The Menalon Trail : self-guided hiking trip (2023)

8 days


Moderate to Challenging






  • Heritage Trails
  • Hiking in Greece
  • Mountain Treks
  • Walking Holidays

Hiking on breathtaking trails amid towering mountains and plunging gorges

Ancient fresco-covered monasteries clinging to the cliff faces of the Lousios Gorge

Cross the ancient stone bridge of Zarzi on the tranquil Mylaon River

Discover the hidden hermitage of Sfyrida

Stay in traditional mountain villages in this unspoilt and undiscovered corner of Greece

Hiking the Menalon Trail: Self-guided walking holiday in Arcadia

The well-signposted, 75km Menalon Trail stretches from Stemnitsa to Lagkadia. It passes through the dramatic scenery of the Lousios Gorge, the western slopes of Mt Menalon, the Mylaon River valley and the Gortynian Mountains. On this week-long hiking trip, you will discover the wonders of the beautiful region of Arcadia in the heart of the Peloponnese. Although relatively undiscovered by visitors, this is one of Greece’s richest regions in terms of heritage and stunning landscapes.

(Video) Menalon Trail - Part 1 - Stemnitsa Dimitsana

The Menalon Trail is a well-maintained hiking route which was created by a group of local volunteers in order to shine a spotlight on the area by creating new paths that illustrate its beauty and historical importance. The spectacular trail was the first in Greece to be certified by the European Ramblers’ Association (ERA) and has also been placed among the Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe.

The trail consists of 6 stages. It begins in the village of Stemnitsa and passes through eight more villages, concluding in Lagkadia. Through the dramatic Lousios gorge, with its impressive monasteries clinging precariously to its cliffs, you reach Dimitsana. Dense forests surround you as you make your way via Zygovisti, across the Bilani mountain pass, to the remote village of Elati. Descending from Elati, you follow the course of the tranquil Mylaon River, passing several old watermills and a picturesque stone bridge. Continuing through tranquil forests, you will pass a large monastic complex, followed by a well-hidden hermitage on your way to Magouliana. Along the river Potamia you reach Valtesiniko, a stunny amphitheatrically built village in the Gortynian Mountains. The last day leads you through open fields with walnut trees, threshing floors and huts towards Lagkadia, where the Trail ends.

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTSFrom €575 per person sharing*

*Discounts available for groups of 3 or more. Please enquire for prices.
*A single supplement charge will apply to solo walkers.

AVAILABILITYAvailable all year round, starting any day of the week. Because of the altitude of the trek (between 1000-1500m), the best spring period is late April until the end of May.June, September and October are also very suitable periods for this trip. July & August average temperature is 32 Celsius. It is also a great winter destination.
ACCOMMODATION7 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis. All accommodations of this trip are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
Most of the nights are in traditional guesthouses located in the villages, with taverns and restaurants nearby. In the tiny remote village Elati, you will stay in the private house of the family Anagnostou. The host speaks English and is known for her excellent hospitality. In Lagkadia you will stay in a comfortable hotel in the centre of the village. Below you find the standard accommodations of this trip. If any are fully booked, we will book a similar alternative for you and inform you about the alternative booked.

You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.

7 x overnight accommodation
7 x Breakfasts
Luggage transportation while you walk
Detailed walking notes & maps
GPS tracks
Pre-departure information pack
€10 per booking contribution to the non-profit organization of the Menalon Trail
Souvenir Menalon Trail T-shirt
24/7 telephone support
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners
Taxi transfers or public transport
Local tourist taxes
Admissions & entrance fees of any kind
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
Taxi transfers from Athens airport to bus terminal
Transfer from Tripoli bus station to Stemnitsa
Transfer from Lagkadia to Tripoli bus station
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement
DIFFICULTYThis trip is graded moderate-to-challenging overall. Moderate walks are interspersed with more strenuous excursions, 4-7 hours per day (excluding breaks) on hilly to mountainous terrain using well kept, sometimes stony paths. The trip is suitable for walkers who are in very good physical condition.


Day 1: Arrive in Stemnitsa

The beautiful village of Stemnitsa is located on the western slope of the Mainalo mountains, at 1,100 m altitude. It is known for its traditional stone houses and Byzantine churches, as well as the skilled artisans who have been producing wonderful gold and silverwork for many years. There are wonderful views over the village and the Loussios Gorge from the Kastro (castle) hill. There are many restaurants, taverns and cafes and you will also have the chance to visit the Menalon trail office in the central square of the village for a briefing before setting off on your hike.

