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Kastri Kynourias

Kastri is a picturesque village in Kynouria, built on Mount Parnon at an altitude of 950 metres, and is part of the so-called kastritohoria. It is located approximately 28 kilometres from Tripolis and 42 kilometres from Astros. Up until 1960 it was known as Agios Nikolaos and, at the beginning of the last century, it hosted the headquarters of the municipality of Tania, which consisted of the villages of Elatos, Oria, Nea Hora, Perdikovrysi, Karatoula, Mesorraxi and Agios Nikolaos.

Due to its incredible natural beauty, the area around Kastri and kastritohoria was justifiably given the name “Pelion of Arcadia”. Especially impressive is the cedar forest, unique in all of Greece, situated at a close distance on the road between Astros and Agios Petros. A Centre of Environmental Education has operated here since 2007-2008, further emphasizing the area’s importance and identity.

Kastri, formerly known as Agios Nikolaos, is a picturesque village on Mount Parnon, belonging to the municipality of North Kynouria. It is the biggest of the so-called kastritohoria, which is a cluster of villages. The area around these has been justifiably named “Pelion of Arcadia”, due to its unparalleled beauty.

Kastri is built at an altitude of 950 metres, hidden amongst a verdant range of hills, filled with chestnut, plane, cherry and walnut trees. In the past it was very prosperous. During the last century, its residents, in an attempt to avoid emigration, mastered various professions, like those of the artisan and the miller, and they did very well from this. At its best, Kastri had a population of 2,000 people. Unfortunately, living conditions were difficult and this forced many to abandon their birthplace and seek work elsewhere, leaving only 400 residents behind. Today, the residents are mostly engaged in farming and agriculture, and the village is known for its chestnut production.

Kastri has a lovely square and numerous picturesque narrow streets, which lead to traditional stone houses and old stores. Visitors can sip their coffee and taste unique local delicacies in one of the cafes while enjoying the exquisite view of Mount Parnon in the background. Then they can wander around to see the two-storey stone elementary school, which was donated by Syggros in 1912, the lovely church of Agios Nikolaos, as well as the water mill of the church that still stands above the last houses of the village. An imposing gorge begins on the northeast side of Kastri. The Monastery of Saint John the Baptist is situated inside this gorge and is accessible by foot, passing through truly breathtaking landscapes. Finally, the only cedar forest in Greece is situated at a close distance from the village and is a place of unique environmental and aesthetic value. During the winter, Kastri and the nearby area are covered by snow, something that creates a fairytale setting.

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