Hiking Oria Castle in Xirokambi
About The Place
Parnonas Mountain, located in the southeastern part of the Peloponnese Peninsula in Greece, is a remarkable geographical and ecological entity, characterized by its unique blend of biodiversity, rugged terrain, and historical significance. This mountain, which stretches across approximately 100 kilometers, offers visitors a diverse range of experiences, from lush forests to serene villages and ancient ruins.
At the heart of Parnonas, you’ll find the Parnonas National Park, established to protect and preserve its pristine ecosystems. The park boasts a variety of plant and animal species, including the endangered Greek fir tree (Abies cephalonica) and the elusive Eurasian lynx. Hiking and trekking enthusiasts will find an extensive network of well-maintained trails that wind through this captivating landscape, providing an opportunity to observe the flora and fauna up close.
The mountain’s highest peak, known as Ktenia, rises to 1,935 meters above sea level and is a challenging but rewarding ascent for seasoned hikers. From the summit, the views extend to the Aegean Sea, the Gulf of Laconia, and the surrounding valleys, creating a breathtaking panorama that’s especially spectacular at sunrise and sunset.
Parnonas is not only a haven for nature lovers but also a repository of history and culture. The region is dotted with ancient sites, including the picturesque village of Kosmas, where the imposing Church of Agia Sotira stands. The church’s frescoes and architectural features offer a glimpse into the Byzantine heritage of the area.
The traditional villages of Kastanitsa and Vamvakou are excellent examples of Parnonas’s well-preserved cultural identity. These settlements exude an authentic charm, featuring stone houses, cobbled streets, and a warm sense of community. Visitors can enjoy local dishes made from fresh produce and experience the genuine hospitality of the residents.
In conclusion, Parnonas Mountain is a multifaceted gem that encapsulates the essence of Greece’s natural beauty, history, and culture. Whether you’re an intrepid explorer or a cultural enthusiast, Parnonas offers an enchanting escape into a world where rugged landscapes and rich traditions converge, creating a unique and unforgettable experience in the heart of the Peloponnese.
- 5 hours
The castle known as Beauty’s Castle can be found to the southwest of the Ksirokabi plateau, nestled between the villages of Agiannis and Ag. Petros. Historical records indicate that it was constructed in the year 1256 by the Franks. The remnants of the settlement, the fortified courtyards of the castle, and its association with the folk legend of the enchanting lady all combine to transport visitors through the area’s rich history and illustrious past.
The hiking commences from the village of Agianni, leading towards the Sarantapsiho mountain, often referred to as “40 souls.” From the mountain’s summit, one can enjoy a sweeping view that encompasses the Argolic Gulf, as well as the gleaming peaks of Parnona and other Peloponnesian mountains.
Descending gently, you’ll be treated to a view of the splendid Lepida gorge, guiding you to the base of a pyramid-shaped hill, where the castle is perched. The uphill section that follows may be moderately challenging, but the panoramic vista from the summit is truly breathtaking. The entire landscape is graced by the presence of the Lepida waterfall, situated on the steeper eastern side of the castle.
On your return to Agianni, the path meanders through the springs of the gorge, crossing the Ksirokabi plateau.
For sustenance, the local village taverns serve delectable dishes crafted from regional ingredients.
- Trail Distance: 8.5 kilometers (circular)
- Maximum Altitude: 963 meters
- Minimum Altitude: 687 meters
Difficulty Level : Easy
What to Bring
Experienced Mountain Guide
Snack / Water
- Age 10+ years
- Spoken Languages English, Greek
- Starting Time 10:00
- Ending Time 15:00
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