Skiritida Forest

COUNTY: Arcadia



Chestnuts, Black Pines, Firs


Hiking, Mountain Biking

An artificial forest in Tripolis Municipality of Arcadia region. It is an ancient forest of chestnut trees, destroyed by the fires during the Greek Revolution of 1821. It is in north Arcadia, on an altitude of 650 to 1,100 metres, extending north of Mainalo and west of Parnon. In its northern part, it extends towards the plains of Sparta. It takes up about 10,000 acres and in its depths can be found the spring of Eurotas river, which ends up in the plains of Sparta.

A large part of its original area was turned in croplands by the old residents of the area. The forester, writer and MP for Rhodope and Xanthi, Tasos Stefanou suggested in 1976 the reforestation of the area with large trees, since in the time it had mostly shrubs. With the assistance of the residents, fir, black pine and chestnut trees were planted, making Skirtida forest the first artificial forest of Greece.

A path has been made through the forest, with a total length of 14 kilometres, made with great respect for the natural environment. Following it, the traveller can gain a better understanding of the area before its reforestation. Crossing the forest, the traveller will see the older buildings of the area, and also many fruit trees, now wild. The 5 kilometres of the path are on forest roads and the rest on footpath. Many signs on the path assist the visitor, and the total altitude difference is no more than 450 metres. The spring of Eurotas is also found in the forest, creating streams and brooks through the forest, providing drinking water to the hikers. To completely cross the forest, one needs about 6 to 8 hours.