10-day Itinerary in the Mountains of the Peloponnese

lake doxa kids

If you are looking for a family vacation itinerary in the mountains of the Peloponnese for a summer active vacation with kids of all ages, this itinerary is just for you! In the heart of the Peloponnese, three mountains, Menalon, Helmos and Kyllini, covered with fir trees and gifted with abundant water, flowing from springs, through streams and rivers keeps Greek mythology alive in every village you encounter, in every stone you touch, in every step you take.

By Eleni Fotiou, travel journalist & MAMAKITA family travel advisor

In these lands, Goddess Diana used to hunt; here is where her follower nymph Callisto, mother of Arcas and the Arcadians, was transformed into a bear and later was set among the stars as Ursa Major. Here is also where rivergod Ladon transformed his daughter, naiad Daphne, into a laurel tree; where God of nature, shepherds, flocks and mountain wilds, Pan, fell in love with nymph Syrinx; where Aglaos, the “happiest Man on earth” lived.

This day-by-day trip plan created by MAMAKITA family travel advisors is a summer family vacation itinerary in the mountains of the Peloponnese ideal to experience local life off the beaten track. Here, you will find day trips in authentic villages with ideas for kid-friendly fun activities in nature and family experiences outdoors in the Peloponnese woods, like kayaking and swimming in beautiful lakes and waterfalls, hiking and biking, river trekking and many more, for active and curious kids & teens and families who love nature.

Follow this itinerary in the mountains of the Peloponnese and experience local life in some of the authentic and untouched Greek villages with your children to meet the myths’ nymphs and the tales’ fairies! Take the rack railway and enjoy one of the most beautiful rail journeys in Europe; walk in the valley of Lousios and discover the monasteries perched in the rocks; hike the family-friendliest paths of the Menalon Trail; explore Greece’s hidden gems through Greek mythology and live the “Triple Bath” experience swimming under a waterfall that springs from the “immortal” River Styx.

Brief Family Vacation Itinerary in the Mountains of the Peloponnese

  • Day 1: Kapsia Cave & Wine Tasting
  • Day 2: Family Hiking around Vytina & Botany
  • Day 3: Dimitsana & the Monasteries of the Valley
  • Day 4: Day Trip to The Lakes
  • Day 5: Off the Beaten Path Arcadian Villages
  • Day 6: Kalavryta & the Scenic Rack Railway
  • Day 7: Rafting Lousios River
  • Day 8: Mythical Oak Forest & Waterfalls
  • Day 9: Farm-To-Table Experience  
  • Day 10: Triple Bath & Boat trip in the Corinthian Gulf

Detailed Family Vacation Itinerary in the Mountains of the Peloponnese

Day 1: Kapsia Cave & Wine Tasting

Drive to the heart of the Peloponnese, Arcadia, with a stop at the Cave of Kapsia, one of the most beautiful, yet unexplored caves in Greece! Although not popular, it is considered to be one of the ten best Greek caves. You can visit the cave with children every half hour with a guided tour between 09:00-15:00; just outside the cave, you will find a cozy coffee shop with a renovated playground.

Feel the breeze inside the cave and then visit the traditional winery for wine tasting. The temperatures are already low! Arrive at your hotel, settle down and relax to feel the energy of this mythical mountain!

Day 2: Family Hiking around Vytina & Botany

Explore the villages of Vytina and Elati, and the heart of the Menalon fir tree forest with an easy guided hiking and botanical tour together with an experienced and certified guide. Following one of the easiest and most beautiful paths of the Menalon Trail that crosses the Mylaon gorge, you will meet three watermills, a scenic stone bridge and all sorts of flowers! Swim in the river and enjoy a picnic in nature in the springs of Vytina.

In the afternoon, visit a woodcarving workshop, an artistic stop for every traveler. You can admire the Arcadian craftmanship and art of wood, and drink the traditional liquor with chestnuts, walnuts and figs that you may find on the table next to the heater, while your children will play at the wooden house just outside.

