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Karytaina, Peloponnes

Karytaina


Karytaina is one of the most picturesque and historic villages of Arcadia. It is built on top of a hill around a medieval castle, the site where the ancient Vrenthi was. It is said that in the ancient city Vrenthi the “War of the Giants” took place.

The stone village Karitaina is situated at an altitude of 580 meters and it is located 54 km from Tripoli and 20 km from Megalopoli. It is an imposing preserved village that will impress you with its two or three-storey stone houses some are of the 19th century, the cobbled streets and its many old Byzantine churches.

The Frankish castle, is located in the south of Karytaina built onto a cliff. The castle was built in the 13th century by the French ruler Geoffrey de Vrigier who used it as his headquarters. He was one of the most important fortresses of Peloponnese during the Frankish and Ottoman rule.

Karytaina is called the Toledo of Greece, both for the castle and for the charm that characterizes it.

Karytaina Map

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Karytaina is surrounded by a wild and majestic scenery that is complemented with the Alpheus River. On the way to Megalopolis, below the modern bridge, lies the Frankish bridge with six arches with a length of 50 meters which was built in the 13th century. Next to it there is the small church of the Birth of the Virgin.

Near the village passes Lousios river which along with Alpheus are ideal for many alternative tourism activities such as rafting. Shortly after the village there is a base which serves sports enthusiasts.

In Karytaina were operating fourteen water mills and a fulling mill. Three windmills of those have been preserved.

Main features of Karytaina isn the pristine nature and lush vegetation and a special kind of bird that exists in the region, “vrachotsompanakoi“. They are small birds that are connected with the rocks and their gurgling sounds in all corners of the village.

In Karytaina you will find many stylish guesthouses and hotels and you will find several options for delicious food at the taverns and restaurants. The stately stone village of Karytaina is an ideal destination for winter holidays.

Regional Flavours & Products
In the taverns of Karytaina you will taste delicious lamb casserole, intestines, fried snacks, and lagoto pork or rabbit. Do not forget to buy local pasta, dairy products, chestnuts, honey, exceptional weavings and other types of traditional art.

Cultural events
Many cultural events are held in Karytaina during the summer months.

It stands out the bazaar organized by the local association of women, with needlework, weaving and other types of traditional art. Feast on August 23 of Karvounaraiikis Mary. Festival on May 17 St. Athanasios.

Karytaina Attractions

 The Castle of Karytaina: It is located south of the village onto a cliff. The castle was built during the Frankish period, in the 13th century, by the French prince Geoffrey de Vrigier who used it as his headquarters. He was one of the most important fortresses of Peloponnese during the Frankish and Ottoman rule.

During the Revolution of 1821, it played an important role in the region, and in its castle settled Theodoros Kolokotronis, which he fortified it, built a house and church in it and used it as his base.

The view from the castle to the plain of Megalopolis is amazing.

The Church Zoodochos Pigi:  It is located in the central square of the village and it was built in the 16th century.  The church has an aisled bell tower with intense elements of the  Frankish influence.  It is considered as one of the most important in Greece and this is from the original church that dates back to the 14th century.

The St. Nicholas Church: Its is located northwest of Karytaina and dates from the 17th century. It is a basilica with a dome and inside are preserved very interesting frescoes.

At the top of the hill above the castle is the church Panagia Castle  or the church of Kolokotronis featuring notable marble capitals. Notable is also the church of Saint Athanasios, Bishop Christianoupoleos -Karytainas. He is the patron saint of Karytaina and his memory is celebrated on May 17.

The Bridge of Alpheus: Near the village runs the Alpheus River with the impressive canyon that it forms. There, on the way to Megalopolis, below the modern bridge is the old bridge with 6 arches and a length of 50 meters. The bridge was built in the 13th century by the Franks and it was renovated around 1439-1440 at the expense of Manuel Raul Meliki.

Krines: At the entrance of Karytaina there is a beautiful vaulted fountain (krini) with an inscription that indicates the date 1922. Another remarkable fountain is located just outside the village, to the north. It is a beautiful vaulted stone fountain.

The Bridge of Atsicholos: You can admire the canyon created by Lousios river and the stone bridge Atsicholos which is on the road to the village Atsicholos, near the junction of the Alpheus.

Watermills: In the past, in the beautiful Karytaina operated fourteen water mills and a fulling mill. Of these one tetrafthalmos mill survives over the bridge, a very old mill under the bridge and opposite lies the remains third.

Ski Center Mainalo: In the mountains of Mainalo on the top of Ostrakina at an altitude of about 1770 meters is running a modern ski resort. Since the winter of 2004, the ski center has passed to the private company OSTRAKINA AETE.

Ski Center Mainalo has 8 great ski slopes, a special park for ATV motorbikes, central chalet for coffee or lunch, snowbar, shelter and four ski lifts. Its special position among the firs, the easy access, the great natural beauty and the rich flora and fauna make it particularly attractive.

Surrounding Area

Stemnitsa: The picturesque and imposing Stemnitsa is a mountain village in Gortynia, located 45 km west of Tripoli. It belongs to the municipality of Trikolona. It is a very beautiful and protected village, amphitheatrically built on the western slopes of Mainalon, at the foot of Klinitsas at an altitude of 1.100 meters .

Elliniko: Visit the village Elliniko which connects Stemnitsa with Karytaina. Elliniko that formerly was called Moulatsi, is built on a green hill at an altitude of 712 meters. In the square of the village you can find cafes, taverns and local dairy products.

Ancient Gortyna: 6 km from the Greek is the ancient Gortyna, which was one of the largest Arcadian cities of antiquity and had the sanctuary of Asclepius.

Karytaina Activities

Karytaina offers many activities that combine fun and relaxation …

In Karytaina Alpheus and Lousios rivers dominate, which are offering for alternative tourism activities such as canoe-kayak, rafting and other activities that will satisfy sports lovers.

In Atsicholos bridge on Lousios river are organized rafting and kayaking from alternative tourism companies. The route for rafting starts from Atsicholos Bridge of Lousios river, crosses the lush canyon and ends at the Alpheus bridge.

Another route starts from the bridge of Atsicholos and ends in Matesi of Ilia.

Karytaina Useful Telephone Numbers (Calling code for Greece 0030)


Municipality of Karytaina
27910 31214
Bus Station Megalopoli
27910 22238
Clinic Karytaina
27910 31300
Railway Station (OSE) Athens
210 5240646
Police Station Megalopoli
27910 22222
Railway Station (OSE) Tripoli
2710 222402
Police Office Karytaina
27910 31249
Mountaineering Club of Tripoli
2710 232243
Bus Station Athens
210 5134575
Mainalo Ski Center
6985 063909
Bus Station Tripoli
2710 222560

Karytaina Photos