3. Trail of Love
Abeliona - Andritsaina
The trail connects the particularly beautiful village of Ampeliona with the historic picturesque town of Andritsaina. Deep down we are all in search of love. But love is within us. Let your hike on this path be a meditation, a journey that will help you find love within yourself.
The route starts from the “Shop of Spyros” in Ampeliona’s Square. Leaving Ampeliona behind, the trail goes up to a particularly dense chestnut forest, with many perennial chestnut trees. The climb is pleasant, under rich shade most of the time of year. When the hiker walks out of the woods, the view is breathtaking. The Lycaeon and Tetrazi (Nomia) Mountains, which surround the area, are visible.
Up to the area of Stavrouli, one identifies route 1 (Ampeliona – Sklerou – Temple of Epicurios Apollo).
It then turns north and follows a beautiful trail, uphill for the most part, through an oak forest, up to Samaropetra, where it meets the modern asphalt road. It follows the asphalt road for a while and then turns right and goes up the slopes of a hill known as “Kai’s Mountain”.
From there, it crosses old farmland with countless terraces which was once cultivated. Today, only the stones from the scrolls bear witness to the labors of the older inhabitants, in this chiselled, austere, authentic Arcadian landscape. The crossing of this area ends at Nitsi, where the view to the northwestern side of the Peloponnese is opened. From Nitsi, the route uses a very gentle rural road with panoramic views.
Leaving the dirt road, the downhill to Andritsaina uses an old path, which in old times was the main road connecting Andritsaina with the villages of Ambeliona, Petra and Skrilou. On this path there is the abandoned church of Agios Athanasios. The last part of the route, identified as part of Route 2 (Andritsena – Temple of Apollo Apollo) passes through Stavrouli, ending at Andritsaina through a gentle dirt road.
Built on the notorious crossroads of three counties, Arcadia, Ilias and Messinia, Ampeliona is a traditional mountain village surrounded by chestnut forests and innumerable natural springs. Cobblestone streets and old stone houses, hiding images, sounds and scents from another era, reveal themselves for a moment, before the fresh, mountainous air drifts away. A place that turns simple daily delights, into unique experiences that you want to experience again.
An Historic town at the foot of Mount Koukourevos, northwest extension of Lycaeus. It is a beautiful city, with its traditional square, in the shadow of an centuries-old plane tree, with its picturesque cobblestone streets and many options for dining and accommodation. It attracts thousands of visitors each year. Andritsaina was the homeland of Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos, one of the four members of the Secret Society of the Friendly Society, with significant activity during the revolution but also in the later years of freedom. The city has an excellent Folklore Museum and the country’s most important Provincial Library, donated by Agathropron Nikolopoulos of andritsian origin, with thousands of rare and unique volumes from the early years of printing.