Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Lagadia An Off-the-Beaten-Path Traditional Mountainside Village in Greece

The Peloponnese Mountains in Greece

Do you love the mountains?
 Did you know Greece is 80% mountains?
Everyone thinks Greece is islands, 
and it is. 
But it is also mountains! 

You get a workout in a mountain village! 

The traditional village of Lagadia (spellings vary)
is situated on the side of a mountain 
in the Peloponnese, 
a little over and hours ride east of Olympia.

One main street divides upper and lower parts of the village. 

Considered a masterpiece of stone, Lagadia
was built by stone craftsmen centuries ago and
many of their descendants still own the homes, 
but do not live in them.
The owners have moved on, but send funds for upkeep.
This gives the village a rather abandoned feel. 

The 70% incline requires terraced cemeteries. 
And check out all that stonework! 

With only 600 residents,
the draw to Lagadia is it's off the beaten path vibe
offering both resort and dining options. 

Traditional Greek Dance

If you're in the Peloponnese and need a place to spend a night, 
Lagkadia is a peaceful option. 

This cat escorted us for our entire walk through town. 

If you have time to explore, check out 
Church of Taxiarches
House of Deligiannis
The Gymnasium
Holy Apostles Church

If you enjoy hiking 
be sure to trek along the Menalon Trail 
as Lagadia is an ending/beginning point of the trail.

The Full Menalon Trail

from Stemnitsa to Lakadia
Length 75.2 km
Altitude 420 – 1550 m

In ancient times, 
the road to the Olympics passed through Lagadia. 
Olympia is a little over 1 hour west by car.

While there isn't a lot to do here, 
it is a refreshing stop 
and worth it if you are in the Peloponnese. 

To stay overnight.

Lamb entree at Maniatis

Our room at Maniatis

Friday, July 14, 2023

Exciting Train Ride Through the Scenic Vouraikos Gorge on the “Odontotos” Rack Railway

When most people think of vacationing in Greece, 
they think of the islands.
But there is so much more to see - 
so let's head southwest from Delphi.

On a drizzly day we are off to the Peloponnese.
A relatively new bridge in Greece crosses
the Gulf of Corinth to the Peloponnese - the Rio–Antirrio Bridge.

Biggest lemons ever! 

 In Diakopto we meet a narrow gauge train that chugs us through the scenic Vouraikos Gorge. 
If you have a car you can drive through the gorge 
via the Diakofto-Kalavryta Road.
Driving gives you the opportunity to stop at scenic spots
which the train whisks you by, 
it also enables better visibility. 
There are also hiking trails to enjoy and get you up close to the scenery.

Don't worry if you can't do the train, 
hiking or driving is a better option in my book. 

Did I say, "narrow?"

The scenery is beautiful despite the drizzle.

From the train we travel on to
an oasis hidden among the trees with the fresh spring water 
and the Rigogiannis Taverna and Fish Farm 

A first for me, we were served the whole fish. 

Filleting was easy-peasy.

We enjoy a tasty lunch of trout and other Greek specialties at Kalavrita Fish Farm in Planitaro, 
unlike the arid seaside, here we find fresh springs and lush vegetation.

My Traveling Buddy

After lunch, we welcome time to experience the refreshing coolness under the trees with the gurgling springs that feed the Aroanios River.

The trees here create a haunting effect 
which I tried to accentuate in post processing. 

From here we travel to charming Lagkada 
where we will spend the night. 

Odontotos rack railway map

Insider's Tip
When possible, sit behind the engineer for best views.
Or sit on a seat where the door opens 
and you get a larger window view.
Seats are numbered though. 

Book your tickets in advance.
19.00euro return

From Diakopto

09:52 - Daily
12:17 - Daily
15:07 - Daily
From Kalavrita
11:04 -Dail13:37 - Daily
Station Diakofto +302691 043206
Station Kalavrita +302692 022245

Monday, July 3, 2023

Climbing the Acropolis in Athens

Just to clarify, 
the Acropolis is the hill, 
the Parthenon sits on top. 

The view from the rooftop of The Acropolis Select Hotel.

The best time to go is off season,
first thing in the morning or later in the day.
Midday in season is a mob scene. 
From 11am-1pm do something else. 

The Parthenon

If you go in the early morning,
don't stop at any viewpoints. 
Go right to the top 
before the mob arrives.

The Erechtheion 

You'll need about an hour and a half to walk up,
enjoy your quiet time, and get your pictures.

The Erechtheion where the roof supported by six statues of maidens.
Note the legs-one is a leg, one is a column.

By the time I left it was already getting crowded. 

It took 8-9 years to build the Parthenon, 
the restoration is over 40 years ongoing. 

Then take your time heading back down 
and check out the views you passed on your way up. 

Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus

The Temple of Athena Nike
Restorations appear white compared to the original stones.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Ancient and new.
Restored in 1950.

Below the Acropolis across from the touristy restaurants, 
don't miss the Acropolis Museum which was built 
overtop an excavated village.

You can see this part of excavations near the entrance
without visiting the museum. 

The museum is modern in style 
compared to the ancient structures on the Acropolis.

Allow 2 or more hours here depending on your interest. 

Can you spot the restored areas? 
The color gives it away.

From the museum exit, 
there is a path and a gate to access 
more of the village under the museum. 
You need to show your ticket, 
so don't lose it.

Here you can see the supporting columns for the museum 
rising up from the forgotten village.

For information on visiting the museum, 
Here is information for visiting the Acropolis.

You can visit both in one morning. 
Take water and a snack 
or buy it on the street outside.
I wouldn't waste time with 
slow service in the cafeteria there.

There is tourist information 
and public restrooms
at the corner of Thrassillou Street on the south end.
Address: Dionysiou Areopagitou, Athina 105 58, Greece

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Off the Beaten Path in Seaside Kardamyli

How to spend an entire day in Kardamyli, Greece. 

Seaside Kardamyli is not your typical tourist town, 
it's where the locals hang out. 
And that is so refreshing. 

We spent an entire day just relaxing here, 
which being married to a very active person 
isn't common on our vacations. 

We began our day with an early walk to 
Old Town Kardamyli Museum.

The Old Town was built in the 18th Century 
on the side of a mountain. 

Old Kardamyli is one of the oldest towns in the Peloponnese Mountains.
Old enough that Homer referred to it in the Iliad.  

From the Old Town 
we continued hiking up the mountain 
to the Church of Sophia. 

And even a little higher we found a little village 
with great views and some houses in need of new owners. 
Tempting...the views are worth it. 

Hiking back down and through the town to our hotel, 
 we freshened up and readied ourselves for some beach time. 

Ok, you need shoes on these beaches, 
even though they consist of rounded stones 
they are hard on your feet. 

You can take a seat and a waiter will present himself 
from one of the local eateries 
and take your order. 

 ✅ Bucket List - Being served beverages while relaxing on the beach.

Then back to the hotel for Happy Hour 
followed by dinner along the water's edge. 

Tikla Cuzina and Wine Bar

For me, this is a perfect vacation day, 
but there is so much more of Greece to see,
so tomorrow we are on the road again. 

My relaxing day was 
climbing 39 floors and 
walking 20,071 steps. 
He's lucky I love him
because it was a relaxing day for us. 

The house he wants to renovate for the view. 

Kardamyli is small.
A long weekend here is plenty of time to relax 
visit the shops and restaurants, 
and explore.

** You can also rent Kayaks and take a tour of the caves, 
but because of a kayaking event there were no tours while we were there.