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Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

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Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

Travelling to Western Pellopenese on 12 June and would like to walk the gorge from Demitsana to Gortys ancient site. I understand you can access the gorge from a gate at the water power museum at Demisana. Can someone please tell me how long roughly a round trip to Gortys from there would take and can you get back into the musuem car park via the gate after 3pm when the museum closes ? If not, it it easy to get back into the village - would the car park itself be physically closed for parking after 3pm ? Any advice gratefully received.

18 replies to this topic
South Pole
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1. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

Hi

I am sorry I could not give you a proper answer to your question yesterday, but thought I would just comment here that from memory there should be no issue accessing the car park from the road even when the museum is closed. But I do think if the gate is locked you may well have to walk back to Dimitsana to exit & then back along the road to the car park.

I have looked up my notes since I PMd you & see that it took us 5 hours to walk from Gortys to New Filosophou Monastery & back to Gortys (ie half the gorge length as a return trip) - including visiting this & the Old Monastery ruins (fascinating) & the must see amazing Moni Prodromou, so even if you are quite fast walkers you will need all day to do the return the full length of the gorge.

Have you thought about this as an alternative? Instead of walking the gorge both ways (which will not leave a lot of time for exploring the monasteries) why not leave your car in Dimitsana & get a local taxi to take you to Polyghenis Bridge. You can then explore Gortys site & enjoy the walk back to Dimitsana without rushing. Be aware that there are a lot of steep ups & downs in the gorge so you are not walking on the level along a neat riverside path all the way. Take plenty of water, which you can refill at New Filosophou.

Hope this helps a bit. It is an amazing place!

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2. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

Many thanks for your reply Tsipouro ! I think on reflection the taxi option is a good idea. Roughly how long would the trip to the bridge by taxi take. I hope its not difficult to make the driver clear that i want to go to the bridge - cant imagine that too many in the village will speak English but they probably will understand i guess.

Once i have visited the ruins, is it obvious which way along the river to take to return to Demitsana and roughly how long would the one way walk take ? Also, by doing this i will have spare time to visit the monastery at New Filosophou which i imagine is very close to the bridge.

South Pole
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3. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

When we were in Dimitsana we did not encounter anyone who spoke more than a few words of English. However that is no barrier to communication, you just need to ask around. Are you staying in the village? You can ask your hosts or in a taverna if anyone knows a taxi driver. Make sure you have a phrase book with some appropriate words & even if you cannot pronounce just show them the phrase "I want to go to . . . . " & show them "ΠΟΛΥΓΕΝΗ" which is the bridge. The road does not officially cross the bridge BTW, although locals might drive over it. There are signs at the bridge for the way (on foot) to Gortys (over the bridge & off to the left), & up the gorge (turn right past a small church & make sure you are walking opposite way to water flow! I would think a local would take 30-40 minutes or so to drive there - but it is a pretty hair-raising ride down to the bridge (hairpin bends) so hold onto your hats - the views are well worth it!!

Set off first thing in the morning & you will have all day to return to Dimitsana - I cannot give a time as I really have no idea of your pace & I always allow all day for such treks rather than clock watch. For myself I would aim to start walking by 9am & hope to be back in the village by mid-afternoon including exploring Gortys, monasteries & water mills along the way. If it took longer I would not care as I would not have a bus to catch!!

The Water Museum sells a good local walking guide with a large scale map (if you have not got the Anavasi Lousios map) - which is useful so you know what point of the gorge you are at as you walk. It also has a lot of interesting cultural information about the area. The monasteries are quite some distance from the bridge if you are walking, but they can all be accessed by car as well. You really need a map to see the options.

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4. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

Hi tsipouro and many thanks . We are staying at Kato Achaia just west of Araxos aiprort so its a bit of a drive but i'm used to that. The taxi option sounds good so i will check on the phrases i need to use with the locals.

I'll follow the signs to Gortys from the bridge as you suggest but after visiting the site, do i need to just keep going in that direction ie by walking against the water flow back to Demitsana. Are the monasteries in the direction of Gortys or would i need to go in the opposite direction along the river from the bridge to visit them by foot ?

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5. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

After visiting Gortys site you will need to return to the bridge & pick up a riverside path that almost immediately runs past a small church. Then just continue walking against the flow of the water. You will encounter the three monasteries on this part of the walk, followed by (as you get nearer towards Dimitsana) a series of old watermills. We never got to the mills but I assume they are mainly ruins. You will find the path initially level & quite shady thanks to the trees but it does tend to climb up & down the gorge sides & it is quite steep as you approach the monasteries which are high up on the sides of the gorge. It's going to be a long day out from Araxos, so do get off in good time so you are not feeling rushed in the early afternoon heat.

For sure you cannot get lost in the gorge! The only ways out are at the monasteries, the Water museum & back at Dimitsana, so no wrong turnings etc!

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6. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

Thanks again tsipouro. Just so i am clear, i must return to the bridge after visiting Gortys to pick up the riverside path you refer to to return to Demitsana via the monasteries as the path i used to get to Gortys doesnt continue on to Demitsana ? Sorry for all the questions !

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7. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

From the bridge over the river you turn left (ie downriver) to get to Gortys, or right (going upriver) to go to Dimitsana so yes you have to return to the bridge after visiting Gortys. Think of the river/riverside path as a T junction with the road you arrive at the bridge (where there is a small parking area) Although it is effectively a crossroads as a dirt track does disappear off uphill from the other side of the bridge.

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8. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

Thankyou for your excellent info.My only decision will be whether to walk from the Water Mill in Demitsana do the monasteries and return or taxi to the bridge and do Gortys / The Monasteries and walk back to Demitsana . It will probably depend the what time i get to Demitsana. Nice to have the choice though !

South Pole
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9. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

You could also do what we did - drive yourself to the bridge, walk into the gorge as far as the monasteries, return to the bridge & also visit Gortys (we missed Gortys as it was getting hot & we needed to go find some lunch!). Next time we are there we will walk from the museum down past the water mills & back. Effectively we will then have walked the full length of the gorge twice over two visits. We did not have another day to spare when we were there as we were moving on to meet up with friends further south.

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10. Re: Lousios Gorge from Demitsana

Hi tsipouro - one last question if you dont mind. Depending on what time i get there, i may decide to walk from Demitsana Water Mill to the bridge and return. I walk at a pretty steady pace and used to steep gradients so what kind of time would you expect me to take to get to the bridge ? I would then return to Demitsana along the gorge - like you its likely i will go back on a future holiday when i can visit the monasteries and Gortys.Thanks

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