Valtesiniko, the amazing village of the prefecture of Arcadia, will fully charm you with the natural beauty that spreads in its landscape. It is located on the slopes of Mount Mainalo with an altitude exceeding 1,000 meters and is one of the mountainous ornaments of the entire prefecture, which is certainly worth exploring. So let's go see what you can do while in this picturesque village. In Valtesiniko the sights, anyway are enough...
Built amphitheatrically on the hill of Palaiokastro, Valtesiniko, the enchanting village in the mountains of Gortynia, you will see it called the "Balcony of Mainalo". Walking through the streets of the characterized as traditional settlement, you will see picturesque houses made of stone and dressed with roofs of tiles in bright red color. The central stone-built square is the heart of the village, and while exploring it you will admire a rich religious and historical tradition under the sounds of gurgling water flowing abundantly from the stone fountains and against the backdrop of a verdant environment dominated by green fir and walnut trees.
At the highest point of the hill, you will find the remains of a small castle from the Middle Ages. These traces, along with references of more than seven centuries, testify to its existence as a fortress in the past, although you will not find it preserved today. The strong presence of religiosity in the place indicates its presence in the ten churches of the settlement, with each of them It is A true masterpiece. Make a stop at the monastery dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary a short distance from the village, where you will have the opportunity to see a variety of icons and hagiographies of rare value. Follow the path that runs in front of you to reach the legendary monastery of Agios Nikolaos inside a cavity of the rock.
Valtesiniko: A village with tradition, all weather
Valtesiniko also known as the village of woodcarvers, it is praised for the unparalleled art of woodcarving that flourished in the area. During about a century, the wood craftsmen of the settlement gained great fame for their masterful ecclesiastical iconostasis with that of the Church of Agioi Theodoroi and Agios Georgios contributing an indisputable sample.
During the 1980s, Valtesiniko acquired a high-profile woodcarving school with students coming from various areas. Wood carving remains even today a kind of tradition for the locals who are constantly engaged in wood.
Activities in the wonderful Valtesiniko
Just a few kilometers from the settlement of Valtesinikos you will see the river Ladonas and its homonymous artificial lake stretching in front of you. The beautiful environment of Ladonas with its mild waters is ideal for indulging in a variety of activities. Rowing, swimming, and even fishing are some of the alternatives, with hiking or cycling along its banks being one of the activities you should definitely choose. The dam of Ladonas is undoubtedly one of its most important attractions, the creation of which resulted in the birth of the amazing artificial lake.
The ecological park of the enchanting lake of Ladonas also invites you to hike or paddle and swim in its wonderful waters. If the water level allows it, do not forget to admire the exquisite bridge of Kyra.
Stop at the imposing sanatorium of "Mana"
In a location that looks like an Alpine landscape, on the road that connects the settlement with Dimitsana, you will see standing the former sanatorium named "Mana". At a time when tuberculosis plagued the country, Anna Papadopoulou, sister of Pavlos Melas, organized fundraisers raising money, which she intended to use for the construction of this then-state-of-the-art sanatorium. The contribution of her work was of such great value that she was given the nickname "Mana", which eventually christened the entire hospital. Shortly before 2020, the "Mana's Sanatorium" was declared a listed monument, while it secured the building permit that allowed its conversion into a luxurious hotel unit.
How to get to Valtesiniko: To enjoy the extremely charming scenery of Valtesinikos in mountainous Arcadia, you will need to cross a distance of 210 km from Athens, which you will cover in about two and a half hours. While on the Athens - Patras highway, just after Corinth choose the highway A7 Tripoli - Kalamata. Along the way, you choose Ancient Olympia - Vytina. Then continue straight towards Vytina and Pyrgos and you will reach your destination.
Valtesiniko is one of the all-weather villages of Arcadia whose nature will take your breath away, travel there to see it with your own eyes.