Recommended kid-friendly guided tours & activities

Botanical Hiking Tour

Forest Games & Pic Nic

Day 3: Dimitsana & the Monasteries of the Valley

Visit Dimitsana, the Open-Air Water Power Museum, a restored part of the watermills and gunpowder mills of the village, and hike from the monasteries of the Lousios valley to the river to swim and rest under the trees.

One of the most beautiful trails of Menalon passes from the monastery of Timios Prodromos. The path is downhill, but easy. On your way, depending on the season, you will stop many times to admire the wild flowers growing in the gorge. The trail passes through Ancient Gortys, the old watermill of the monastery, the small church of Saint Andreas and at some point, it reaches a stone bridge, under which you can enjoy one of the most memorable “baths” of your life.

In the afternoon, visit the silversmiths’ village Stemnitsa, one of the most stunning villages of the area. There are restaurants, coffee and pastry shops with tables on the stone-paved square where kids can safely play in the protected playground while you enjoy your meal.

Recommended kid-friendly guided tours & activities

Guided walk to the monasteries of the Lousios gorge

Day 4: Day Trip to The Lakes

Enjoy your day in the lakes of mountainous Corinth. Visit the interactive Stymphalia Environment Museum, cherish the view from Ancient Stymphalos and trace the place where Hercules fulfilled the Labor of the Stymphalian Birds! You will have the chance to enjoy your meal and coffee next to a playground, where children can safely play!

The Pheneos plateau and the neighboring lake are considered to be the “Greek Switzerland” in terms of natural landscape. In Doxa lake, you can walk to Saint Fanourios, the small church of the old monastery, now sunk under the water and drive to the new monastery of Saint George up the hill to admire the frescoes and try the rose petal spoon sweet produced by the monks. You will have the chance for swimming, hydro-biking, horse riding and mountain biking.

Recommended kid-friendly guided tours & activities

Hydrobikes & Bike tours in lake Doxa

Day 5: Off the Beaten Path Arcadian Villages

Discover the off-the-beaten Arcadia in Valtessiniko, and the highest village of the Peloponnese, Magouliana. Taste traditional recipes, walk to watermills, explore the hidden monastery St Nicholas, rest in a self-catering coffee shop in the square of Lasta, an untouched village and indulge yourselves in activities in river and lake Ladon, associated with Greek mythology.

Around the lake, the village names derive from myths, Gods and nymphs. It is in the village of Daphne where rivergod Ladon transformed his daughter, naiad Daphne, into a laurel tree. Village Dimitra took its name from Goddess Demeter of agriculture, harvest, fertility and sacred law, because she swam in this river. It is in the shores of the river where Artemis (Diana: the goddess of the hunt, forests and hills, the moon, and archery) used to hunt. It is somewhere around here where Pan, god of nature, shepherds, flocks and mountain wilds, fell in love with nymph Syrinx, one of the followers of Diana.

As soon as you arrive at the shores of the lake, and if the waters are shallow, you will see the remnants of the old bridge of Kira connecting the banks of river Ladon before the construction of the dam and the flood. Driving the lake coast to coast, you will arrive at the dam, from which almost the whole lake can be seen.

Day 6: Kalavryta & the Scenic Rack Railway

Visit Kalavrita, a village of great historical importance for Greece’s history, and the Vouraikos gorge with the famous rack railway characterized as “one of the most spectacular train rides of the world”. The train follows the Vouraikos river into the rocky cliffs of the gorge, passing over waterfalls and straits for one hour and it connects the coastal village Diakopto with Kalavrita. One and only stop is made at Zahlorou that used to serve the pilgrims of the Mega Spelaion Monastery in old times, located just above. Today, it is worthy stopping at Zahlorou for a walk along the lines or a meal in the taverns by the river. You should make a reservation for the rack railway in advance.

Close by, you will also have the chance to visit the unique Cave of lakes and Planitero, the springs of river Aroanios, a place surrounded by a dense plane-tree forest of exceptional beauty where you can taste trout.

Day 7: Rafting Lousios River

Raft under the Lousios natural tunnel of trees, a 2nd degree of difficulty rafting descent inside a spectacular densely vegetated gorge. Discover the hidden natural wonders of the area, have fun whilst swimming and jumping in the crystal-clear waters starting from Lousios, continuing to Alfios River, and ending to the spectacular bridge of “Koukos”. Take the ultimate selfie at the impressive waterfall of Vrodos, and enjoy your lunch at the picturesque village Karytena.

