Category Archives: Peloponnese

Veltesiniko Arkadias

Visited this village in Arcadia situated between Vytina (Βυτίνα) and Lagadia (Λανγάδια) for a trail race held in September 2015.

Arkadon Poimenon Race

Arkadon Poimenon Race of 2015

It takes about 2 hours and half drive from Athens. After passing Vytina, you turn right at a sign saying “Valtesiniko” and continue about 15 min.

We thought it was called Βαλτεσίνικο, but it was actually Βαλτεσινίκο the accent falling on the latter i.

Valtesiniko

Village of Valtesiniko

There are some attractive stone made buildings, but maybe not as attractive as some Arcadian villages like Stemnitsa.

I do not know the official number of inhabitants. The landlady of our B&B said it should be about 300.  We saw a post office and KEP (public service office), but not bank.

There is some tourist activities, especially in the winter season, as Mainalo Ski Centre is not far. There are 4 or 5 hotels/B&B in and around the village.

Tower Building in Valtesiniko

Tower Building in Valtesiniko, now used as a luxury pension

Another activity you can enjoy here is trekking. Valtesiniko is one of the bases of Menalon Trail ( http://menalontrail.eu/ ).

Menalon Trail Map

Menalon Trail Map

There are two tavernas in the central (lower) square of the village. One is called Vasilikos and the other one called Klimataria.

Taverna Vasilikos (Valtesiniko)

Taverna Vasilikos (Valtesiniko)

Valtesiniko itself does not have any monument of note. Agios Nikolaos in the vicinity is well worth a visit (abandoned, but was open for visitors).

Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos near Valtesiniko

Beaches near Gytheio

Mavrovouni Beach

Mavrovouni is a village on the south side of Gytheio and it has a very long sandy beach. There are many cafeterias and camping sites that offer “free” beach beds, if you buy coffees or drinks. Most of these offer at least some snacks and you can have a full meal if it the establishment is taverna.

Mavrovouni Beach

Mavrovouni Beach

The village itself might be 2 KM away from Gytheio, but to have access to the beach, you would need a car especially if you go to the other end of the beach.

It has relatively grainy sands.

Sand of Mavrovouni Beach

Sand of Mavrovouni Beach

The water was rather warm. I did not see many fish while snorkeling.

Selinitsa Beach

Selinitsa Beach is about 2 KM away from Gytheio toward north. It has 3 or 4 beach bars that offers “free” sun beds.

Selinitsa Beach

Selinitsa Beach

The beach is made of grainy sands and pebbles.

Sands of Selinitsa Beach

Sands of Selinitsa Beach

Water is normally warm, but there are points that cold streams run into. I saw many fish while snorkeling. This was our favourite beach during our stay in Gytheio.

Skoutari Agia Varvara Beach

Skoutari is a village about 12-13 KM from Gytheio and has two beaches. We went to the one called Agia Varvara. It has a small charch of Saint Barbara and a taverna, which serves coffees and food, but not parasols or beach beds.

Skoutari Agia Varvara Beach

Skoutari Agia Varvara Beach

Agia Varvara Church, Skoutari

Agia Varvara Church, Skoutari

The sands of beach are very fine. I did not see many fish while snorkeling.

Sand of Agia Varvara Beach

Sand of Agia Varvara Beach

Kotronas Beach

Kotronas is a village about 20 KM away from Gytheio toward south. The beach is rather small. There is a cafeteria-restaurant called En Plo which offers about 10 “free” parasols and sun beds. However, as they are so few that you’d better bring your own parasol, if you cannot do without it.

Kotronas Beach

Kotronas Beach

Sands of the beach are very fine. The bay is quite shallow and ideal for small children. The water gets quite warm.

Kotronas Beach

Kotronas Beach

I did not like the water near the beach, but when I swam out a bit, the water was clear and cool enough.

Doxa Lake and Saint George’s Monastery

Doxa lake is situated near the ancient Feneos. Although an artificial lake, it is beautiful nevertheless, surrounded by mountains.

If you are coming from Trikala Korinthias, it is about 40 to 45 minutes drive away. It does not look much on map, but you have to drive around Killini Mountain to arrive here.

