That sunny Saturday morning gave to me and Giorgos Z. the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee by the sea at Nafplio. The outstanding view of the Bourtzi Castle was not good enough to keep us from “sally fourth”. In a short period of time, we decided to visit Parnonas, and end up to Ano Doliana, where we were going to meet Vaggelis.
We followed the coast line through Nea Kios and Myloi and then to the crossroad (13 km) for “Astros-Leonidio”. From that point a tortuous road begins offering a panoramic view of Argolida bay. After the village Kiverio, we made a short stop at the irrigation station which supplies water (for the last 40 years) the whole area of Argolida, using the fresh water that falls into the sea! Really impressing!
About 40 km further, we reached Astros, searching for the road that will lead us up to the mountain of Parnonas. Unfortunately the road signs are not very informing, so we were driving around for a while. Finally, we found out that the road we were looking for is passing in front of the town’s medical center.
This deserted and narrow road that climbs up the mountain is a moderate quality one and needs extra attention. We passed Haradro and then we made a stop the point of “Spilia-Rema” and followed by feet a path that leads you to a magnificent place. The river there creates many small sized lakes and the result is simply amazing!
Later, we drove a few kilometres and we met the village Sitena. The stone-houses and the alleys paved with slabs give a special charm to this small village.
As the altitude was getting higher, we visited the next village, Kastanitsa. I was there again a couple of years ago. Some people say that Kastanitsa is the Myconos (the famous Greek island) of the winter. It got its name because of the plenty of chestnuts in the area (kastanitsa=small chestnut). The place is excellent for hiking. About 2 hours walking leads you to Prastos.
We left Kastanitsa behind and saw the first firs and the first… snow! The view was a lot alike central Europe! Many spots of the road were covered by snow, leaving just narrow lanes for us to move on! The view was spectacular, giving us the chance to stop all the time for taking photos.
After 6-7 km, we turned on the crossroad for Agios Petros. We made about 15 km in the forest and continued for the monastery of Malevi. This road is leading to Astros, so we took the road back again to Agios Petros and followed the way for Ano Doliana. There, of course, we visited our friends Giorgos and Vicky at the stylish café. Vaggelis, also, was waiting there for us. We rest for a while, enjoying our coffee and the view. Around 6.00 pm we departed for Nafplio. At first, we thought to take the way through Kolosourtis. George suggested going through Eleohori and Andritsa. “It’s a beautiful route, you will enjoy it…” he said. And he was right.
We took the main road for Astros; 9 km later we found Eleohori and continued for Argos. The sunset, the colors of the sky were amazing. At Andritsa we thought we could visit the local train station. It’s unused for a long period due to reconstruction. The picture of the empty stone-made station is a little melancholic…
We continued the road next to rails and the river Xavrios. We passed a lot of bridges, many of them reconstructed, but you can still see some stone-made part of the arches. Like the way they used to be. After 13 km we were back on the main road again. We also saw the famous restaurant “Adramis”. Before the construction of the new national road Korinthos-Tripoli, it was the No 1 choice for a good meal.
We reached Nafplio at 7.30 in the afternoon and spent some time wondering, once more, at the picturesque alleys of the old town.
Of course, our last stop was Neo Roeno, where Giorgos Z. had to show us again his touch of a professional griller! I’m keep thinking that the peninsula of Peloponnesus still has a lot to explore, every time I visit it offers me something new…