15th stop: Tripoli
Tripoli is a city of about 25,000 inhabitants in the central part of the Peloponnese, in Greece. It is the capital of the prefecture of Arcadia and the centre of the municipality of Tripolis with a total population of 48,000.
Modern Tripolis was created in 1770 near the ruins of the ancient cities of Pallantion, Tegea, and Mantinea, hence its name Τρipolis = tri polis ‘three cities’. Before the Greek War of Independence, it served as one of the Ottoman administrative centers in the Peloponnese and had large Muslim and Jewish populations. Tripolis was one of the main targets of the Greek insurgents in the Greek War of Independence, who stormed it on October 17, 1821, following the bloody Siege of Tripolitsa, and proceeded to exterminate the Muslim and Jewish populations in revenge.Ibrahim Pasha retook the city on June 22, 1825, after it had been abandoned by the Greeks. Before his evacuation of Peloponnese early 1828, he destroyed the city and tore down its walls.
Tripolis became a major center of newly independent Greek state.
Tripolis is located in the center of the Peloponnese, in a broad montane basin at approximately 650m in altitude. Tripolis is surrounded by thickly wooded mountains on all sides, the tallest and closest of which is Mount Mainalon to the northwest. The southwest of the Tripolis basin formerly consisted of wetlands which have now been drained and converted to farmland. Because of its inland location and high altitude, Tripolis has a transitional mediterranean/continental climate with hot dry summers and cold winters. Snow can occur several times between late October and early April.
Because of its location at the centre of the Peloponnese, Tripolis is a transportation hub. Tripoli is served by the metre gauge railway line from Corinth to Kalamata of the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE). The line has recently been renovated.
Mainalo is a mountain range that spans about 15 to 20 km from north to south (southwest of Tripoli to NE of Vytina) and from east to west from 5 to 10 km. (from Zygovisti to Kapsas). Much of the area used to be covered in old-growth forests but most were burnt in 2000 and especially in September 2011.
In the medieval times and until the late-20th century, Mount Mainalo was known as Apano Chrepa. It is also a village which is located in the mountain range and dates back to the ancient times. The mountain is home to the skiing resort which is located in the middle of a mountain 20 km NW of Tripoli and 9 km SW of GR-74/GR-33, northbound. The elevation of the skiing resort is at 1,550 m. The mountaintop which is also known as Ostrakia elevates at 1,860 m is in the northwest central part. Mainalo is the tallest mountain in Arcadia. The highest mountaintop is named Profiti Ilia. The entire area is also a parkland.
Things to do
Skiing: Ostrakinas Ski Resort has an excellent ski area, a small but modern ski resort, hostel, cafeteria and 5 ski lifts. It does though, boast a very impressive 1052 metres (3450 feet) of vertical descent. For lovers of the sport, skiers, there are four tracks that they can use. The teachers supply equipment; you can rent everything you need for skiing.
Only few resorts have the privilege of such a unique position within trees, while having easy access, just two hours drive from Athens, and this makes it very attractive.
Rafting, hiking, canyoning: Lucius is a small river, 23 km long. It stems from the plateau of Karkalou and flows in the region of Karytaina. According to the old myths, it was in this river that Zeus was “bathed” by the nymphs, when he was born. Its waters maintain the same temperature all year round.
In the gorge of Lucius various sports such as rafting, kayak, trekking and canyoning are organized and conducted, in the area of Ancient Gortyna near the bridge of Atsicholou.
Mainalon Resort Hotel
Platia Areos, Tripoli 22100, Greece
The completely refurbished Mainalon Resort, built in Tripolis city center, offers a 24-hour front desk service combined with beautiful views of the Arcadian scenery. Parking and Wi-Fi are free. ($91 – $222)
Kolokotroni Sq. 1, Tripoli 22100, Greece
The historical hotel Arkadia, at the center of Tripolis, now fully renovated, welcomes guests again, with high standard facilities to fulfill all demands. The rooms as well as the building is a unique architectural inspiration of both minimal and modern styles and Arcadia Hotel offers a truly unique hosting experience. ($78 – $91)