vytina footpath that leads to Mavra Litharia, a massive limestone boulder in the riverbed of Milaon River, that the stream cut in half creating a short yet impressive gorge. We then start descending to Tzavarenas’ bridge, a solid stone bridge that secured the connection between Vytina with the western Gortynian villages. The path gains altitude in a unique rocky landscape made of flysch covered with shrubs, reaching an altitude of 880 meters and wending horizontally towards Nymphasia, a small yet lively satellite of Vytina.
We enter a pleasant oak wood, to the trailhead that heads downhill to cross the Kernitsa Bridge, from where the trail ascends to the Kernitsas Monastery, a big monastic complex nested in an impressive monolith boulder. Following a combination of footpaths and dirt roads, we cross a dense fir forest and arrive at Sfyrida Hermitage, a nice place to rest with a spring. From Sfyrida (1,000 m.) we ascend through the forest straight until the intersection for Lasta (alt. 1,250 m.), from here we take a southern direction and traverse the foot of the long steep slope of Kastro. This horizontal trail continues on an old pathway. After passing the Gavros Spring, we enter the small settlement of Magouliana.
We walk across Magouliana through small roads and arrive to the saddle west of the village, where an intersection to Lasta is located, a point of splendid views, surrounded by stone built threshing floors. We descend toward the old sanatorium, known as the Mana Sanatorium, through small footpaths and small roads and reach the intersection of two asphalt roads across the church St. Pantes. The route leads down toward the valley along a small river and continues parallel to the riverbed direction through footpaths and small roads until the junction with another small river and a concrete bridge. The route continues to the left bank entering Kaminia, a nice small inner basin, tucked away at the foot of Valtesiniko. A good path, that was once paved, ascends to the mountain village of Valtesiniko (the village of woodcarvers).
From Valtesiniko square, we pass by the impressive stone built school and access the upper peripheral road of the village, from here the view overlooks all the northern plains.
We gain altitude from the footpath and the cement road up to 1,250 meters, where the footpath becomes clearer and runs along the ridge where the Byzantine fortress of Valtesiniko is nested.
We descend to the small country church St. Triada through open landscapes and stunning views. The next part of the route traverses an extensive fir forest through a series of artificially widened paths. After a short detour for the spring at the location Grias to Lithari, we gain some altitude before going down again near Kria Vrisi fountain from where the path ascends smoothly to the saddle and asphalt road. We follow the small forest road through a wooded ridge to the place named Elatakos to the great Grilas meadow, with walnut trees, threshing floors and huts. On the western edge of this zone, we see Lagkadia Passing by the small Koubliza Spring and the impressive complex of Rapi Watermills. We enter Lagkadia (the village of the stone builders) and conclude the Menalon Trail to the war memorial.
Depart from Lagadia.
The program begins in the village of Stemnitsa which can be reached either via Kalamata International Airport (78 km / 1 hour and 30 minutes) or Athens International Airport (226 km / 2 hours and 40 minutes) and ends in the village of Laggadia. If you wish transfer from the airports please contact us.
What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?
Trekking Hellas is the largest and most renowned tour operator in Greece, in the outdoor holidays area. For over 33 years, we have been providing high quality services for individuals and groups, offering unique adventures in the most beautiful locations in the country, with highly qualified guides.
The variety of activities in offer is huge, from sea kayaking, hiking and rafting, to biking, via ferrata, rock climbing or gastronomy tours, among many others.
We operate 12 bases all over Greece, with different activities. The personnel in each base has the required qualifications to guide the specific activities we operate: eg. for hiking at low altitudes we work with experienced mountain guides with degrees from mountaineering associations and from our own training school; for sea kayaking we require the BCU certificate.
We contribute to the sustainable rural development by supporting local communities and offering work opportunities to their inhabitants, and the global effort to reduce over-tourism. We strongly embrace and implement a socially and environmentally responsible policy promoting the protection of nature and environmental awareness.
Our network makes it possible to offer and operate at the highest standards a variety of activities all over the country, in classic touristy destinations (Santorini, Athens, Crete, Rhodes, etc.) and less known regions of Greece (Tzoumerka, Karpenisi etc.).
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Our first time with Explore-Share. An absolutely fantastic experience from start to finish. Extremely good value, very well organised with attention to detail. We travel widely and this has by far been the best of experiences. Well done to all concerned. We are already looking at booking another tri
Our first time with Explore-Share. An absolutely fantastic experience from start to finish. Extremely good value, very well organised with attention to detail. We travel widely and this has by far been the best of experiences. Well done to all concerned. We are already looking at booking another trip!
Menalon Trail Hike in Arcadia, Greece
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