The Southern Driving Route No. 1 – “Vatika 1”

The Southern Driving Route No. 1 explores the mountain range overlooking Neapoli and the area’s picturesque villages. It includes a stop at Kastania, one of Greece’s most impressive caves. Detours of a few minutes provide access to several attractive beaches. A dense network of hiking paths criss-cross the pristine nature of this mountain range and the rugged coastline reaching down to Cape Maleas.

The road heading east from Neapoli first leads to the village of Mesochori. On the outskirts of the village lies the abandoned castle of Aghia Paraskevi providing astonishing views of the Neapoli plain, the coastline and the islands of Elafonisos and Kythira.

The road then goes further up the mountains, past some sleepy villages and leads to Kastania cave, one of the country’s most impressive geological sites. A must-visit!

Recommended beach: Panagia

The next stop is at the village of Paradisi. Its residents, taking advantage of the numerous water springs of the area, created a network of watermills over the centuries. Nowadays only one recently restored watermill continues this tradition.

The tour ends at Velanidia, one of the area’s most picturesque villages. Its white, traditional tiled-roof houses form an amphitheatre on the slopes of Mt. Krithina, with a superb view of the Aegean Sea. Next to the village’s small port lies an attractive pebble beach.

Recommended beach: Velanidia

Driving Route No. 1 – Vatika

This route stops at:

  • – Mesochori
  • – Kastania Cave
  • – Paradisi
  • – Velanidia

Total distance from first to last stop: 30km

Distance from Monemvasia to the first stop: 42km

Distance from Neapoli to the first stop: 5km

Distance from Plitra to the first stop: 41km

Distance from Kiparissi to the first stop: 93km

The Northern Driving Route – “Zarakas”

The Northern Route starts at the ruins of Epidaurus Limira. The few remnants of the ancient acropolis tell the story of the town that stood there three millennia ago.

Recommended beach: Kastraki

Next comes the tiny port town of Gerakas, well hidden within a scenic fjord. This well-protected anchorage is especially popular with sailing boats that frequent Gerakas during the warmer month of the year. People interested in the town’s past may seek out the ruins of the ancient settlement of Zarakas.

Heading up north towards Richia, there is a detour to the right leading to the historic 19th-century Evangelistria Monastery.

The next stop is at Riechia, the main village of the area. Riechia boasts a folklore museum and some well-preserved buildings showcasing 19th-century and early 20th-century architecture.

Recommended beach: Vlychada

An interesting stop further north is at the Doukas organic winery in Lampokampos, a place to try and buy the local wines.

As the road continues towards Kyparissi, the scenery becomes more dramatic. Forest-covered mountains, steep cliffs and the commanding vistas of the Myrtoo Sea dominate the landscape around Kyparissi, a picturesque town surrounded by beaches, medieval castles and a hillside ideal for rock climbing. This serene place is especially attractive for people looking for seclusion and quiet.

Recommended beach: Μegali Ammos

Driving Route – “Zarakas”

This route stops at:

  • – Epidaurus Limera
  • – Gerakas port
  • – Evangelistria Monastery
  • – Riechia
  • – Lambokambos
  • – Kyparissi

Total distance from first to last stop: 46 km

Approximate distance from Monemvasia to the first stop: 12 km

Approximate distance from Neapoli to the first stop: 50 km

Approximate distance from Elia-Plytra-Arhaggelos : 30 km