Tripoli – Mountainous Capital Surrounded By Gorge And Quaint Villages

Tripoli Greece is the capital of the prefecture Arcadia built in the middle of a valley surrounded by Artemisio, Parthenios and Mainalo mountains.

Tripoli is a city of about 22,500 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.

Where is Tripoli Greece?

Map of Tripoli Arkadias in Peloponnese Greece
Map of Tripoli in Arkadia – Click to enlarge map

Tripoli is located in the center of the Peloponnese, in a broad montane basin at approximately 650m in altitude. Tripoli 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 Tripoli basin formerly consisted of wetlands which have now been drained and converted to farmland. Because of its inland location and high altitude, Tripoli has a transitional mediterranean/continental climate with hot dry summers and cold winters. Snow can occur several times between late October and early April.

Fall of Tripolis, Greece
Fall of Tripolis, 1821

History of Tripoli

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.

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.

Dimitsana village

The famous village of Dimitsana with traditional character, Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece
The famous village of Dimitsana with traditional character, Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece

Dimitsana is a picturesque village built across two hills at the entrance of Lousios Gorge. You will find this delightful Medieval village about 11 km north of Stemnitsa village. The tiny village of Dimitsana played a significant role in the struggle for independence from the Turks. It was here the ideas leading to the uprising were born with its Greek school founded in 1764. Among its students were the Bishop Germanos of Patra and Patriarch Gregory V. The latter was hanged by the Turks in retaliation for the massacre in Tripoli. It was also in the village of Dimitsana that a branch of the secret Filiki Eteria (trans. Friendly Society) kept several gunpowder factories, and where Greeks met to plan the revolution. Today, Dimitsana is a tranquil village perfect for hiking during the summer months and a hub for skiing weekenders during winter.

Village of Stemnitsa with traditional character, Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece
The traditional village of Stemnitsa in Arcadia

Mount Mainalo, known as Apano Chrepa

Foggy landscape at sunset in mountains of Greece, Peloponnese
Foggy landscape at sunset in mountains of Greece, Peloponnese

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.

Lousios Gorge - Mainalo Mountain, Arkadia, Greece

Hiking Tyros Arcadia


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.

Ostrakinas Ski Resort

skiing in Greece

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.

Rafting, hiking, and canyoning in Lousios Gorge

Lousios Gorge, Arkadia, Peloponnese, Greece
Lousios Gorge at the mountain range Mainalo in Arcadia

Lousios 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 Lousios various sports such as rafting, kayak, trekking and canyoning are organized and conducted, in the area of Ancient Gortyna near the bridge of Atsicholou.

Ancient Tegéa

Ruins of the ancient city of Tegea, Peloponnese, Greece
Ruins of the ancient city of Tegea

8 kilometres south of Tripoli you will find the important ancient site of Tegéa.