Overnight: Stemnitsa


Day 2: Hike through the Lousios gorge to Dimitsana

Distance: 13 km | Ascent: 780 m | Descent: 910 m | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.

Departing from Stemnitsa the picturesque path zigzags down into the valley. You follow an old mule track to the impressive Prodomos Monastery, hanging on the high cliffs. After visiting the monastery, you continue along the path that traverses the gorge. You can ascend to the Old Philosophou Monastery (dating back to 963) before continuing to the ‘New’ Philosophou Monastery (1691). You then follow the course of the Lousios River through lush vegetation towards Dimitsana. You cross the river via the Tzani bridge and come to the interesting Open-Air Waterpower Museum. Nearby you will find the watermills and gun powder mills that established the fame and wealth of Dimitsana, a town built on the ruins of ancient Theftis.

Overnight: Dimitsana


(Video) Hiking Menalon Trail in Arcadia, Greece (75km)

Day 3: Walk from Dimitsana to Elati

Distance: 19.5 km | Ascent: 1215 m | Descent: 995 m | Walking time: 7 hrs approx.

Today’s route is a long but extremely rewarding hike. The section Dimitsana-Zigovisti begins with a gentle ascent from the Lousios valley to the outskirts of the pine forest. From the church of St. Paraskevi you will enjoy splendid views over the Lousios river, with the settlements of Dimitsana, Paliochori and Zatouna standing out against the wooded landscape. You continue via footpaths and dirt roads to the mountain village of Zygovisti. The village played an important role in the Greek Independence War of 1821, which is commemorated with a large marble book in the village square.

After a break at the local café, the route continues across the Western Menalon massif. You will first hike through a beautiful ravine to the church and spring of Agios Georgios, then uphill through dense forests to the Bilali Pass. From here you have the option of ascending to the Pliovouni summit, the highest peak of this route at 1643 m.

After this demanding section, you descend via small roads and paths, passing fountains and chapels, to the tiny mountain settlement of Elati.

Overnight: Elati


Day 4: Walk from Elati to Vytina

Distance: 9 km | Ascent: 350 m | Descent: 500 m | Walking time: 3 hrs approx.

A shorter day today, which will give you a chance to recover from the exertion of yesterday. You may choose to visit the woodcraft workshop before descending from Elati to the riverbed of the Milaon River. You will pass the Pirgaki Springs – which supply the village of Vytina with water – followed by the stone fountain of Makrinou, which is a nice place for a break.

Further along the river the vegetation becomes even more lush, and you find yourself surrounded by tall plane trees. You walk past abandoned watermills and cross a nice wooden bridge. You leave the valley and zigzag uphill via a rocky path to the Artotsi Fountain. Nearby is the Agia Paraskevi church, from which you have great views over the valley and mountain. Finally, you reach the picturesque village of Vytina. Serving as the main village of the region, it offers many facilities and excellent local food.

Overnight: Vytina


Day 5: Walk from Vytina to Nymfasia via the Zarzi bridge

Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 630 m | Descent: 830 m | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.

(Video) Menalon Trail fast crossing

From Vytina you make your way back to the Artotsi Fountain. You then descend via a zigzagging path into Mylaon River valley, before following the river in a northerly direction, passing the beautiful single arched Zarzi bridge. Gradually you ascend to Old Vytina. Here you are back on the Menalon Trail, which leads you to Mavra Litharia. This massive limestone boulder in the riverbed of the Mylaon River has created an impressive gorge. You come to a second stone bridge that once secured the connection between Vytina and the western Gortynian villages. The trail then descends into another gorge before ascending gently through rocks and shrubs. Finally, you descend through oak and spruce forests to the small village of Nymfasia. You will find your accommodation just before Kernitsas Monastery.

Overnight: Nymfasia


Day 6: Walk from Nymfasia to Valtesiniko via Magouliana

Distance: 16 km | Ascent: 1200 m | Descent: 930 m | Walking time: 5½ hrs approx.

