One of the most important sights of the prefecture of Arcadia is the Lousios Gorge. Lousios, as his name reveals, is considered the river where the larvae of Theseus, Neda and Agnos bathed the newborn Zeus. This is an area of rare natural beauty! Let’s find out more!
Lousios is a small river 23 km long, originating mainly from the Karkalos plateau and further north from the village of Kaloneri. After passing through Dimitsana, it reaches the Alfios river. Along the way, Lousios crosses one of the most beautiful canyons of the country, 15 km long, which exceeds 300 meters in height.
Apart from its rare beauty, the canyon has a long history and a strong religious character. On both sides of the gorge are two historical monasteries, the Philosofou Monastery and the Prodromos Monastery. Indeed, because of these 2 monasteries, the area is known as the Holy Mountain of the Peloponnese. Since 1997 it has been classified as a “single archaeological site” and is protected by the Ministry of Culture.
The hiking action begins at the Open Water Museum located just outside Dimitsana. If you have time do not miss to visit. After alternating path and path we look deep into the Philosopher’s Monastery. A visit to the Monastery and a tour of its premises is a must before we continue the tour. Only two monks live in the monastery.
Here the words are superfluous. The monastery is built on the base of a high and steep cliff at an altitude of about 500 meters and is reminiscent of the Great Cave and Meteora. It is worth exploring the interior of the monastery, while not forgetting to visit the room where the abbots of the monastery are kept.
Leaving Prodromos Monastery, the path becomes downhill and leads us back to the river. We have now entered the last part of the route, with the final destination being Ancient Gortyn. Along the way we will find the ruins of the water mud of the Prodromos Monastery, as well as scattered castles carved into the rocks. The end of our journey is marked by the church of St. Andrew Gortynos, an old church built in the 11th century on the remains of a Roman building, just below the old stone arched bridge of Kokori.
In addition to hiking, Lousios Gorge offers other forms of alternative tourism. On the old stone bridge of Atsicholos near Karytaina, organized tours by alternative tourism companies are organized by rafting and kayak descents. Some reach the confluence of the river with the Alfios, and others reach the latter, attracting many lovers of the species for unforgettable experiences in a nature, enchanting and unspoilt!