Driving up from Xilokastro heading for Trikala Korinthias and passing through olive tree groves and vines you will meet the villages Riza, Pellini, Dentro, Rethi and in 25km (from Xylokastro) the districts Kato, Mesaia and Ano Trikala.
The name Trikala seems to derive from the three positive aspects of the region: 1. Clean air, good climate without humidity, 2. Vines that are made into excellent wine, 3. Plenty sources of natural water with distinctive flavour.
In the centre of Kato Trikala you will meet a stony square accompanied with two centuries old plane trees as well as traditional taverns offering traditional dishes made from local products as well as good wine from the vineyards of the region. Kato Trikala is the oldest district of Trikala area and it is the historical continuation of the ancient Pysaiou of Pellinis. Ancient Greek writer Paysanias reported the region in his work “Achaic”.
For thousands of years in the past but also up to a few years ago, Trikala had been visited by patients in need of treatment having as an ally the excellent climate and the clean air.
During Ottoman occupation Kato Trikala competed with Ano Trikala in wealth and in intellectually developed persons.
You should visit the one-chambered churches of Agios Dimitrios, Agios Ioannis, Agios Makarios, Agios Andreas, Agios Nikolaos and the Agia Catholici. There is a fair on 29 August in Kato Sinikia in memory of the decapitation of Saint Ioannis.
Going up the Mesaia Sinikia of Trikala you will enjoy the amazing and panoramic view of the Korinthian mountains.
The fair that takes place in the village on 6th August is very famous for the feast of Metamorphosis of Saviour where dance and songs begin on the feast’s eve in the evening and continue all day long up to the next morning.
You should visit the churches of Metamorphosis of Saviour, Agios Ioannis, Agios Trifonas, Koimiseos Tis Theotokou and the Monastery Tis Theotokou claimed that it was founded around 1700 from the Metropolitan Bishop of Corinthos, Grigorios III Notaras.
Continuing your way still upwards you will meet Ano Trikala “archontomahalas” as it was called during Ottoman occupation. It was the base of the noble family of Notaradon who settled at Trikala in the beginning of 16th century and had high towers with iron doors from which today almost nothing is left in order to remind us the greatness of that period. Today you have the chance to see the Tower of Notaradon and the deserted mansion of Dasaion, on the door of which there is the sign “1806 May 1, THIS HOUSE WAS BUILT by the ARCHITECT KONSTANTINOS SOLIOTI”.
You may visit the churches of Agia Barbara, Agia Triada, Agios Georgjos, Agios Gerasimos.
Leaving Ano Trikala behind, you reach the historical Monastery of Agios Vlasios. The tradition says it was built around 1400, when the picture of the saint was found in a cave nearby. The courtyard of the monastery is full of flowers and trees, while the view on the valley of the river Sytha and of the villages opposite Trikala (Manna, Stylia, Panariti) is really magnificent.
If you take the uphill gravel road, you leave behind villages and settlements and you are led to the heart of the second taller mountain of Peloponnese, to the big plateau of Zireia and to the ravine of Flampouritsas. The place is ideal for the fans of hiking, since there is a wide network of paths that leads to the valley of Flampouritsas, the unique biotope that constitutes the core of a wider region and is included in the NATURA 2000 network. Also you can head for the lake of Dasiou, with the splendid wildflower meadows but also to the Psili Korfi (High Summit) of the mountain in the 2.374 m, where the view is unhindered from the Taygetos up to the Olympus.
Do not omit to visit the cavern of Ermis westwards of Flampouritsa, distinctive for its depth and for the cave rooms with many multicoloured stalactites. Here, according to the mythology, Nymph Maia gave birth to Ermis (Mercury). The descent to the cavern requires particular attention and having special equipment is considered quite useful.
The slopes developed above the small shelter and up until the top of mountain are offered for mountaineering ski, therefore if the season permits, it is very likely to meet visitors-climbers enjoying the snow.
Of special interest is the ascent from the village Manna to the steep tops of Small Zireia, in the 2,127 metres. In the mountain there are a lot of forest roads you can follow and see magnificent places, with most distinguished route the one that crosses the plateau and leads to the Gkoura, through a rich and dense pine forest. Following this route, if you are lucky, you can meet also the semi wild horses that live in the region.
Leaving behind us the three districts we continue up the steep paved road leading to the heart of the second highest mountain in the Peloponnese, the large plateau and ravine Ziria Flabouritsa. The area is perfect for lovers of hiking, having a large network of paths leading to the valley Flabouritsa, unique habitat, which is the core of the region, and is integrated into the network NATURA 2000. You can also head to the lake Dasiou, with gorgeous meadows with wildflowers and also to the top of the mountain that is 2,374 m. above sea level, from where the view is unobstructed from Taygetos all the way to Olympus.
Do not forget to visit the cave of Hermes west of Flabouritsa, famous for it’s depth and booths with many colorful stalactites. Here, according to legend, was born psychopomp Hermes of the nymph Maia. The descent into the cave requires extreme caution and special equipment.
The slopes from the small shelter and up to the top of the mountain are great for skiing, so if the weather permits it you can enjoy the snow.
Significant interest is the ascent from the village of Manna to the steep peaks of Little Zireia, at 2,127 m. On the mountain there are many forest roads, you can follow them and get to know beautiful places, with prominent route that crosses the plateau and leads Goura, through a lush pine forest. Following this route if you are lucky you may even see the semi-wild horses in the area.