Arcadia is a closed land in the Peloponnese, all mountains and high peaks with large fir forests and lush vegetation.
An unspoiled land, little known, full of surprises, truly bewitching.
On the eastern coast it is washed by the gulf of Argos and the Mirtoo sea.
Here and there the sea has carved fantastic bays and peninsula out of the land.
In fact, whoever roams through Arcadia today will get to know a part of the country that has remained virtually unchanged since antiquity.
Arcadia is a natural wonderland whose mountain dwellers have preserved it intact up to todayThe Mountains of Arcadia
Tripolis is the capital of the prefecture.
Built in the center of a wooded plateau, it is one of the most important agricultural, commercial and transportation hubs in the PeloponneseMantinis, Tegea, Pallation, Assea, Orhomenos, ancient Arcadian cities. Ruined walls, theatres, public buildings.
Stemnitsa (alt. 1.100 m.) Old stone houses, Byzantine churches, little cafes and taverns, a lovely folk museum, the scenery greener than green.
Dimitsana (alt. 1000 m.), cobbled lanes, wooden balconies, tiled roofs.
A respect for local architectural tradition, an impressive library and folk art museum. Churches and gunpowder mills.
Loutra Iraias, forests of pine and fir. Hot springs. Ruins of ancient Heraia on the hillside.
Vitina (alt. 1060 m.). More fig trees and fresh air.
A wonderful climate. Beautiful countryside and running brooks. A park for walks. Traditional cooking. Here everyone seems to be occupied in wood carving.
There are carved objects in original shapes and styles in the shop windows, ad every church has its own magnificently worked icon screen.
Magculiana (alt. 1.247 m.). Its old stone houses with red tiled roofs dusted with frost on a winter afternoon.
A landscape that legends are made of. A Byzantine castle overlooks the village.
To your left Lagadia with its impressive old mansions and venerable churches.
The Land of Arcadia
Leonidion, sea and lush plain. Old mansions with courtyards and high walled gardens. Houses with symmetrical windows and skylights.
Artfully designed chimneys. Painted shutters. Decorated doorways. Stately houses with wood-panelled floors and moulded ceilings.
As you stroll around you feel tradition coming alive with your every step in this lovely town. Holy Saturday in Leonidion. The bells toll in a festive way.
Fire crackers hiss and bang in the streets nonstop. “Judas” figures burn outside the churches. Noise, commotion. Lights are carried from one neighborhood to another.
The skies aglow with the beams of countless lanterns. On Easter Sunday the festivities reach their peak. Roast meat, wine, sweets, fritters, offered free to all comers. Locals and strangers. A gesture of traditional gentility.
Leonidion. Nobility, sunshine, gardens loveliness and generosity. Further on there’s Plaka, a charming little port with a pebbly beach. Shining next to the sea.
To the south, Peulithra, with its old stone houses and marvellous beaches.
To the north, little bays. Sabatiki, Livadi quaint unforgettable fishing hamlets. Tiros beach. An enormous expanse of sand and gleaming pebbles. Relaxation and warmth. Just above it the beach of Agios Andreas, Dazzing azure seas. Fishing caiques and taverns.
Sky, sea and land in endless serenity. Paralio Astros, White on a green and blue background. A verse from a poem. Blue and the slap of oars on the water. Shady trees and “tavernoules”. The sweet smell of grilling octopus. A fisherman is untangling his net on the wharf.
From here the road branches off to the mountains, Mt. Parnon. The drive is exciting, the countryside wild and unspoilt. Tiny villages, farmhouses. Platanos, Prastos, Agios Petros.
Cottages, manor houses towers and monasteries. The monasteries of Loukou, Elonas, Palaiopanagia Eortakousti, Karia, John the Forerunner. Awesome, silent and strangely comforting. Lighted candles and faint frescoes.