Travelogue: The Castle of Oriontas
Of all the castles in Arcadia, this is the hardest one to reach. The distance and the altitude you need to climb make the approach difficult. The starting point is the Monastery of Saint Nicholas of Karya in the area of Prastos.
The Byzantine Castle of Oriontas, for which there is not much historical data, is located on the peak across from the monastery of the mountain (which is also called Oriontas). The mountaintop is located at an altitude of 1,200 meters. The monastery is at 840 meters, so we will need to cover another 350-360 meters in altitude as we climb to the castle.
Near the part of the monastery farthest from its entrance, a clear path begins that reaches the edge of a ravine in 15 or 20 minutes, and bypasses it. From this point onward there is no specific path. Essentially, we head uphill to the top of the mountain, trying to avoid the dense vegetation (holly and thorns) as much as we can. As we climb, there is (fortunately) less vegetation. We will reach the peak in 60 to 90 minutes, counting from the point by the ravine. From the monastery, the entire climb takes 90 to 120 minutes, the descent 75 to 90 minutes.
There is not much left of the Castle of Oriontas. A small wall still stands, as well as part of the castle's tower, and several stone piles suggest that the castle must have covered a significant area and towered above the plateau of Palaiochora near Leonidio. The beautiful view from the top of Mount Oriontas makes the difficult climb worthwhile.
Retracing our steps on the way back to the Monastery of Karya, worn out as we will be, we can cool off with the crystal clear water that runs through a rock in the monastery's courtyard, then rest in the refreshing shade of the big walnut tree. Simple moments, but so special.
As well as the links that refer to the Tourist Object, and the basic texts of third-party sources about Arcadia for Exploring Greece