Easter’s days off constituted a good occasion for us to make a moto-excursion. With relatively brief processes the appointment was arranged in Kalamata, where we spent the night. Our aim was to wander in the S.E.of Peloponnese and specifically in two of the most known mountains: Taygetos and the Parnonas.
Monday morning we started our ride following the national network Kalamata – Sparti that crosses part of Taygetos. The bloomed nature along the way could impress even the more demanding visitor. Having covered roughly 30km from the capital of Messinia and after we had passed the village of Artemisia -, we met the crossroad with relatively good tarmac, leading towards "Neohori, Georgitsi, etc"
The narrow way led to Georgitsi (22km.). Riding along the ridge of the mountain. Initially we met parts of Taygetos that had been affected by devastating fires. In some points however, the view changed… the way continued in a dense forest from wild pines and firs. The altitude is at 1.300m. Covering roughly 15km, we met the sign that led us to Georgitsi (7km), via a passage at 1.450m. The view was amazing!
Riding to a downhill helical way, we entered in the graphic village of Georgitsi heading for the central square. There is located the church of St. Athanasios next to two tall plane trees. We enjoyed our coffee and further discuss our next route.
We left Georgitsi with a plan to we move to the west, to the mountain Parnonas. Continuing, therefore, in the wooded way –after 5-6km- we entered the Kastoreio that owes its name to the river Kastor. On the way in this very beautiful and graphic village there is a bridge. There we followed a narrow stone street in order to reach the beginning of path that leads in various sightings the region: in the green lake, the springs of Kastor river and others. The location is amazing and full of plane trees, next to the waters of Kastor River.
After a short stop, we continued in the village –that personally impressed me- up to the crossroad that led to "Koniditsa, Sellasia", where we turned left (attention the sign is hardly visible…). Via a narrow provincial street (17km.), almost indifferent, we ride to a region full of olive trees, meeting the villages Koniditsa and Sellasia. On the left we could see the impressive mountainous size of Taygetos, with snowy summits…
A little after Sellasia, the provincial road is cut with the national network Sparti – Tripolis. We turned left towards Tripolis. In less than 1 km, we found ourselves in the crossroad for "Vresthena and Vamvakou". We followed once again one still provincial road, through Parnona. Following the labeling for Vresthena, we moved in a region with pine trees. As the altitude was increased, the vegetation was becoming even more impressive, together with streams of crystal waters, running along the way!
In the beautiful and with the comfortable turns, way towards Karies (32km.), we crossed the graphic villages Vresthena, Megali Vrysi and Vamvakou, with the traditional architecture of stone houses. Several times we stopped for photographs in points with beautiful view, such as springs with running water…
In Karies, we followed the labeling for Agios Petros village. However, before we leave this village we visited the over aged plane trees, of Menelaus! In the courtyard space of a small church, lie 3 enormous plane trees that can fit each 3-4 persons in their hollows! Really impressive!!!
We continued to Agios Petros (9km), Kastri (5km), Mesorrahi (3km), Dragoni (5km), crossing a region with rich vegetation of pine trees, chestnut trees and plane trees. We ended up to Ano Doliana, and as it was expected, we visited our dear friends, George & Vicki, at their neat coffee place, called “Onirologio” (dream words, in a way). It was the best option for an afternoon coffee, accompanied from traditionally, homemade sweets.
Coincidentally, we received a call from Giannis and Ioanna (coming from Mystra, near Sparti), asking information about Ano Doliana…not knowing that we were already there!!! After half an hour, all together we sat, and enjoyed the sunset with a view to the foot of Parnona… a pleasant surprise for all of us and a chance to get together.
The time was almost 7 pm. We decided to say goodbye to our friends and we to depart for Nafplio, where we shall spent the night. Continuing in the philosophy, we followed once again a secondary provincial network for Nafplio. Thus riding initially towards the Paralio Astros, to the junction for Eleohori we turned left.
The empty narrow way (17km.) passed from 2-3 small villages. Very impressive was the view to the mountain Artemisio, we could see its peaks, Partheni & Paravounaki. Somewhere far was distinguished the old national road, Kolosourtis (road from Argos to Tripolis). In front of us unfolded the plain of Ahladokampos. It is worthy to mention that the name is not derived from the pears (ahladia, in Greek); it is reported, that the name came from the address "Ah! Elaeokampe « that led to the «Ahladokampe"…
With the sun setting, we reached at the beautiful Nafplio…the colors of sunset gave us a special view of the Bourtzi and in the old part of city. Facing this view, we confirmed our decision to sleep over at Nafplio, specifically at the home of hospitable George Z. The evening past very pleasantly with conversation about our trip and plans for our next excursions…