Arkades are considered to be the most ancient inhabitants of Peloponnese. In historical period they created big cities. In 1205 Arkadia was conquered by the Frankish, in 1330 by Andronikos Palaeologos, and in 1458 by the Turks. It was liberated in 1828.
Immense forests, picturesque villages, wild nature but also sea with marvellous beaches in the seasides compose the natural environment of Arkadia.
After Argolida, following the coastal road, the first village of the Kynourian land to be met is the picturesque Xiropigado with taverns where you can enjoy fresh fish by the sea. It combines mountain and sea, green and blue landscape, built by the seashore in the centre of the Argolic gulf. To the western side it dominates imposingly the mountain range Zavitsa. The clear blue sea, mirror of the wonderful beach with pebble, invites you to enjoy the sun and swimming, whereas a little farther they are hidden small ports and beaches for solitary and romantic walks.
The road from Xeropigado leads to Astros. Its name is after the star shape of the peninsula where it is built on. Here, in 1823 the Second National Assembly of Greeks took place. You can visit the Archaeological Museum with findings from the villa of Herodes Attikos and the monastery of Metamorfossi of Sotiras Loukous built in the 12th century on the ruins of the sanctuary of Polemokrates. The courtyard of the monastery is decorated with sculptured works from the villa of Herodes Attikos.
Paralio Astros (Astros by the sea) is a picturesque village in islander’s style, built amphitheatrically. At the top of the peninsula there is an acropole and to the northwestern side of it ancient walls. The white houses of the village are spread near the clear beach 8 km. long.
In Paralio Astros there is an open theater during summertime where cultural and artistical festivities take place.
The journey from Paralio Astros as far as Tyros is of unique beauty. To the right there are standing high up green mountains and to the left enchanting small bays and beaches among the vilages known for their fresh fish. The beach of Tyros, is 2 km. long, with clean pebble. From Tyros you can visit Sapounakeika and Ano Tyros that are traditional settlements with marvellous view to Argolic gulf. In the region they are located the archaeological sites of Kastro, the sanctuary of Apollo Tyritas and the castle of Oriondas.
A picturesque by the sea country town is also Leonidio, 93 km. southeast of Tripoli built in the fertile valley of the river Dafnonas. Mansions with courtyards, gardens, wooden floors, carved ceilings, symmetrical windows, decorated gates of courtyards and artistically made chimneys, all these compose the Tsakoniki architecture offered to the visitor.
Easter is celebrated in Leonidio in an extraordinary way. In the night of Resurrection multi-coloured baloons made by the people themselves are lifted up in the sky. Every summer the municipality of Leonidio organizes the celebration of the tsakoniki aubergine while it takes place contest of traditional cooking as well.
Port serving to Leonidio is Plaka in a distance of 4 km., with its wonderful small port.
Very close to Leonidio it is situated the picturesque village Sambatiki known for its fresh fish with clear blue sea ideal for calm vacations.
On the foot of Parnonas, 37 km. southeast of Tripoli it is located the mountainous village Aghios Petros in a green environment. It is worthwhile to visit the church of St. Petros in the square, the monastery of Panaghia Malevi built in byzantine period as well as the forest of cedars near the monastery.
Following the road, in the centre of Parnonas you will meet the picturesque village Aghios Ioannis with rich vegetation in an altitude of 650 m.
75 km. southeast of Tripoli it is situated the traditional mountainous village Kastanitsa, a preservable settlement in a location full of firs and chestnut-trees in the centre of Parnonas.
Levidi, historical country town of Arkadia, is built in the mountainside of Maenalo with luxurian vegetation in an altitude of 850 m., in a distance of 25 km. northwards of Tripoli. In the village, homeland of the politician and sociologist Alexander Papanastassiou, there is a museum with personal objects of the father of Democracy. The marble statue of the hero of the battle of Levidi (14/4/1821) Anagnostis Striftombolas, a masterpiece of expressive concept and sculptured art, decorates the square of Levidi. You can also visit the byzantine church of Timios Prodromos. One of the most beautiful, traditional,
preservable villages of Peloponnese is Dimitsana, built amphitheatrically in two hills, in an altitude of 1.000m. in the magnificent Maenalo with view to the river Loussios. Its stone-built houses appear from the stone-paved narrow streets and among them it is the house of Palaeon Patron Germanos that houses the Ecclessiastical Museum as well as that one of Patriarch Gregorios the Fifth.
In the library of the village they are kept rare editions, archaeological and popular art collection too.
You will be enchanted walking along the banks of the river Loussios where Zeus had washed himself as well as going to the ravine with the outdoors Museum of Hydro-movement. Also in the banks of the river Loussios, in a ravine it is located the monastery of Philosophos, dedicated to the Kimissi of Theotokos (Assumption of Virgin Mary).