In the middle of the summer temperature often is above 40 degrees. We though, decided, instead of going directly at the beach, to ride routes of mountain Parnonas. So, the appointment was set for Doliana (180km from Athens) at Giorgo’s, Viky’s and their youngest member of the family Kostas, place.
We arrived at 7 in the afternoon. This was the best time to enjoy Viky’s coffee from the balcony of “onirologio” with the superb view. We were sitting there until late discussing on their new activity: wonderful handmade things from old stuff and rubbish. They call their laboratory “Do not throw away anything” and we definitely agree!
Next day around 12 we left Doliana village to ride along one of the best mountains in Peloponesse. Following direction to Dragouni we continued to the village of Saint Petros (16km). Saint Petros is a beautiful traditional village with two big churches in its center. We made a short stop there and we kept on riding through plantation of pines, planes and firs…perfect!
After 2 km we reached the crossroad for one of Parnona’s shelters (Arnomousga location) at 1420m height. We decided to go there (1,5km) and we were lucky enough to find it open. One employee informed us about the activities one can take during the stay. It is worth visiting for a couple of days, but you should make reservations early.
About 4-5km further we turned left (be careful, there are no signs!) heading to Polidroso village (5km). It is known most as “Tzitzina”. It has beautiful stone houses and a traditional center with age-long planes, where at their shade one can enjoy meal or coffee. There is a hotel in the village too. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to rest for short, while temperature was reaching the highest point.
We left heading south. After 5-6km we found a spent plantation probably from the fires of 2007, and some (10-15) km further we arrived at Geraki village. This is known for its Byzantine castle, hung on a bold rock. From this point and on we could see only olive trees and short vegetation. We kept on to Alepochori (8km) and Saint Dimitrio (13km) where we found the signs to Kremasti and Kiparissi villages. The road was narrow, tortuous of medium quality. Just before Kremasti we turned to Haraka village.
After Haraka,an impressive route (of 6-8km length) is starting that leads to Kiparissi and its coastal settlements Paralia and Mitropoli. This narrow road is climbing the rocks of mountain Hionovouni. The view when reaching the end of the land is breathtaking! It gives you the impression of flying above Aegean Sea. It was definitely a surprise for me.
Finally we arrived at Paralia following the descent tortuous road. White houses with deep blue windows and a small port gave us the impression of being in an Aegean island. We ended up on a beach where we camped. We had though a strange sensation because the place was full of luxury cars and yachts. Anyway the place is surly a special tourist destination. Staying awake till late, we enjoyed some relaxing moments, the sea and the view of the lighted Paralia …
Our last night’s calculations on the spot of setting up our tent turned to be perfect, so the sun came up relatively late and we enjoyed our sleep. Before leaving the place, we had our coffee and breakfast at Paralia. Around 11 we headed south riding through a dry aria.
We crossed through Lampokampos and Richia and around 40km later we passed Gerakas village. After 2km we found the crossroad for the port of Gerakas, the only fiord of Greece!! It is a formulation, not easily recognizable when close but impressive when watched far off and a favorite sailing destination.
We stopped there, not for long, and we continued for Kalamata (around 150km) through the beautiful and mountainous Taygetos road. Until Sparta the road was not that interesting, compared to what we had seen that far.
The east part of Lakonia district is a very interesting destination with particular sceneries. Because of the fact that roads are not in a very good shape, it might be tiring for 1day tour having Athens as basis. I would personally suggest a 2day get away that, in combination with mountain Parnonas, will satisfy even the most demanding traveller.