Day 2 From Athens travel to Kardamyli.
After breakfast, half day sightseeing tour of Athens, the hostess of the next Olympic Games in 2004. Visit Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Archaeological Museum and Panathinaikon Stadium, the stadium where the first Olympic games were held in 1896. Lunch in a tavern. Early in the afternoon, transfer to Kardamyli (5 hours). Lunch by a seaside tavern. Arrive in Kardamyli, settle to our guesthouse. Dinner Spend the night in Kardamyli.
Optional: If we arrive early in the afternoon, we may walk up to Petrovouni village, St. Sofia 11th-century church and back (mule path, 2 hours).
Day 3 Viros gorge and villages (5 hours)
Transfer to Exohori village (30 minutes). We then walk down into the dry Viros gorge, with views up to the Taygetus peaks, and up a winding mule path to Tseria village for a coffee break and afterwards another stop for a light picnic lunch. Afterwards we walk via Pedino village to Kalives hamlet before descending back into Viros gorge and along it to Kardamyli (on partly overgrown paths and stony riverbed between high cliffs). Dinner and O/N in Kardamyli guesthouse.
Day 4 “Castles and churches” walk (6 hours)
Transfer to Sotirianika village (45 minutes). We walk past the deserted monastery of St. George, across a stone bridge over the Koskarakas gorge, and past the nunnery of Evangelistria to reach Kambos village (3 hrs, dirt road and paths). Here we visit a Mycenaean grave tomb, a 19th-century mansion and (½ hr walk) the 15th-century Zarnatas castle and private chapel of Zoodohou Pigis with its unusual and well-preserved frescoes; picnic lunch here. We continue via Malta village, the Koumoundourakis castle and follow the coastal mule path back to Kardamyli (3 hours). O/N Kardamyli.
Day 5 Travel to Mystras and short walk (1-2 hours)
Drive to Mystras for about 3 hours in beautiful scenery of Southern Peloponese wildness and finish the day with a short introductory walk around the area. Lunch in a tavern. Spend the night in a hotel.
Day 6 Loop walk around Mystras (5 hours)
Transfer to the chapel of St. George, our departure point for today’s trek. We take the old kalderimi (mule path) up to the village of Anavrity. We continue on dirt road and path and after a picnic halt in the beautiful tranquil village of Soha, we then descend to the plain on a spectacular mule path giving excellent panoramic view. The trek ends at Kalivia Sohas for a transfer back by car or taxi at Mystras.
Day 7 Mystras (6 hours)
Walk up through ruined Byzantine town visiting numerous churches, with their excellent restored frescoes, and the 13th-century castle (1½ hrs walking time, 300m climb). At the one functioning convent remember to dress properly (long trousers for men, long skirts for ladies). You can either go with the leader (who is not qualified by Greek law to guide you round the site but does have a good working knowledge of the history and buildings) or make your own way to the castle gate and meet there. We return to modern Mystras village along a valley path (1 hour, 300 meters drop). In the afternoon, optional visit to Sparta.
Day 8 Return to Athens
After breakfast transfer back to Athens. End of the trip.
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