Where history blends with tradition to deliver gastronomy at its finest!
Take a one-day tour of Northern Kynouria and experience the untapped beauty of this little corner on Earth. Unique natural landscapes and the smell of fresh oregano, thyme, lavender and cedar, blended with the aroma of home-cooked meals, will awaken your senses and tantalise your taste buds.
You’ll visit Northern Kynouria, an area steeped in history and tradition, spanning from the Neolithic Period all the way to the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Its name, Kynouria, derives from the Ancient Greek word for dog (kyon) and is testament to the Ancient Greeks’ love and respect for wild dogs.
Ancient ruins and UNESCO World Heritage monuments attest to the area’s glorious past. Having passed from the Byzantines, to the Slavs, the Franks, the Venetians and the Turks, Kynouria gained its independence in the mid-1800s and is now an area with a rich cultural heritage, attracting visitors from across the globe.
Starting off from Kalamata or Paralio Astros, you’ll discover hidden little villages, perched on mountainsides, and taste magnificent local products and food, prepared by Greek mamas.
During this 2-hour activity, you’ll visit a well-known estate in Rizes, one of the largest villages in the Municipality of Tegea, known for its local produce.
Established in 1989, the estate has been staying true to its motto since day one: Good wines are produced in the winery, but fine wines are made in the vineyard!
You’ll tour the vinification and wine ageing areas and the vineyards, and find out all about the indigenous varieties of Moschofilero and Agiorgitiko.
The tour concludes with a wine-tasting experience, paired with local cheeses. Whether you’re an occasional wine drinker or a seasoned expert, you’ll gain valuable insight about local wines, tasting premium labels of the latest vintage each time.
At an altitude of 1,050 meters (3,450 feet), Ano Doliana is a verdant village, known for its role during the Greek War of Independence in 1821 and its local folk museum, with exhibits highlighting the local history and tradition.
You’ll enjoy a coffee, tea or any other hot beverage and a light snack at the local coffee shop, before embarking on a tour of the village.
Two locals, George and Vicky, will recount the history, legends and traditions of the village, while strolling through the cobblestone alleys.
You’ll then go on a small hike of the surrounding area, taking in the natural beauty, before returning to the village for lunch.
Enjoy some of the finest meals based on traditional recipes, cooked daily by a local mama, who uses the freshest of ingredients.
In this cosy tavern, you’ll get to taste comfort food in hearty servings, by the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet. And if the weather is a bit chilly, you’ll get to enjoy all this next to the fireplace.
Meals are seasonal and include entrees, mains and dessert, washed down with local wine. There is something for everyone, including vegan and vegetarian options, while the dish of the day may include wild boar, pork with garlic and walnuts, rooster in red sauce, homemade cheese and vegetable pies, and fresh oven-baked bread.
Agios Petros is a picturesque village, listed as a traditional settlement, at an altitude of 950 metres (3,000 feet), at the foot of Mt. Parnonas.
The village has many hiking trails to choose from, some leading all the way to the top of Mt. Parnonas. The E4 European Trail also crosses through here. It is the ideal place for mountain adventurers and hiking enthusiasts.
Just outside of Agios Petros, you can visit the Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Malevi, a listed Natural Monument.
The village is also home to the Agios Petros Environmental Information Centre. A local tour guide will tell you all about rare and indigenous flora and fauna, types of natural habitats, and local areas of historic, religious and archaeologic interest.
The tour can be combined with activities in nature, such as exploring the Juniperus drupacea forest, a rare cedar species, unique in the entire European continent.
Discover unique local delicacies, such as walnuts, honey and aromatic herbs from Mt. Parnonas, in a traditional shop right on the central village square.
Maria, the owner, will reveal some of the secrets of local products, including trahanas (fermented milk pasta), liqueurs, homemade desserts and spoon sweets, and excellent cheeses. As a matter of fact, her sour cherry spoon sweet has received an award in a Greek contest. She’ll even let you try before you buy!
You’ll visit a small local cheese-making farm, where Takis produces graviera, myzithra and feta cheese with milk from local farms.
Takis will give you a tour of his farm and will explain the whole cheese-making process, from the moment the milk is received to the end product.
You’ll then enjoy a cheese tasting experience at the local cheese shop, accompanied by rusks and olives. You can even buy any of the cheeses that take your fancy.
This gastronomic one-day tour through nature concludes with a trip down Mt. Parnonas and back to the seaside town of Paralio Astros Kynourias.
I live in Kalamata since 2006 with my family which is the capital of Messinia region in the southwest Peloponnese. From the first time I came to this wonderful city, I was impressed of the harmonic combination of the rich architectural and cultural legacy with the modern way of life!
Kalamata for me is the ideal place to live not only as a single but also with your family. It offers a high quality of life, endless fascinating sites to visit, magical sandy beaches to swim, vast olive groves, hidden small villages to explore, and of course a unique gastronomy tradition!
I would definitely suggest it to every traveller and anyone who wishes to choose Kalamata as a place to live!