- 705m ascent
Aroania, alternatively known as Helmos or Chelmos, is a prominent mountain range situated in the region of Achaea within the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece. Rising to an impressive elevation of 2,355 meters, Aroania claims the title of being the third highest mountain range in the entire Peloponnese, trailing only behind Taygetus and Kyllini, and proudly stands as the loftiest peak within the borders of Achaea. The nearby town of Kalavryta serves as the largest settlement in close proximity to this imposing mountain. It’s worth noting that the municipal unit Aroania derives its name from this very mountain, underscoring its significance in the local geography.
Aroania is strategically positioned in the southeastern reaches of Achaea, where it shares its border with Corinthia. To the east, at a distance of approximately 15 kilometers, lies the slightly taller Kyllini mountain, separated from Aroania by the picturesque valley through which the Olvios river meanders. On the western side, approximately 30 kilometers away, one encounters the mountain Erymanthos, which is situated across the valley carved by the Vouraikos river. Several rivers, including the Krios, Krathis, and Vouraikos, drain the waters from Aroania northward, ultimately pouring into the Gulf of Corinth. Conversely, the river Aroanios flows southwest, guiding its waters to the Ionian Sea.
Aroania is notable for hosting the prestigious Aristarchos telescope, a facility of astronomical significance, and is also home to a popular ski resort that attracts winter sports enthusiasts. The mountain offers a multitude of attractions, including the enchanting Cave of the Lakes (Spilaio ton Limnon), the serene monastery of Mega Spilaio, and the charming mountain town of Kalavryta. Scattered across the mountain’s slopes, you’ll discover quaint villages like Planitero and Peristera, each contributing to the unique character of this alpine landscape.
The unique microclimate of the Styx Valley presents the highest ecological value due to the presence of many rare species of flora.
Chelmos Observatory with its “Aristarchus” telescope, one of the most technologically advanced telescopes of the continent. It was built here as the area has one of the lowest levels of light pollution in Europe!
Our adventure commences with your hotel pickup, embarking on a thrilling hiking to the summit of Mount Chelmos. Our journey initiates at an elevation of 1,600 meters, just before the local Ski Center. Following a trail that winds through the lush fir-clad forests of the area, we delve into the heart of the Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park. This natural sanctuary is renowned for its sweeping biodiversity and ecological importance. Our forested path gradually ushers us into the alpine realm of the mountain. En route to the summit, we’ll pass by the famed Achaean pinnacle known as Neraiodraxi, which proudly hosts the Chelmos Observatory, home to the technologically advanced “Aristarchus” telescope. This telescope is among the most sophisticated on the continent and was strategically placed here due to the region’s minimal light pollution, offering unparalleled celestial observations.
Upon reaching the zenith of Mount Chelmos, a panorama of breathtaking vistas unfolds before us. The imposing Mount Erymanthos to the west, flanked by the peaks of Durduvana and Kyllini, along with the entire Chelmos range, conspire to present a spellbinding spectacle that is nothing short of magical.
As we begin our descent from the summit, a well-deserved break awaits, accompanied by a delectable picnic that allows us to refuel and relish the natural beauty that envelops us.
This hike beckons those with a penchant for mountain exploration and requires a commendable level of physical fitness. It’s a perfect expedition for all aficionados of the mountains, promising a day of adventure, ecological wonder, and awe-inspiring views that will leave an indelible mark on your memory.
Comfortable clothes (preferably quick-drying material: cotton or polycotton not denim)
Obligatory light hiking shoes or hiking boots
Hat , sunglasses, sunblock
Waterproof jacket/membrane (for the rainy days)
Your own personal water bottle
English speaking Experienced Guide
First aid kits and other necessary equipment