Remote Villages II
Head south of villa Starlett and enjoy a winding route amid shining olive groves and the captivating Aegean blue. Go past Xiropigado and a little before arriving in Astros turn left with direction to Ag. Ioannis-Ag. Petros. Past the outskirts of Astros you will be found in the middle of a stretched out olive orchard surrounded by low mountains. Soon the road will turn slightly uphill and will eventually grow steeper offering excellent panoramic views to the landscape below. A few sharp curves known in greek as ‘tsingelia’ or ‘fourketes’ are about to follow. As you keep biking up the mountain the setting gets more dramatic, while soon you’ll be reaching an intersection where you need to turn left with direction to Charadros-Platanos and immediately left again on the fork that follows right after. You are now biking along an easy and very pleasant route taking you deeper into another valley that seems like ‘besieged’ by the mountains surrounding it and in less than 1 km you will be passing through the small yet quaint village of Charadros. At the central intersection in the village make sure you take the right direction to Platanos and keep biking up the mountain on this route of dazzling Arcadian beauty. After quite a few kilometers of pure serenity on the road you’ll reach an intersection at one point on your right which you need to leave behind, then you’ll start going slightly downhill and slowly penetrating the valley that is stretching out before you. You will soon enter a forest zone of fluffy Mediterranean pines and further down on your left you will bump into a fork where you can just keep cycling or just deviate and pass through the village of Platanos. This will give you the chance to make a stop and go visit the magnificent Spilakia Gorge as well as one of the famous vaulted bridges one can find around Greece, dating back to 18th-19th century. In less than 2 min ride you’ll be in Platanos village, a place of authentic flair. The old, well preserved houses, the winding streets, the old church of Agia Anna, the little cascades passing through and naturally the central square with the plane tree (‘platanos’ hence the name of the village) will definitely compensate you and then some. Within less than 5 min you’ll be back again on the main road leading to Kastanitsa this time, one of the famous villages of this part of Arcadia. The road now is going uphill along utmost green slopes and breathtaking views. Keep riding until you pass Sitaina to finally reach the village of Kastanitsa, famous for the excellent quality chestnuts it produces. It is recommended to make a brief stop in Kastanitsa in order to contemplate and enjoy its beauties. You could walk up the narrow streets to the Kapsambeli square where the church of Metamorfossi Sotiros stands, enjoying a great view of the village below. After this quality break, hop on your bikes again and start cycling down the mountain. You will soon reach a fork and you’ll take the road left. You are now biking along a small gorge that eventually will broaden up and offer you magnificent views for once more. Keep biking along this mild downhill pleasant route, past Ag. Panteleimon heading now to Agios Andreas. Vast olive groves together with cypresses dominate now the landscape and soon you will arrive just outside Agios Andreas and deviate left to head to Astros again. Once you reach Astros you’ll need to go right at an intersection and take the route of your return back to Villa Starlett.