Recommended kid-friendly guided tours & activities

Rafting Lousios

Day 8: Mythical Oak Forest & Waterfalls

An off the beaten path road will lead you to Lagkadia village, where the heart of the Art of Stone and the Arcadian architecture beats. Explore the Foloi oak Forest, home of the mythical centaurs and the place where Hercules fulfilled his 4th Labor, and swim at the Nemouta waterfalls!

Foloi Forest is one of Europe’s oldest self-planted beech and oak forests. Home of Centaurs and fairies, the forest’s name derives from the Centaur’s king, Folos, or Pholus, who hosted Hercules when he was searching for the Erymanthian boar. Traversed by the Erymanthos and Ladon rivers, the forest is perfect for invigorating walks for the whole family.

An exceptional destination, close to the Foloi Forest is Nemouta with its waterfalls, a scenery resembling a wild jungle. The path is safe and passes through a variant nature that keeps up the whole family’s interest from the beginning to the end. You can easily reach 3 out of 10 waterfalls, but to visit all 10, children must be at an age and physical condition able to endure a 5-hour hiking (3 km from the village Nemouta).

Recommended kid-friendly guided tours & activities

Hiking tour at the Foloi Oak forest

Guided walk & swim at the Nemouta waterfalls

Day 9: Farm-To-Table Experience  

Visit another traditional and well-kept village in the other side of the mountain and participate in a farm to table cooking class and lunch in a place where local products and forgotten flavors of Arcadian grandmothers are being revisited to offer guests the experience of the art of cooking in harmonization with nature. There, you can visit the Cooking Museum, the second-hand bookstore, the theatre, and the Museum of the Primary School. You can also eat only seasonal dishes, because everything is produced in their garden. 

In the afternoon, you will have the chance to enjoy your coffee and drinks at a very beautiful farm and natural playground, an ideal place for kids to play safely and watch the pigs, horses, ducks, deer, etc., while you relax in the shade.

Recommended kid-friendly guided tours & activities

Cooking class & Farm-to-table lunch

Day 10: Triple Bath Experience

Enjoy this unique “triple bath” experience: swim under a waterfall, in a lake and in the beach on the same day. We have tried hard to find another place in Greece where you can do that, but in vain! Swim at a waterfall that springs from “immortal” -according to Greek mythology- River Styx. Stop further away to swim in lake Tsivlos, created by the same river, and last, dive in the sylvan beach in the Corinthian Gulf, where Krathys river meets the sea.

What kids say about it:

We had the chance to swim in many places along river Krathys that springs from Styx where Achilles became immortal. Our first stop was a waterfall flowing in front of a secret cave. We met many small frogs and we played with the white sand in front of the waterfall’s tiny “beach”. Then, our second stop was a lake with turquoise waters. Afterwards, some of us took the car, and some others, including myself, had the chance to cross a very narrow gorge resembling a tunnel with a waterfall inside! Finally, we met our friends and their kids in the one and only beach of the Corinthian Gulf with sand. I think this is how paradise should look like.  

Boat trip in the Corinthian Gulf as an extra

As an extra to your itinerary in the mountains of the Peloponnese, and since you are in Greece and you cannot miss the sea, take a boat tour in the Corinthian Gulf as you have high chances to meet the dolphins. Discover tiny islands, untouched beaches, small fishing settlements with fresh fish and authentic taverns; archaeological sites by the water, such as the sanctuary dedicated to Goddess Hera; unique sights of interest, such as the Melagkavi Lighthouse, and Vouliagmeni Lake, connected with the sea by a narrow canal.

Recommended kid-friendly guided tours & activities

Triple Bath Experience

Boat tour in the Corinthian Gulf

Need some help in trip planning by the best family travel agents in Greece? MAMAKITA family travel specialists can customize this itinerary in the mountains of the Peloponnese according to your preferences, age of kids, travel pace and budget. Enjoy your family holidays in Greece without worrying about family friendly accommodation or kid-friendly tours and activities by making your request here.

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