Welcome to the mountain of legends and traditions. Nature, history and culture meet in Menalo, a place blessed with pristine, rugged landscapes and picturesque historic villages perched on its slopes. The menalon trail is here offering 75 kms of overwhelming mountain trekking.Seventy-five kilometers long, the Menalon Trail is a mountain hiking path that runs through Gortynia, in Arcadia, the heart of Peloponnese. With a diverse landscape of rugged mountains, canyons, and verdant valleys, the trail passes through picturesque villages, such as Nymfasia, Elati, and Dimitsana, and includes eight sections varying in difficulty level and length, all of which are worth exploring.
Menalon Trail is listed αmong the 8 first certified hiking trails in Europe, starting from the area of Stemnitsa and ending in the region of Lagadia crossing nine settlements (Stemnitsa – Dimitsana – Zygovisti – Fir – Vitina – Nymfasia – Magouliana – Valtesiniko – Langadia).
Mainalo is the very soul of Arcadia. In its canyons are hidden passages of untold beauty, almost otherworldly. On these peaks gods and heroes have walked. Its name means holy fury, divine petulance that the wild nature brings about.
Indeed here on this very mountain roamed ancient wise men, mystics and prophets who sanctified every stone and every spring. The priests of Zeus and the followers of Pan the strict virgins who accompanied Venus, the Maenads dedicated to Dionysus and the pious monks of Orthodoxy, have all left their footprints on this blessed land. Each path on Mainalo, every refuge, every cool spring, has to tell a tale.
Myth becomes history, and facts become legends. The gods converse with people and paradoxical flames of a secret reality become the signposts of superb routes. Mount Mainalo is both a natural and cultural phenomenon. The rich flora and rebellious fauna are the raw materials. It is no coincidence that the ecosystem of Mainalo was incorporated into the network of protection and promotion of Natura 2000. It is an ark of life, untouched and constantly in motion.
The largest water table in the Peloponnese flows through Mainalo and wherever it springs up it refreshes the land. In this sustainable workshop of nature, man since antiquity has prospered, become domesticated and raised livestock, found religion, and developed the arts and culture. He built beautiful villages to live and develop in and when necessary he fought to keep this beauty impenetrable and sanctified the forests with his blood. Virgil, Ovid, Goethe, Schiller all sang about Mount Mainalo.
In many ways it is this 1980 metre-high mountain, which triggered the global adoration for the Arcadia of shepherds and Gods. And this same Arcadia remains untouched, here, right in front of the modern explorer. Ostrakina and the gorge of Lucius, Arkoudorema and Vytina, Dimitsana and Tripoli are living heritages of the bewitched Arcadia.
Mount Mainalo is standing guard and it always calls to us with the rustling of its leaves to follow its enchanting trails.