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To the west of Corinth at a distance of 22 km., is the town of Kiato, the second largest civic center of the prefecture. Kiato is the seat of the municipality of Sicyon, and is traversed by the rivers Elisson and Kyrillos.

Kiato, population 11,000 and its three settlements (Neapolis, Tragana and Agios Ioannis) is the center of commercial activity in the municipality. The Metropolis of Kiato is situated in the center of the town and is dedicated to the Metamorphosis of the Saviour.

During ancient times the port of Ancient Sicyon, which was preserved until the Byzantine period, was to be found close to the settlement of Agios Ioannis.

Today there still exist two pine-covered hills, which were formed during the construction of the port, known as Magoula and Panagitsa. On the hill called Panagitsa there is the church of The Holy Virgin, built on the site of an earlier 5th century basilica.

Very close to the railway tracks we find the restored “Theocharis Residence”, built in 1853 by the famous architect, Chiller. Kiato is considered to be one of the most important commercial centers of the Peloponnese.

From Kiato and taking the old, Athens-Patra National Road, we pass over the bridges of the rivers Elisson and Kyrillos; we arrive at a crossroads that takes us to the village of Pasio, built on a hill in 1720. To the south of Diminio, characterized by its small seaside pinewood, the uphill road takes us to Laliotis and after a further 4 km. to the southern part of the village of Megas Valtos at an altitude of 540 mtrs.

The area is full of streams with running water and planted with enormous plane trees. Its restaurants and grills are very popular during the summer months offering cool and pleasant surroundings. At the exit of the village is a crossroads, which takes us to Pasio and Souli. Mikros Valtos to the west of Megas Valtos is charming, as is its neighbor, surrounded by vineyards and fruit orchards, with an exhilarating view of the Gulf of Corinth.

Souli_Kryoneri
After the Elisson Bridge, we follow the road south passing the bridge over the New National road, leaving behind us the district of Arkouda and 12km. later arrive at the village of Souli. Built at an altitude of 620 mtrs. it offers one of the most beautiful views of the Gulf of Corinth. In a paved square the church of The Holy Virgin, built in 1906, stands out. Continuing to the south the left-hand fork in the road takes us to the village of Kryoneri standing at an altitude of 740 mtrs. This village is distinguished by the marble temple of its central church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, built in the 19th century. South of the village the spruce covered mount Veseza rises, with the 11th century Byzantine monastery of Lechova. The floor of the nave is laid with marble of various colours, forming a mosaic of geometric design. Close to the monastery is a cave that was used as a place of worship in archaic times.

Continuing on from Kryoneri, in a westerly direction and after about 2 km. we reach the Observatory of Kryoneri.

Paradeisi-Gonousa-Titani-Bozika
To the south of Kryoneri, after some kilometers we find Paradeisi, a small village that owes its name to its ideal surroundings. Two km. south of Paradeisi is Gonousa or Liopesi, which is mentioned in the catalogue of Nea in the Iliad with the name of Gonoessa.

A further three km. to the south is Titani where was to be found in antiquity the most reputed of the temples of Asclepius with direct ties to Ancient Sicyon. The walled acropolis of Ancient Titani is still visible to the northwest of the village and inside it the church of Agios Triphonos.

After Titani the road takes us to the southernmost village in the municipality, Bozika. To the west we find “Anavara” an oasis of running waters, plane trees and an idyllic spot.

Houni-Mougostos Forest
From Kryoneri, driving towards the west, we arrive in the area of Houni, a gorge where the road from Xylocastro, Stylia-Throphari, forms a junction with the road from Souli, Klimenti and from Stymphalia. On the plateau to the northeast is the only oak forest of the municipality the renowned “Mougostos”.

Klimenti-Velina
At about 4 km. to the south of Houni we find Klimenti, one of the oldest villages of the area, built in the 1400. During the uprising of 1821 the village played a leading role, as it was the headquarters of Theodoros and Gennaios Kolokotronis. From the time of King Otto until1912 Klimenti was the seat of the municipality of Pellini. The central church of the village is Agios Giorgios built in 1904 with a woodcarved temple.

Before the village of Klimenti, a right turn will take us to the village of Velina, 5 km. away, standing at an altitude of 930 mtrs. The forest of black pines that lies between itself and Klimenti distinguishes the village. A monument of the village is the church of Agios Dimitrios with a woodcarved temple and icons from the beginning of the 19th century.

Moulki- Vasiliko (Ancient Sikyon)
From the center of Kiato we follow the road to Sicyon and passing the settlement of Tragana we continue uphill to Moulki. To the west of the village, on the banks of the river Elisson we find the monastery of Agios Stephanos, which was the monastery farm of the monastery Lechova, while four kilometres south-east of Moulki is Vasiliko (Ancient Sicyon) where we find its stone built Byzantine church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, built in the 12th century. To the west of the village we find the ruins of Ancient Sicyon. The theatre and the roman baths are the most impressive features. By the side of the theatre (SW) was the stadium (the length of the tack is approximately 207 mtrs.), the brick built roman baths are well preserved and functions today as a contemporary archaeological museum. In the market place the foundations of the Hellenistic parliament house have been uncovered, a spacious square building, the exterior has four series of four columns, a portico and a temple. The gymnasium, with the name of Cleinias, the father of Aratus, built around 280 BC, is well worth seeing. It is built on two levels with three steps joining the two parts.

#mythicalpeloponnese

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