No matter how many times you visit mountainous Arcadia, there will always be something new to discover in the land of the goat-footed God Pan. On this journey our destination is Lagkadia, the balcony of mountainous Arcadia.
Leaving behind the last winding turn and as you gaze from afar the Lagadia village, swinging like stone pendants, your heart is trembling. You are missing an exclamation of admiration and impatience to be among them soon.
The stone built Lagadia is considered a traditional settlement of Gortynia and is situated in a sleep stone in the heart of Peloponnese. At first sight, it enchants even the most demanding visitor.
The amphitheatrically built village is at altitude of 850 to 1050 m and it is divided in Uper and Lower Neighborhood ( Pano Mahalas and Kato Mahalas). The Greek National Road Pyrgos-Olympia passes through the village. Under the Kato Mahala flows the river Tuthoas, which according to Pausanias is a tributary of Ladonas.
Lagadia may not have the reputation of Dimitsana or Vytina, but they have the reputation of the best masterpiece village in the region. With a great tradition in the art of Stone, the Laggadianoi craftsmen with their stone edifices have placed their stamp on the architecture of the Peloponnese and not only. They formed small groups, the “Bouloukia ” and scour the Peloponnese creating unique masterpieces that we can admire until today.
A representative sample of this popular virtuosity is the entire village. With the stone two-stony mansions, the traditional fountains, the elaborate bridges, the Byzantine churches and the cobbled streets. The abloom cobblestones invite you to cross them. Put on comfortable shoes and start discovering the village.
Take your time and enjoy a troll of them: from Kato Mahala, with the sound of Touthoa to accompany you to Pano Mahala with the impressive view. Your stroll will look like a dive into a vast open museum of popular architecture. One alley after another unfolds an adorable edifice. Houses with history, plaques with past, some humbly other imposing, but all vivid works of art. The austere lines dominate the proud stone and the vivid color starring.
Sights of the village among others are the war memorial of the Fallen of Lagadia, in Heroes ‘ square, who participated in the National Struggles. Right across the street is the Church of the Holy Archangels, the metropolis of Lagadia.
The carved belfry with the imposing clock is a real masterpiece. Together with the Church of St. John the Baptist, they were built in 1808, in 40 days. This was the lead time given by Velis Pasha. The power of the soul builds little miracles. And remaining in the climate of the Liberation Struggle, do not neglect to visit the historical House of Deligianni family – one of the strongest families in region which led the preparation of the Struggle against the Turks- in the upper neighborhood. A unique stone ornament of the village is the high school building that dominates over the village square.
It is worth a stroll in the picturesque church of Virgin of Gounari with the incomparable view, which can reach up to the Ionian Sea!
Gastronomy and local Flavors
And after wandering through its winding cobbled streets, walking the line between past time and present, if you get tired, go to the square. There, under the deep shadow of the old plane tree with its branches stretching out like hands that embrace it tenderly you will rest and relax enjoying the panoramic view that is offered. Try homemade sweets in the In Café. We took one of all it was a difficult choice, between chocolate pie, orange pie and millefeuille. It also serves excellent rakomelo flavored with local herbs. It is a great place with very cozy atmosphere. If you’re hungry, Maniatis , an all-day Café bar restaurant, is right next door. It has very beautiful décor and great view. But nothing can beat more its delicious dishes which tickle your taste buds. The traditional dish of mountainous Arcadia is the goat in the hull. I also highly recommend the veal with plums. Nothing could be cozier than having your coffee under the first rays of the sun. Giorgos café is your place! Make a visit to Aroma Café. Its balcony consisting of four mudbrick walls is definitely magnetizes the visitor’s gaze.
In the main street of the village and on both sides, they succeed one after the other traditional shops with local products and art items. Make sure as you leaving to buy traditional sweets, diples ( crispy fried pastries rolled and drizzled with honey) and walnut pie.
Lagadia, apart from the fame in the art of Stone, are also renowned for the outstanding weavings and handicraft products. Real artwork!
the surrounding area
It is worth a pass from the next Valtessiniko with the dense mountainous vegetation. Nature was very generous with the village and endowed it with its rich presence. It is ideal for long dives in the deep green! If you like film noir, then a visit to the small village of Latsta is required. Drive up to Lefkochori and Satyrodromi, with the latter being famous for its traditional fermented bread. After exploring the neighboring villages, you can leave some time for beautiful routes in the nature. In the small settlement of Fouskari after Lagadia awaits you a small oasis, the gorge of Touthoa. Take some time to walk along the small river bed following its calm path. The presence of the aquatic element adds a dynamic note to the frame of nature. Along it and within walking distance between them, are built three arched bridges, the stone bridges of Fuskari.
Nature is our origin and mountainous Arcadia with its villages, has plenty of of it. Lagadia is a nearby oasis worth visiting!