ARCADIA (Arkadhía), the heartland province of the Peloponnese, contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in Greece. Dramatic hills are crowned by a string of medieval towns, and the occasional Classical antiquity. Beautiful Karítena is a picture-postcard hill town, but the best area of all is around Stemnítsa and Dhimitsána, where walkers are rewarded with the luxuriant Loúsios Gorge. Another hill town, Andhrítsena, attracts archeology buffs with the nearby Temple of Bassae, still spectacular though tented for restoration. En route, if approaching from Trípoli, you may also pass through Megalópoli, both mainly transport hubs. Drivers should be aware that Arcadia’s highways, some of the broadest and emptiest in the Peloponnese, are shared with sheep- and goat-herds moving their flocks. Wild fires in 2000 and 2007 severely damaged the area’s oak and fir woodland, though recovery is evident and the legendary beauty still holds, especially in spring, when the slopes are bright yellow with masses of broom plants.

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