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Taigetos mountain - Veria - Parnonas mountain - Kastanitsa - Astros - Ano Doliana

Trip Details

Trips inside Peloponissos
Date: Fri, 21/04/2006
Distance: 318 km
Motorcyclists: Manolis, Sakis
Photographers: Manolis
Authors: Manolis
Translators: Sakis
Map: Trip map
Photographs: Link

Sightseeing map

We were in Mesinia, 20km., west of Kalamata, at the area of Gouves. We believed that it was a good chance to visit the mountain of Parnonas, which is found at the north of Sparti. We were informed for a very pictorial village by the name of “Kastanitsa”and also for an astonishing way in the forest.
We departed about 10.30am., with direction the city of Sparti, through the route Kalamata – Sparti and the mountain of Taigetos. It is about a marvelous way inside the forest, with fantastic scenery and second-class roadway, with many turns. At the way, you will meet many springs with running water from the mountain. After the village of Artemisia, next to tavern-cafe, there is a construction that uses the water for the movement of a small mill. It deserves to see it!
The specific way reaches the 1.300m altitude, where there is a guest house and a wooden cafe, with a fantastic panoramic view. At that point, we decided to drink the first coffee of the day next to the trees and with the sunny weather that reminded of the summer. We had the chance to chat with a company of Austrian bikers that headed to Monemvasia. They told us that the area of Taigetos, looks like a lot, with the countryside of their country. The time was passing, but we tried to find excuses not to leave.
Finally we started and about 2.00pm., we were in a gas station to fill up our tanks, near Sparti. As we followed the signs to Tripoli, we entered the national road of Sparti – Tripoli. We checked the map and realized that there were many ways leading to the village of Kastanitsa. The first way is through the villages of Chrisafa – Agrianon, but it is indicated for the fellow bikers that have enduro bikes. We preferred another way, through the villages of Vasara – Veria. So we left the national road and followed the road to Vasara –the crossroad is found 11km outside Sparti-, a narrow road, with many turns and good roadway. There was no traffic, a fact that gave us the chance to “play” with our bikes, next to a spring landscape!
When we reached the small village of Vasara, we followed the sign to the village of Veria. From that point, the road was blasted, for that reason it needs attention. We managed to reach the small village that at its entrance there are springs. We followed the only road of the village , passing by traditional houses that were built of stone. We left the village and for the next 4-5 km the road was still bad, until we found the first crossroad and followed the direction to the village of Vamvakou.
From that point we entered at a fantastic way inside nature and the altitude was all the time increasing. The trees were something between fir and pine. The landscape was really original, which made us forget what we had gone through to reach that place. At the second crossroad we followed the signs to Kastanitsa, while we continued to ride in higher altitude that we understood from the pain in our ears!
At some point we were at a place that was the limit between the county of Arkadia – Lakonia. We were at the altitude of 1523m., while you could see until the Argolic Gulf. The view was unique!!! We took a downhill way and soon we saw the village of Kastanitsa. Inside the green scenery, there were the white houses of the village. When we entered Kastanitsa, followed the sign to the square, in which the parking is forbidden. We overlook…
The village is very pictorial, with white stone houses and dark wooden doors and windows. Despite the tourist inflorescence that exists at the last years, it keeps its traditional architecture character. From the specific village come from a friend of the club Giorgia, which we had the chance to meet and gave us some information. Unfortunately the weather was becaming really bad and didn’t give us the opportunity to wander in the small alley and at the castle with the panoramic view.
We wore our waterproof while it started raining. From the village there are two ways out. The one leads to Agios Andreas (15km.) that abstains 8km from the town of Astros and the other goes direct to Astros through the villages of Sitena and Platanos (about 30km.) Despite the rain, we preferred the way through Sitena, as we were told that it was beautiful.
Until Sitena the road was narrow, but rather good. After Sitena, where there is a canyon, due to the weather we didn’t visit, the road is bad. For 5-6 kilometers it is almost blasted. At the village of Platanos we met the same conditions until the crossroad of Charadros. From that point the roadway was much better. After the area of Elliniko, we had the chance to enjoy the panoramic view. Just in front of us we could see Astros, while in the back round was the Paralio-Astros –you could even see its castle- and the Argolic Gulf. We stopped to take some photos, while we were in front of the bad weather. We took the road to Astros and after to Tripoli. This road is very good and easygoing so you will not discomfort to cover the 45km that separate the two cities.
For our bad luck, following that way we reached once again the bad weather! After the node of Agia Sophia, the rain was really strong, so we slow down our speed. Being at that area, we could not miss the opportunity to visit our hospitable friends George and Viki at the village of Ano Doliana and drink a "raki" (greek traditional drink) at their nice cafe called “Onirologio”. The village of Ano Doliana is found 20km from Tripoli. As we came from Astros, we turned just before the village of Rizes and followed a beautiful way of 9km and after we reached the graphic village.
The guys were really happy for our unexpected visit and treated us raki to warm, as we sat near the stove to dry. With the chat, the time was passing by and it was almost 7.00pm. The rain stopped and we decided to depart. We greeted our friends and started. Unfortunately, just before Tripoli, the rain started again and escorted us until Kalamata. The result was that the 80km. were covered in 2 hours!!!
Despite the unexpected change of the weather and the suffering at the end of the way, we had the best impression of the trip. The astonishing landscape and the beauty that we met at the mountain of Parnonas, rewarded us for all the trouble we gone through, due to the bad roads and the sudden bad weather! We suggest visiting the area in the summer. If you own enduro bikes, you will not have a problem! They told us that in the summer the roads are repaired at some point, but there are alternative ways to avoid some dirt roads. In any event we will visit the place again…