You first walk through a pleasant oak forest to the Kernitsa Bridge. From there you ascend via a steep path to the Holy Monastery of Kernitsas, a large monastic complex surrounded by well-maintained terraced fields. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Greece. You next cross a dense pine forest and arrive at the Sfyrida Hermitage. You traverse the foot of the long steep slope of Kastro, passing the Gavros Spring, before reaching the small settlement of Magouliana. At 1,250m this is the highest inhabited village in the Peloponnese. Here you can take a well-earned break at a local tavern or café.
Leaving Magouliana behind, you soon come to a splendid viewing point. You then descend past an old sanatorium, before following a good path along a riverbed to the village of Valtesiniko. In the center of this village, well-known for its woodcarvers, there are many nice taverns to choose from for your evening meal.

Overnight: Valtesiniko


Day 7: Walk from Valtesiniko to Lagkadia

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 810 m | Descent: 980 m | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.

From the road above Valtesiniko Village, you will enjoy splendid views over the northern plains. A ridgetop footpath leads you to the Byzantine Fortress of Valtesiniko, perched high in the mountains. You then descend through open landscape with stunning views to the small church of Agia Triada. The route now traverses an extensive pine forest and you gain some altitude before descending again to the Krya Vrysi fountain. The path climbs from here to the saddle from where you will already see Lagkadia ahead. Continuing through fields and past a small spring you finally come to the Rapi Watermills on the outskirts of Lagkadia.

The Menalon Trail ends in the center of Lagkadia, the village of the stone builders.

Overnight: Lagkadia


(Video) 🇬🇷 Winter Hiking at MENALON Trail Start (Budget Travel Greece) {Stemnitsa, GREECE}

Day 8: Departure

You hiking trip on the Menalon Trail comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked any additional services with us. We would be happy to arrange a taxi transfer to Tripoli, from where you can catch a direct bus to Athens.

Getting to Stemnitsa

The nearest airport to the Menalon Trail is Athens Airport.
From Athens Airport it takes around 3 hours by public bus to get to Stemnitsa (via the city of Tripoli). You first take the direct express bus from the airport to KTEL bus station Kifissou. There is a direct bus to Tripoli approximately once per hour. From Tripoli bus station you can either take a taxi on the sport or we would also be happy to pre-book this for you.
We can also arrange a private transfer from Athens airport to Stemnitsa. Please enquire for prices.

Departure from Lagkadia

You first take a taxi from Lagkadia to Tripoli (we would be happy to pre-book this for you). From Tripoli bus station there are direct busses to Athens every hour. The journey time is just over 3 hrs.
We can also arrange a private transfer from Lakgadia to Athens airport. Please enquire for prices.

(Video) The Menalon Trail


Which section of Menalon Trail is best? ›

Section one of the Menalon Trail, Stemnitsa to Dimitsana, is arguably the best and most popular stretch of the trail.

What is the Menalon Trail English? ›

The Menalon Trail is in Arcadia, the center of Peloponnese. It unfurls through the Lousios River gorge, the western slopes of Menalon Mt., the valley of Mylaion River & the Northeast Gortynian Mountains. The Menalon Trail is just 200 km from Athens center, the capital city of Greece.

What is the hardest trail in Glacier National Park? ›

Sperry Glacier Trail (16.4 miles/26.3 km)

Mountain goats abound along Sperry Glacier Trail, the most challenging hike in the Lake McDonald region of the park. This trek rises almost 5,000 feet (1524 m) in elevation, making it one of the more difficult day hikes in Glacier National Park.

What is the hardest section of the Long trail? ›

The third and final section was 86.2 miles in length and would prove to be the hardest section of the hike. The terrain would become much more extreme and we noticed our pace greatly affected by this. We climbed the tallest mountain in the state of Vermont during this stretch Mt Mansfield at 1,340m/4,395' in elevation.

What is the Dead Horse trail? ›

The Dead Horse Point Overlook Trail (200 feet one way, very easy) This is the main attraction of Dead Horse Point State Park. From the overlook parking lot, a short paved pathway leads to breathtaking views of the Colorado River and adjacent canyon country some 2,000 feet below.

What is it called when you take a holiday on foot in the mountain? ›

Trekking is the preferred word used to describe multi-day hiking in the mountainous regions of India, Pakistan, Nepal, North America, South America, Iran, and the highlands of East Africa. Hiking a long-distance trail from end-to-end is also referred to as trekking and as thru-hiking in some places.

Why is it called Soldiers Pass trail? ›

Total Nerdery Soldiers Pass is named after General Crooks Army Scouts, who lived in Fort Verde during the 1870-80's. They used this trail to travel through parts of the Arizona Territory.

