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    REGION

    The coast of Corinthia is adorned with a series of beautiful seaside villages, which, due to their close proximity to the city of Athens and the ease of access they afford, are the foremost choice of vacationers - not only during the summer months, but also in the winter, due to their temperate climate.

    Xylokastro, a beautiful seaside town 7 km away from Kiato and 40 km. from Corinth, is one of the most famous tourist resorts in the Peloponnese and the epicentre of Corinthia.

    It features excellent tourism infrastructure and Blue Flag awarded beaches, while the Aesthetic Forest of Pefkias - a unique protected coastal pine forest that occupies 244 km2 and boasts 83 different types of plans, age-old pines and various other trees (myrtles, lentisks, cedars, osiers, tamarisks, reeds) - is a true lung of green and an invaluable habitat for small animals, birds and insects.

    In Xylokastro there are many attractions, like the stone-built villa of poet Angelos Sikelianos, the Kiamil Bey Tower (1750), the mansion of Georgios Krinakos (1870-1880) where the City Hall is housed, the summer house of former prime minister Konstantinos Tsaldaris (1884-1970) now operating as a hotel, the Byzantine-styled church of Agios Vlasios, patron saint of Xylokastro, and the paleochristianic-styled church of Panagia Faneromeni.

    At a short distance you will discover picturesque villages, diverse vistas, historical monuments, but also a sense of authentic hospitality. In Psila Alonia visit the church of Agios Gerasimos (1620) and in Kamari make a stop at the Folklife Museum and the top of hill “Koutsa”, while 8 km. from Kamari you can find the monsatery of Panagia Koryfis or Korfiotissa.

     

    Lovers of hiking, can choose the gorge of Fonissa in Korfiotissa, located between villages Kamari and Loutro, one of the most challenging hiking trails in Greece that passes by majestic waterfalls and impressive caves. Lovers of nature can enjoy the valley of Flabouritsa, a unique natural habitat part of the NATURA 2000 network, head to the lake of Dassiou with the wonderful meadows strewn with wild flowers, or even ascend the Psili Korfi [High Summit] of the mountain at an altitude of 2,374 m., to take in the panoramic view stretching from Taygetos to Olympus.

     

    In Kiato, the second largest urban centre of Corinthia, you can visit the Assumption of Mary Lechova monastery at an altitude of 1050 m. and, 4 km. farther, take a tour of the ancient city of Sicyon, the roman baths, the stadium, the palaestra, the council house [bouleuterion], the archeological museum and the paleochristianic Basilica of Sicyon. A little farther, 24 km. from Kiato and at the foothills of mount Vesiza, you will find the ancient Acropolis of Titane with the Asclepeion. Also, of great interest is the Byzantine monastery of Virgin Lexova (11th century) near the top of mount Vesiza (1,270 m.), nestled in a forest of black fir trees. One well-kept secret of this part of the Peloponnese is the Aesthetic Oak Forest Mogostou – a natural monument characterized as an “aesthetic forest” by the NATURA network – clad with oak trees, that stretches over 5,200 km2, where many hiking tips are organized.

    Equally popular is the trip from Kiato to the villages of Stymphalia and Feneos, which should include the area of Stymphalia with the namesake lake, the ancient city Stymphalos, the modern Environmental Museum of Stymphalia, the vast plain and ancient city of Feneos (Kalyvia), and of course the enchanting artificial lake Doxa (Feneou), at the centre of which you can see the chapel of Agios Fanourios. The view from the Monastery of Agios Georgios, located 500 m. away from the lake, is breathtaking.

    For the past years, one of the up-and-coming destinations of mountainous Corinthia has been Trikala Corinthias, 24 km. away from Xylokastro. It is the oldest settlement in Kyllini (Ziria) and it is divided in 3 districts: Kato Trikala (alt. 900 m.), Mesaia Trikala (alt. 1100 m.), and Ano Trikala Corinthias or “Archontomachalas”. In Ano Trikala you will find the cathedral of Agios Nikolaos (19th century), adorned with frescos by N. Santorinaios and important portable icons.

     

    No trip is complete without visiting the city of Corinth and the impressive Isthmus – a challenging engineering dream that took 2,300 years to be realized – which you can cross by taking a round-trip boat tour from Loutraki (duration 1.30 - 2 hours). While in the area you should also visit its archaeological monuments, the archaeological site of ancient Corinth (where you can see the ancient temple of Apollo, the stoas, the ancient shops, the bouleuterion, the agora, the fountains, the Odeon and the Asclepeion), the ancient Acropolis and the medieval castle of Acrocorinth, the largest in Morea.

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