We walked from Stemnitsa town & saw two old monasteries along the way. However we had a bit of trouble getting a trail map. Before we left Australia, we bought... read more a map via Menalon Trail site, but no matter how I tried, I just couldn’t download the map they sent on the email. We just loved the look of Stemnista town as we drove through & rang Mpelleiko Guest House that afternoon & got a room there. Luckily the owner Nena was very knowledgeable about the trail & lent us a map & explained the good trail to walk. Anyway the first Monastery was called Prodromos in the cliff!!! Two monks greeted us with Greek coffee, water & some sweets. Saw some interesting frescos in a small chapel. The view from the verandah was so beautiful, but if I saw myself from the bottom of the cliff, I would be so scared to death!
Then we saw the other monastery was called old Philosophou(not in use) & also the new one. At the new one, a very friendly monk greeted us with some cold water & sweets & showed us the inside of the church full of beautiful frescos. Must shut the door of the church after you walk in or else, so many cats will follow you inside. Then we went down to Lousios River to swim, but the water was so cold & my husband did swim for 5 mins & I could only walk in for 1 mins & left. All this took 8 hours & that was one of the best memories of Greek holiday. Also we could easily drive to each monastery, we are so glad that we walked to find some interesting plants & great sceneries. We would like to do all 75 km of 8 sections one day.
November 27, 2017
With a small team of nature lovers we hiked 4 of the most difficult trails at Menalon Trail over last week, starting from Karytaina, Moni Panagias Kalamiou, Atsicholos, Lousios river,... read more Moni Agiou Ioannou Prodromou, Moni Panagias Filosofou, Dimitsana, Elati, Zygovisti,Vytina. Since I'm amateur in this kind of excursions I faced many difficulties on walking many times under the hot summer sun of Greece or at very narrow paths, but I also enjoyed every step under the huge pine, oak and fir trees. Swimming at Lousios river natural Spa waters was so exciting that we spend almost 3 hours relaxing and sunbathing. The signs and explanatory panels were very helpful. At the villages we visited and stayed the people were very hospitable offering the nicest goods that they had, but the most important their warm welcome and smile. At the monasteries, visitors are welcomed with water and loukoumi so to refresh and rest a bit. From the monks we learned quite a number of historical and art details about the monastery and the people that lived there.
It really worths a lot to walk on foot to feel and discover real life.
July 18, 2016
I hiked the trail solo in the last week of June and it was fantastic. I did it in four sections and walked to a village with accommodation every day.... read more I want to share that it is possible because I couldn't find any other reviews where people did it this way before I went. (I’m a 35 year old female, pretty confident hiking).
Tip: FOLLOW THE SIGNS. They are frequent so if you haven’t seen one for a while, consider backtracking. They are visible but it only takes a minute to miss a turn into the forest. Sometimes the trail has to be changed due to conditions, so there are handwritten notes on the little signs.
My recommended alternative shorter adventure would be to walk day 1 and day 4 and spend more time relaxing in the villages.
Day 1: Stemnitsa to Dimitsana
Short day, about 5.5 hours including stopping to explore old monasteries.
Day 2: Dimitsana to Vytina (via Zygovisti and Elati)
It is admittedly a big day, up to 10 hours, but if you are reasonably fit and experienced and set off early it's achievable.
Day 3: Vytina to Valtesiniko (via Magouliana)
This is a long pants day, lots of scrub. Took about 8 hours with stops.
Shout out to my hosts at Petra & Elato Hotel and to the family that runs Taverna Vasilikos (Ταβέρνα Βασιλικός), they were so friendly and made me a superb pizza.
Day 4: Valtesiniko to Lagkadia
Definitely one of the nicest scenery days, and some of the best walking. About 5 hours. Glad for my leftover pizza.
August 11, 2019
I recently visited and walked part 5 of Menalon Trail, starting from Vytina to Nymfasia..but we also walked all the way to Kernitsa monastery...I am an experience and professional guide... read more myself from Evia island..My visit was part of the the 1st Panhellenic Meeting on Hiking Networks and the 3rd European Conference of Representatives of Certified LQT (Leading Quality Trails) paths. In my opinion this trail network does serve the purpose it was initially created for..to revive small mountain villages through outdoor and hiking activities, also promoting the landscape, culture and gastronomy. The trails are reasonably well maintained, and the marking are sufficient to keep you going..i wish the team good luck with their trail projects, as their future goal is to connect all ancient sites of Peloponnese, such as Mycenes and Ancient Olympia with the same walking path, which i find really fascinating..
November 6, 2017
i traveld whit giannis. a nice guid. he took us for a nice wallk over the melnia wallk. He knows all the trails in the area. It's worth a stroll... read more through the villages along the river that connects them. On the way to see monasteries hanging. You can also ask him for a bike ride. firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 12, 2019
We hiked just section 4 between Elati and Vytina. Few things to know before you hike: if you hike in summer better do it early in the morning. Download... read more an android app which works offline, it will save you time and energy, don't 100 %rely on signs. For section 4 stay in Vytina (we stay in Art mainalon hotel), take a taxi to Elati, main Square about 13-15 euros. You will be tired , so when your hotel is in the main street, it helps. One more comment about the route, it is not easy, so don't take kids with you, maybe adolescents will be o.k.
July 1, 2021
This trail is really amazing!
We did 3 parts:
Dimitsana - Stemnitsa: Both villages are beautiful. The trail takes you through the gorge where you have a great... read more view of the river Lousios. The nature is really something to see. Very peaceful trail, we encountered very few people. The monastery close to Stemnitsa is also worth visiting. Once you are at the top a great view awaits you.
Stemnitsa - Karitaina: Karitaina is really a very beautiful village. This is not part of the official trail and is not so well maintained, however it is really amazing. I would not recommend it to acrophobic people. Also consider that despite the fact the hike is short, it still takes a while to do since the path is not so easy to go through. You once more decent into the gorge of the river and, for the most part, hike along the river Lousios.
Elati - Vytina: An amazing part of the trail. First going through a cedar forest and along a small river. Really worth it. Again both villages are really beautiful. With a bit of lack we were able to get a cab from Vytina back to Elati for about 15 euro.
May 5, 2019
A wonderful walk - highly recommended. We staying in Dimitsana and took a taxi to Stemnitsa, and walked back along the trail. The section is 12.5km and a combined ascent... read more of 700m (although it felt more). The walk is about 5 hours plus stops. Setting off it the morning we were above the clouds which gradually cleared during the day. Basically the walk takes through the gorge starting at 1000m and dropping to 500m and then back to 1000m. The trail is extremely well way-marked, as are many Greek paths, pretty hard to get lost, and we did not take a map. We were lucky with the weather, there was torrential rain just after we return and I imagine it could get very hot in the summer months.
October 24, 2021
We walked from Stemnitsa town & saw two old monasteries along the way. However we had a bit of trouble getting a trail map. Before we left Australia, we bought... read more
November 27, 2017
With a small team of nature lovers we hiked 4 of the most difficult trails at Menalon Trail over last week, starting from Karytaina, Moni Panagias Kalamiou, Atsicholos, Lousios river,... read more
July 18, 2016
I hiked the trail solo in the last week of June and it was fantastic. I did it in four sections and walked to a village with accommodation every day.... read more
August 11, 2019
I recently visited and walked part 5 of Menalon Trail, starting from Vytina to Nymfasia..but we also walked all the way to Kernitsa monastery...I am an experience and professional guide... read more
November 6, 2017