Ascending from Xylokastro to Trikala Korinthias and having a run among olive groves and vineyards, you will meet the villages Riza, Pellini, Dendro,Rethi, and 25km from Xylokastro, the settlements Kato, Mesaia and Ano Trikala.
The name Trikala seems to come from the three goods the area offers: 1. Clean air, good climate without moisture, 2. Vineyards producing very good wine, 3. Affluent spring waters with a special taste.
In the centre of Kato Trikala, you will meet a stone square, where there are two perennial planes and traditional taverns that serve traditional tastes by local products and good wine from the vineyards of the area. Kato Trikala is the oldest settlement of Trikala and constitutes the historical continuity of ancient Pysaio of Pellini. Pausanias refers to the region in his work “Achaica”.
Thousands years ago but also a few years ago, patients arrived in Trikala, being in need of finding cure with the help of the excellent climate and the clean air offered to the visitor. During the Turkish domination, Kato Trikala was competing with Ano Trikala for wealth and educated people.
You can visit the one-room churches of Saint Dimitrios, Saint Ioannis, Saint Makarios, Saint Andreas, Saint Nikolaos and Saint Katholiki. The fete of Kato Quarter is on August 29, the Cutting of Saint Ioannis’ Head off day.
Ascending to Mesaia Quarter of Trikala, you will enjoy an amazing panoramic view of Korinthia’s mountains. The village’s festival is famous and takes place on August 6, Transfiguration’s day, where dance and songs start from the previous night, and last the whole day of the fete, until the next morning. You can visit the churches of the Transfiguration, Saint Ioannis, Saint Tryfonas, the Assumption and the Monastery of Virgin Mary, which is said to have been established in 1700 by Metropolite of Korinthos Grigorio III Notara.
Ascending, you will see Ano Trikala, or known as “archontomachalas” from the Turkish domination. It was the seat of the noble family of Notarades, who settled in Trikala in the early part of the 16th century, and had got high towers with iron gates, few of which are saved today to put in mind the grandeur of that time. Today, you have the opportunity to see the tower of Notarades, and the dilapidated mansion of Dasaioi, on the door of which, there is the following name-plate: “1806 May 1, THIS HOUSE WAS BUILT BY ARCHITECT KONSTANTINOS SOLIOTIS”.
Visit the churches of Saint Barbara, the Holy Trinity, Saint Georgios and Saint Gerasimos.
Going past Ano Trikala, the road leads to the historical Monastery of Saint Vlasios, built in 1400 according to the tradition, when Saint’s miraculous icon was found in a nearby cave. The yard of the Monastery is full of flowers and trees, while the view of the valley of Sythas River and the facing villages of Trikala (Manna, Stylia, Panariti) is really captivating.
Keeping on the rising asphalt road, you go past villages and settlements, and are led to the heart of the second higher mountain of Peloponnisos, to the big tableland of Ziria and Flabouritsa glen. The place is ideal for walking enthusiasts, as a big path network leads to Flabouritsa glen, the unique biotope constituting the nucleus of the greater and being placed among NATURA 2000 network. You can also head to Dasios Lake, with the wonderful meadows of wild flowers, as well to the High Summit of the mountain, at 2374m, from where the view is clear from Taygetos to Olympos.
Do not miss to visit the cave of Hermes, west of Flabouritsa, characteristic for its depth and the rooms with a lot of multi-coloured stalactites. Here, according to mythology, psychopomp Hermes was born by nymph Maia. The descent into the cave requires particular caution and the special equipment is useful.
The slopes developed above the small refuge and up to the mountain peak offer themselves to mountain-ski, so season permitting, it is very possible to meet visitors-mountaineers enjoying the snow.
The ascent from Manna village to the steep peaks of Mikri Ziria, at 2127m, is exceptionally interesting. On the mountain, there are many forest roads that you can follow and know beautiful places, as the wonderful route crossing the tableland and leading to Goura, through a thick fir-wood. Following this way, if you are lucky, you may meet the semi-savage horses living in the region.