What is the most beautiful hike in Glacier National Park? ›

Best Hikes in Glacier National Park
  • Bowman Lake.
  • Grinnell Glacier.
  • Highline Trail.
  • Iceberg Lake.
  • Pitamakan Pass and Dawson Pass.
  • Ptarmigan Tunnel.
  • Siyeh Pass Trail.
  • Swiftcurrent Pass.
5 days ago

What is the prettiest part of Glacier National Park? ›

The main attraction in Glacier National Park is the Going-To-The-Sun Road. The Sun Road is 50 miles long from West Glacier on the West Side to Saint Mary on the East Side. The West Side encompasses 35 miles of this Road and will provide you with the more scenic and picturesque drive.

What should I not miss at Glacier National Park? ›

And definitely add a milkshake—either from West Glacier Café on the west side or the Curly Bear at St. Mary Village on the east side.
Mary Village on the east side.
  • Saint Mary Lake. ...
  • 2. Logan Pass Visitor Center. ...
  • Huckleberry Lookout. ...
  • Glacier Park Lodge. ...
  • A Trip to Waterton.

Who was the serial killer on the Appalachian Trail? ›

Paul David Crews died in a Pennsylvania prison last month at age 70 of natural causes without ever revealing why he killed a young couple on the Appalachian Trail nearly 32 years ago in a notorious crime that rippled fear across the country.

Which trail is harder pct or CDT? ›

The CDT is by far the most difficult of the three trails due to navigation challenges, wildlife, weather, and long stretches between resupply and water. Smooth trail, a gentle grade, and beautiful views define the PCT.

Which sleeping giant trail is best? ›

The East Trail at the end of Haleilio Road is our top recommendation of the three. This is the more moderate route with a 960 foot elevation gain and is not as steep as the other trails. All paths lead to the top where you'll find a grassy plateau and picnic area.

What is the easiest trail at Sleeping Giant? ›

Popular Trails at the Sleeping Giant
  • Tower Path.
  • 1.5 miles.
  • Easy.
  • A popular trail for first-time visitors, the tower path is the easiest route up the Giant. A wide, gravel path gently climbs to the tower with 360-degree views.

What trail gets you to Fat Man's Pass? ›

As you continue to follow the signs for Mormon Trail, you will eventually come across a sign that point's out Fat Man's Pass on the left. It's easy to miss, but with this being a popular trail, you'll most likely see other hikers around this spot.

Are there bears in Sleeping Giant Park? ›

m and as we were nearing the Marie Louise Campground, Sleeping Giant lived up to its reputation for having excellent wildlife viewing as we spotted a coyote, rabbit, deer and a black bear.

Is Sleeping Giant hike hard? ›

The switchback-style trail is steep, moderately strenuous and takes hikers through thickets of guava and ironwood.

How hard is it to hike Sleeping Giant? ›

Top of the Giant Trail – 3.3 km (6.6km round-trip) 21.8km round-trip from parking lot ◆ Difficult. This challenging trail takes you to the top of the tallest cliffs in Ontario (greatest uninterrupted vertical drop) and provides access to some of the most breath-taking lookouts in central Canada.

What is the hardest hike ever? ›

Everest Base Camp (EBC)

The Everest Base Camp Trek in the Himalayas in Nepal is one of the most famous and also, the hardest hikes in the world.

Which great walk is the easiest? ›

Abel Tasman

By far the easiest of all the Great Walks is the Abel Tasman Track. It is pretty flat and you have the option of having your pack transferred between huts by boat if you wish! Great Walks don't get much simpler than that.

Which Mount Major trail is easiest? ›

Brook Trail- Marked with yellow blazes, this is the least steep and the longest trail.

Is Soldiers Pass trail easy? ›

Generally considered a moderately challenging route. This is a very popular area for hiking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash. Parking at the Soldier Pass trailhead is very limited.

Where is the White Pass trail? ›

White Pass, also known as the Dead Horse Trail, (elevation 873 m or 2,864 ft) is a mountain pass through the Boundary Ranges of the Coast Mountains on the border of the U.S. state of Alaska and the province of British Columbia, Canada.

What is the hardest day hike in America? ›

Arguably the granddaddy of ultra-dayhikes, traversing the Grand Canyon from the South Rim to the North Rim and back again constitutes not only the most demanding stroll on this list, but a mind-blowing, top-to-bottom tour of one of Earth's most magnificent and unfathomable natural features—twice in one day.


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