Conquer the highest mountain range in the Peloponnese.
Mount Taygetus (in Greek: Taygetos), is named after Tayget, daughter of the Greek god Atlas.
It extends about 40 km and measures 2,407 metres at its highest point, dominating the view in Sparta (in Greek: Sparti) and Kalamata.
Taygetus is heavily forested, primarily with Greek fir (Abies cephallonica) and black pine (Pinus nigra). The slopes of Taygetus have been inhabited since at least Mycenean times. The site of Arkina, near the village of Arna, contains three beehive tombs and is still unexplored.
Taygetus was important as one of Sparta’s natural defenses. During the era of barbarian invasions, Taygetus served as a shelter for the native population. Many of the villages in its slopes date from this period.
In Medieval times, the citadel and monastery of Mystras was built on the steep slopes, and became a centre of Byzantine civilisation and served as the capital of the Despotate of the Morea. Today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, the mountain is closely associated with the holy Prophet Elias, and every year on the 20th of July (the Greek Orthodox name day for the Prophet Elias), the small chapel at the peak holds a large festival, including a massive bonfire.
Our trip concentrates on the Great Mountain Taygetus. From Sparta we hike on the European Trail E4, a route combining history and mountaineering. We enjoy a fascinating insight into the history of the Byzantine city of Mystras and then on well-marked trails we hike up to Taygetus summit at an altitude of 2,404 metres. Crossing the forest of Vasiliki and passing through some remote villages we end to Arna village.
Period of operation: Late April to October
- 350€ for min 6 participants
- 385€ for min 4 participants
- 530€ for min 2 participants
A good level of fitness and experience is required for this hike.
- Accommodation in double rooms with breakfast in the above mentioned hotels and 2 nights in mountain shelter with breakfast.
- Lunch Box on days: 2, 3 ,4, 5.
- Dinner in mountain shelter: days 3, 4.
- Map, GPX files with route, introductory briefing by local guide, emergency support telephone number.
- Transport to Sparta/Mystra and from Gytheio to next destination.
- Anything not mentioned here above.
- Entrance fees in Mystras.
Arrive to Sparta and settle to your hotel in Mystras.
Spend the rest of your day, sightseeing hiking in Mystra Byzantine citadel. Mystras was a fortified town in Morea (a.k.a. the Peloponnese), on Mt. Taygetus, near ancient Sparta. Mystras was built as an amphitheater around the fortress erected in 1249 by the prince of Achaia, William of Villehardouin. Reconquered by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and the Venetians, the city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the breathtaking medieval ruins, standing in a beautiful landscape. In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO’s World Heritage site.
Overnight at Mystras http://www.mystrasinn.gr/ (or similar).
From Mystras we follow the E4 trail for about another 3,5 – 4 hours until reaching the picturesque village of Anavriti.
O/N Anavriti guesthouse https://kaneltrekking.gr/en/ (or similar).
Distance: 12 km / approx. 5 hours trekking.
After breakfast depart on a 5 hour hike (approximately) from Anavriti village to the shelter of the Hellenic Mountaineering Association of Sparti. The path passes through cultivated areas as well as through fir and pine forests. It is a route of great beauty.
O/N Shelter EOS of Sparti.
Today, enjoy a 2½ – 3 ascend up to the peak of Mt. Taygetus.
The peak is renowned for its pyramid shape and its unique views. The view from the top includes most of the Evrotas valley and the Parnon range to the East, while the view towards the West includes Kalamata and the eastern half of Messenia. Most of the southwestern part of Arcadia can also be seen from the summit. The route is initially on forested ground of Greek fir and black pine and then continues on the alpine zone with no trees.
Return to the shelter (another 2½ – 3 hrs).
O/N Shelter EOS of Sparti.
Today we hike in the most popular antiquate passage of the region, the famous “royal road” that connected the ancient Arkina (an ancient city lost in the woods between Sparta and Gola) with Messinia. The road passes by the magnificent Vassiliki Forest that preserves today the name of the ancient road (Vassiliki means royal in Greek).
End of our unforgettable adventure.