A Weekend Of Hiking In The Peloponnese
Last year a few of us from the Zakynthos Walking Group spent a weekend of hiking in the Peloponnese with Greece On Foot, staying in the quaint coastal village of Tyros. It was such a good weekend we decided it would be criminal not to do it again, so last Friday twelve of us, one dog and a small green wonky elephant, headed back to Tyros.
Leaving Zakynthos behind. At least the weather for the ferry journey was reasonable.
Knowing the route, this year the plan was to take a detour to Nafplion to spend a few hours exploring the Old City. Did you know that Nafplion was the first capital of Greece? It held the title for a mere ten years before it was decided that Athens made a better capital. Which is a bit of a bummer really as Nafplion is closer to Zakynthos than Athens and would have saved a lot of running around for hospitals and official stuff.
Anyway, enough of the history lesson. The journey there took us on mountain roads that turned me a putrid shade of green and the weather turned so bad (-2C and stormy) that we changed the plan and headed straight to Tyros.
Once off the old mountain road, the weather cleared and my nausea passed.
Tyros is a beautifully quaint little coastal village, seemingly untouched by the craziness of modern life. The locals take pride in their village and are welcoming to visitors. It reminds me of Greece before tourism got its claws into parts of it.
The Oceanis Hotel is a small family run hotel where the owners Tasos and Rula can’t do enough for their guests. Nothing is too much trouble for them. It’s a simple hotel oozing Greek character.
Arriving safely, what’s the first thing any sane person would do?… Find somewhere for a drink of course! And that’s just what we did.
Even the local ducks seemed pleased to see us again.
As the day came to an end we were excited to see what the next day would bring.
Being an early riser I can’t resist a nice sunrise, so up I got, careful to not disturb anyone (early morning is my time and I’d rather enjoy it on my lonesome) and headed out to the harbour. Which was literally on our doorstep.
The sun rising over distant Greek islands.
A bit of fun with a glass ball.
An ornamental wish that sailors stay safe at sea.
Greek fishing boats do have character.
A quick nose around the harbour before heading back to the hotel for breakfast.
I didn’t take photos of the food we had (my food photos always leave a lot to be desired), but breakfast in the hotel was an impressive array of food. There was local Greek yoghurt, honey, fruit, eggs, cheese, bread, toasties, jam, tea, coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Obviously because of the calories burned on the hikes we had to eat well, but we must be the only walking group to hike 27 kilometres over rough ground in two days and still manage to come home heavier than we left. The food was excellent and served proper Greek style where everyone tucked in shared.
The first days’ hike was an hours drive from Tyros and took us up to an old abandoned village, which was so pretty it seemed criminal to be empty.
Our first stop though was to take in a snow-capped view which you have to agree is quite breathtaking.
You’ll have to excuse me, as I am a bad, bad student too busy taking in the views to take in names.
Arriving at the start of the hike the weather looked promising, little did we know…
The hike took us over some rough terrain, but we took it all in our stride.
As the village came into view I was beginning to understand why it may have been abandoned!
Can you imagine the work that went into building the village?
Most of the roofs in had these beautiful slate roofs.
A rather beautiful little village, don’t you think?
Being confined to the backpack, Wonky was keen to get out and have some fun.
I do love spring flowers and they were blooming in the Peloponnese. These red anemones looked quite striking against the green verge.
After exploring the village and learning a little of its history (if you were close enough to hear!), it was time to head to an old church for a picnic lunch. Yay!
At least we seemed to be heading in a downhill direction.
From this photo, you can probably guess why I never heard much about the history of the area!
The weather took a turn for the worst as was predicted by the weather forecast.
Then it started to rain, as promised.
Time For Lunch
Ever had that feeling you were being made to earn your lunch? See that church? That’s where our lunch was!
Probably the best view I’ve had for lunch!
It is thought that this floor stone inside the church dates back to the 11th century.
I did learn that the painted icon to the left-hand side of the altar in an Orthodox church is who the church is dedicated to. Making this a church dedicated to St John, the Baptist.
The old paintings covering the walls and ceiling in the old orthodox church were obviously old but still impressive.
An Afternoon Exploring Kastanitsa
The plan for the afternoon was to explore the village of Kastanitsa, which is famed for its chestnut forest. It was a place I was hoping to visit after hearing about it last year. Unfortunately, the weather turned really nasty, so that plan was aborted and we ended up in a little coffee shop where I sampled some local mountain tea. Very nice it was too.
The only photo I got of Kastanitsa from the coffee shop window. It was a little early for the chestnut trees to be in blossom, which made me feel better.
Well, that’s day one of our weekend of hiking in the Peloponnese, there are more photos than I thought, but there were none I wanted to ditch.
I hope you enjoyed the post and that it hasn’t put you off looking forward to part #2!
Maybe you’ve visited the Peloponnese yourself? Or maybe it’s on your ‘To Do’ list for the future?
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