8. Trail of Simplicity
Abeliona - Marina - Sklirou
This beautiful route connects three 3 villages in the area. It is the way to experience the simplicity of nature and humans, resting either under a tree for a treat or in a coffee shop for a tsikoudia and a meze. Because the beauty and enjoyment of life is hidden in simple things.
The route starts from “Spiros Shop” in Ampeliona. At the beginning it coincides with Route 1 (Abeliona-Sklerou-Temple of Apollo Apollo). But just before the source Lykogiannis turns left and follows a steep uphill path, through a dense chestnut forest, to the Granitsa area. It continues in a dense chestnut, oak and holly forest, slightly uphill to Megalakoma. At Kyriaki, Aloni crosses Route 7 (Petra-Stavrouli) and proceeds through the modern rural dirt road, following the old footpath, to Ammes.
Ammes is a small plateau with terraces, threshing floors and old huts. There the route leaves the dirt road and follows a downhill path leading to the Platanos area. It continues downhill, with unobstructed views and in the area of Avoros again meets a modern rural dirt road. He follows her for a while and after crossing the ravine she reaches the Marina. Marina is one of the oldest villages in the area and is the first to be mentioned in the Venetian censuses.
From the Marina, a steep uphill trail, overlooking ancient Iera and Mount Tetrazi, rises up to the crest of the supernatural massif. From there, with a gentle downhill slope, it crosses a point where the ruins of the old watermill are discerned, leading to a dirt road leading to the settlement of Skliros.
The chestnut tree forest of Ampelionas is one of the largest and oldest forests in the Peloponnese. The hiker, walks beneath perpetual chestnut trees.
The oldest of them, many centuries old, are awe-inspiring with their huge logs and their persistent vitality. The Chestnut forest, an important element of livelihood of the villagers, is also an important habitat with many rare plant species. Dense in places and elsewhere less, invites visitor to leave the trail to explore the forest. Don’t try it unless you have a local person who knows the track. After the chestnut area, the trail passes through the oak tree area. The centuries-old oaks, the threshing floors, the old fields with the dry stones, the ideal light and the bells ringing from a distant flock of sheep and goat, give the place that calm roughness that characterizes the so-called Arcadian landscape. The place offers the visitor an irresistible charm – the closest to the romantic utopia of Eudaimonia Arcadia.
Small settlement with few inhabitants. Legend has it that in the old days the whole Neda Valley was a lake. At this lake, under the village Marina, there was a pier (marina), to which the village owes its name. At some point, the land holding the lake was precipitated (at “Stomio” point) and the lake was converted to the present Neda River, with estuaries in the Gulf of Kyparissia.
Almost upon the trail, the visitor will meet the village’s tavern, named “O Skliros”. It is open all day and the hospitable tavern, with food and drink, will provide you with the energy you need to continue your hike.