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Vytina is a picturesque village lying deep in the mountainous countryside of Mainalo about 40 kilometers from Tripoli. Located at an altitude of 1033 meters and surrounded by pines, firs, and plane trees it is the perfect destination for a day trip from Athens.
Its traditional architecture, beautiful mountain views, and tasty cuisine make Vytina interesting enough on its own but for me, the best comes outside of the village.
Vytina lies on the 75 kilometers long Menalon trail crossing the mountains of Mainalo on its way from Stemnitsa to Lagadia which makes it a great hiking destination with multiple well-marked hiking trails to choose from.
Maps, signposting & difficulty
To get a taste of the Menalon trail we choose to walk from Vytina to the Mylaontas river and towards Elati village. We didn’t have much time on our hands and decided to hike along the river until we met the regional road connecting Tripoli and Olympia. From here, we returned back the same way.
The whole hike only had about 8 km in length and 250 meters of elevation gain. It was clear and well-marked by yellow signs pinned to the trees. It was easy to follow and didn’t pose any challenges.
The area of Vytina is covered in the Anavasi Map of Mainalo but we didn’t really need a map for this hike. However, it can be useful if you decide to spend a bit more time in Mainalo and explore this beautiful region further.
Check out this post from our recent trip to Mainalo including a climb to the summit of Tzelati and the hike through the Arkoudorema near Piana.
How to get to Vytina from Athens
Even though some of the mountain villages of Menalo are reachable by the KTEL buses via Tripoli, driving is a much better and faster choice.
The drive from Athens to Vytina took us around two hours (180 km) and was pretty straightforward. We followed the Kalamata highway from Athens until the exit at Nestani.
We left the highway in the direction of Ancient Olympia and followed the regional road Kallianou – Levidiou until we encountered a sign for Vytina (Google Maps directions HERE).
Hiking along the Mylaontas river near Vytina
We started our hike at the center of Vytina and followed green signs that took us to the outskirt of the village. After a while, we come across another trail marked by yellow signs branching to the left. It took us all the way down to the river.
Once we reached the river we turned left and followed a clear trail running along its banks. The river got its name from the many mills scattered on its banks and their remains can still be seen along the path.
In Greece, many rivers are a seasonal thing with little to no water during the summer months. Mylaontas river is probably not an exception but at the end of February, there was plenty of water rushing over the boulders creating rapids and lovely turquoise pools.
After about 2 kilometers of walking, we arrived at a beautiful old stone bridge called Zarziou and made a necessary photo stop here. The bridge is estimated to be built in the late 18th century and was vital for crossing the Mylaontas river on the way from Vytina to Magouliana.
From the bridge, we continued along the banks of the Mylaontas river shaded by plane trees in the direction of Elati. We crossed another wooden bridge a stream called Barba and ended our hike at the ruins of three abandoned watermills.
We returned back to Vytina the same way and ended our hike in a lovely tavern called Klimataria in Vytina enjoying their delicious mezedes and local wine.