Hiking in Skiritida Forest
About The Place
Arcadia, nestled in the heart of Greece, is a region renowned for its captivating landscape and rich historical significance. The name “Arcadia” itself evokes images of natural beauty and tranquility.
Arcadia boasts a diverse and striking landscape. It is characterized by lush green valleys, dense forests, and towering mountain ranges, most notably the Mainalon and Parnon Mountains. The region is crisscrossed by pristine rivers, including the Alpheus and Ladon, which flow through picturesque gorges and create fertile plains. Arcadia’s forests are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including centuries-old oaks, chestnut trees, and indigenous wildlife. The pastoral, idyllic setting of the region has earned it the reputation of being the archetype of an earthly paradise.
In antiquity, Arcadia was often romanticized in Greek literature as a pastoral utopia. It was the birthplace of the god Pan, and its mythological and historical significance is deeply woven into Greek culture. The region was inhabited by the Arcadian people, known for their rugged independence and love for the outdoors. It was a key player in the Greek War of Independence in the 19th century, with notable battles fought in its rugged terrain. Today, the remnants of ancient Arcadian cities, like Tegea and Mantineia, stand as archaeological treasures, bearing witness to its rich history.
Arcadia’s combination of breathtaking natural beauty and historical depth makes it a destination that encapsulates the essence of Greece’s cultural and geographical diversity, all in one enchanting region.
- 8 hours
Skiritida Forest stands as a testament to the harmonious collaboration between humanity and nature. Nestled in the southern region of Arcadia, this forest, once home to centuries-old oaks, remained untouched until the era of the Greek Revolution in 1821 when devastating forest fires left their mark. However, in the early 20th century, local villagers embarked on a gradual reforestation effort, reintroducing black pine and chestnut trees to restore the forest’s former glory. Thanks to the dedication of these locals, a model forest now spans over 5,000 hectares , preserving a thriving ecosystem.
The hiking commences from Vlachokerasia, and this is not an age-old route used for village-to-village connections but a newly established path meticulously designed to provide visitors with a captivating experience of this breathtaking landscape. As visitors tread through dense foliage, they will encounter remnants of old watermills and traverse rivers and tributaries, which ultimately form the Evrota river, meandering through an 80-kilometer course before merging into the Laconic Gulf.
The trail offers a kaleidoscope of landscapes, transitioning from the dark embrace of the black pine forest to lush groves of plane, oak, willow, and hornbeam trees, all along the soothing murmur of flowing water. Small waterfalls and tranquil ponds embellish this idyllic setting. In a few segments, where the canopy overhead becomes thick, a touch of climbing is required, adding a mildly athletic dimension to the path. Upon reaching Melissi (Bee’s) Spring, visitors can pause for respite and savor the cool, fresh water.
An ascending rural road leads to the picturesque Prophet Ilias Chapel, offering a panoramic view of the mountainous Peloponnese. In less than 20 minutes from this point, one can reach Vlachokerasia village, complete with guesthouses, taverns, and a stone church graced by a lofty bell tower.
- Total Activity Duration: 7-8 hours
- Altitude Difference: +/- 450 meters
- Route Length: 14 kilometers – circular, comprising 4 kilometers through dense forest, 6 kilometers along river and tributaries, and 4 kilometers of rural road.
- Given the weather-dependent nature of many activities, it’s advisable to contact the company before embarking on your adventure.
- Arriving at the meeting point at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time is a prudent practice.
- Following your reservation, simply furnish your details to the collaborating company to facilitate the activity, though carrying a digital or printed booking confirmation is recommended.
- Carefully review the activity’s benefits to avoid potential extra charges associated with additional optional services.
- Familiarize yourself with the cancellation policy before confirming your booking to prevent any unforeseen inconveniences.
Difficulty Level : Moderate
What to Bring
Hiking shoes (necessary condition)
Second pair of shoes and clothes for the end of the hike (they may get wet)
Windproof & Waterproof Jacket
Hiking poles (optional)
Clothes suitable for the season
Water, at least 1.5 liters
Foods (snacks, fruits, nuts, etc.)
Experienced Mountain Guide
- Minimum age 10+ years
- Spoken Languages English, Greek
- Starting Time 09:00
- Ending Time 17:00
Cancellation Policy - Flexible
- Whenever you cancel 4 days or earlier than the confirmed activity starting date, your fee will be refunded for the entire activity charge.
- In case of cancellation within 48 and 96 hours before the scheduled activity starting date, you'll get 50% reimbursed.
- Those who cancel 48 hours or beyond are considered last-minute cancellations. There will be no refunds