"Heartland of the Peloponnese" Prefecture of Arcadia by angiebabe
Prefecture of Arcadia Travel Guide: 119 reviews and 359 photos
The best area of all is regarded as being around Andhritsena, Stemnitsa and Karitena - North of Megalopolis minor roads that wind through lush valleys and exquisite hilltop towns - and walkers can enjoy the Lousios gorge.
The first stop is the hilIltop town of Karitena and then taking the northwest route option around the edge of the Menalo mountains to the lovely towns of Stemnitsa and Dhimitsana. From here you can visit - which I in hindsight very regretfully didnt take the opportunity to do, thinking I just didnt have the time - which I didnt really! - the dramatic and remote site of ancient Gortys and explore the Louisos gorge
Approaching from the direction of Tripoli - and Mystras where I was heading from - is ancient Megalopolis - signposted as the Ancient Theatre.
One of the most ambitious building projects of the Classical age, this was a city intended by the Theban leader Epaminondas, who oversaw construction from 371-368 BC, to be the finest of a chain of Arcadian settlements designed to hold back the Spartans.
Though no expense had been spared - 9 kms of walls were built for a start - the city never took root - suffered from sporadic Spartan attacks - and the citizens moved back to their 40 or so local villages - and within 2 centuries the city had been broken up, abandoned and ruined.
I arrived just on nightfall - but managed to see the theatre through the wire fence - it is actually the largest theatre built in Ancient Greece! and could seat 20,000. Only the first few rows are excavated but the mounds and ridges of the rest are clearly visible as tiers from the ground to the summit where large trees grow from the back rows!
If you peer over from the side of the modern bridge that is over the River Afios, 3 km below the hilltop town of... more travel advice
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