Doxa Lake

Doxa Lake

Thanks to the presence of water, the vegetation is very rich and there are plenty of pine, oak, and fir trees.

Doxa Lake

Doxa Lake

A herd of goats led by a shepherd and his dogs.

Goats and Shepherd

Goats and Shepherd

I saw many dragonflies, but it was difficult to photograph. This one came out relatively well. There were small ones like this an much large ones.

Dragonfly of Doxa Lake

Dragonfly of Doxa Lake

In the middle of the lake a small chapel of St. Phanourios is standing. There is not much to see inside, but it makes a picturesque presence.

Chapel of Saint Phanourios

Chapel of Saint Phanourios, Doxa Lake

On the other hand, it is worth visiting the Monastery of Saint George, just up a slope from the lake.

Monastery of Saint George

Monastery of Saint George with its characteristic balcony overlooking the lake

The church of St. George was constructed in the 18th century. There is a characteristic balcony toward the lake and the visitors can enjoy the view.

The monastery is literally full of roses and their smell was overwhelming when we visited there in early June.

Saint George and Roses

Icon of Saint George surrounded by red roses

The monks offer spoon sweets made from roses to the visitors. It is so beautifully aromatic that almost everyone buy a jar or two to bring home.

Old Parliament Building, Nafplio

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While Nafplio was the capital of Greece, this building was used as a parliament between 1827 and 34.

Old Parliament

Old Parliament Building

As you can guess from its shape, it was built as a mosque. It seems to be built in the same period in which the mosque in the Constitution Square was bulit (it is now used as a cinema).

Old Parliament Build.ing

Old Parliament Build.ing

Old Parliament Build.ing

Building seen from the north side

Old Parliament Build.ing

The building was restored in ’90s.

Old Parliament Build.ing

Muslim architectural element on the facade

Now it is used as an event space. When we visited here in autumn 2014, a representative of SYRIZA was scheduled to speak and we had a chance to take a peek at inside.

Old Parliament Build.ing

Inside the building

Reference

  • Robin Barber, Greece (Blue Guide), London- N.Y. 2001 (Revised reprint of the 6th edition of 1995), pp. 235.
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Palamidi, Nafplio

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Fortress of Palamidi was built on a hill overlooking the town of Nafplio.

Palamidi, Nafplio

Palamidi, Nafplio

The construction was conducted between 1711 and 1715, started by the Venetian Governor Agostino Sagredo with La Salle (or Lasalle) as architect using the design made by Antonio Giancix, but fell to the Ottomans in 1715 before or shortly after the completion.

To reach the entrance to the site, there are 2 options. One is to climb 800 and more steps from the bottom and the other is to climb with a car up to the car park in front of the Bastion of Epameinondas. In 2014, ticket costs 4 Euro.

Bastion of Epameinondas and Car park

Bastion of Epameinondas and Car park

The stairs that are now used by the visitors are constructed in the era of King Othon. The original covered staircase is preserved, but not accessible to the visitors.

Stairs of Palamidi

Stairs of Palamidi

The fortress is a huge construction with 8 bastions. If you are not sure to visit only the Bastion of St. Andreas (San Girardo), you’d better count at least 1 hour to wander around the site.

Aerial Photo of the Site

Aerial Photo of the Site (taken from the information board in the site).

Theodoros Kolokotroni was once incarcerated here. It is now one of the best attractions of the fortress.

Kolokotroni's Prison

Kolokotroni’s Prison. The hole in the left bottom is the entrance.

Kolokotroni's Prison

Kolokotroni’s Prison: the cell seen from the entrance.

Reference

  • Robin Barber, Greece (Blue Guide), London- N.Y. 2001 (Revised reprint of the 6th edition of 1995), pp. 236-237.
  • Pamphlet “The Fortress of Palamidi”, Archaeological Receipts Fund 2012.
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Some more photos from the Fortress.

View of Nafplio from Palamidi

View of Nafplio from Palamidi

Bastion of St. Andreas, Palamidi

Bastion of St. Andreas, Palamidi

Palamidi, Nafplio

Palamidi, Nafplio

Palamidi, Nafplio

Palamidi, Nafplio

Palamidi, Nafplio

Palamidi, Nafplio

Palamidi, Nafplio

Palamidi, Nafplio

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