Roadtrip to Peloponissos - Day 1

The first day of our trip we loaded the car and left Athens at about 8 a.m. We quickly took the highway and in 3 hours we were already in the centre of Perloponissos, in the mountain village of Karytaina, where we decided to stop for a short coffee break.

Karytaina is a wonderful quaint village hanging on the slope of the mountain in Arcadia prefecture, sometimes known as the "Greek Toledo". Its castle was constructed in 1245 and was reinforced in 1826 by Kolokotronis, one of the major generals of the Greek revolution, to use it for military headquarters. We had a coffee at Toledo cafe in the main square, watching the endless view from the balcony. On the square were sitting several old local people as well as tourists, chilling in the shade of the morus trees.

Continuing our journey, we decided to make a small change to our initial plans - instead of going to Ancient Olympia and Kaiafa lake, we headed instead more south towards Neda.
On our way, on one of the highest points of the area, we paid a vidit to the Temple of Apollo Epicurius, built in the 5th century BC, now under restoration. Following the snake-like greek mountain road, we passed the ancient fountain of Figaleia and finally drove down the muddy road from Platania to the waterfalls of Neda river.

Neda is a wonderful river to walk through and the only Greek river with female name. To get to the waterfalls you have to walk down the river from where you parked the car or cross the small stone bridge and follow the left path. We played a bit in the waters, but finally decided to follow the path, which was easier and faster if you are not prepared for canyoning.
The waterfalls of Neda are really wonderful, with a small blue lagoon under the first one. This lagoon is perfect for from the surrounding rocks, with a depth of about 2-3 meters. You can go up or down the large waterfall with the help of the ropes that are there. Next to it is a cave with bats through which the river is passing - quite a rush!

After the mountain day, it was time to head down to the beaches of west Peloponissos to cool down and find a place to camp. Due to the itinerary change, we had no idea where to sleep now. We passed Kyparissia and finally stopped at the sandy beach after Filiatra. Apparently there were more free-campers there among the cedar trees and even a small hippie tree-house with a hammock inside! The beach among the trees was a bit dirty, more like a toilet in some parts, but the sunset made up for it!

That concludes our first day of the roadtrip. To be continued! :)