Located on a hilltop in the village Castro, overlooking Elis plain, Chlemoutsi castle is one of the most imposing castles in the Peloponnese. Its name is of Slav origin and it resulted from a distortion of the word “Chelmos” or “Chelonata” which is the name of the hill on which it is built. There is evidence of a palaeolithic and middle Helladic settlement (10.000 b.C and 2.000 b.C).
The most powerful fortress of the Frankish Principate of Achaea was established in 1220-1223 by Geoffrey I Villehardouhin. In order to cover its immense construction costs, the French General had a dispute with the Principate’s latin clergy. During the Turkish rule it served as the headquarters for the Turk officials, voevoda and cadi. In 1427, Constantinos Palaeologos gained possession of the castle and used it as a military and administrative center. In 1460, it was conquered by the Ottomans and in 1867 by the Venetians who ruled it until 1715 when it was recaptured by the Ottomans.
Consisting of two parts, the Chlemoutsi castle is a fine example of fortress architecture. The horseshoe-shaped outer enclosure surrounds the inner part, located at the southeast side, on the highest spot of the hill. The total length of its walls is about 1km long. Alongside one can see remains of buildings dating back to the same period as the castle itself (13rd century), like cisterns and traces of a water piping system. The inner enclosure comprised of the Castellan residence, reception halls, kitchens and the guard’s quarters, while cisterns, chimneys and storage rooms are preserved in the two storey rooms.
To the west of the prefecture of Ilia, 27 km from its capital, Pyrgos, lies the area known as Kaiafas, comprising a vast beach on the side of the Ionian sea, a coastal pine forest and the homonymous lake, which is the centre of health tourism in the area. The healing properties of the Kaiafa lake waters have been known since antiquity; according to the ancient Greeks, they owed their properties to the nymphs... read more
Ilida or Ilis was a city-state in ancient Ilia, very near ancient Olympia, and took up the area which today extends from the village of Paliopoli (or Nea Ilida) to the southeast, Bouchioti (or Avgeio) to the southwest and Kalyvia to the west. According to myth, it was founded by Oxylus, son of Aemon and Gorgi, who is also mentioned in some traditions as the founder of the Olympic Games. Oxylus, who hailed... read more
Foloi oak forest is a designated site under NATURA 2000 that dates back to ancient times. It’s the only flat forest in Greece situated on the boundaries between Elis, Arcadia and Achaia, at an altitude of 600meters. It covers a total surface of 218.000 acres and it consists mainly of broadleaf oaks. Foloi oak forest is a designated site under NATURA 2000 that dates back to ancient times. It’s... read more
Pineios is one of the Peloponnese’s most significant rivers, its total length is 70 km. Also known as Gastouni River, it has its sources in the mount Erymanthos and empties in the Ionian Sea near town bearing the same name. According to mythology, Hercules diverted the flow of Pineios and Alfeios rivers in order to clean the Augean Stables in his fifth labor. After having demolished the stables’... read more
Peloponnese’s longest river (111km long) has its source in Arcadia and its mouth in the Prefecture of Elis. According to mythology, Apheus was one of the river-gods of antiquity, worshiped mainly in the regions of Arcadia, Elis and Messinia. Son of Oceanus and Tethys, he killed his brother Cercaphus and haunted by the Erinyes, he leapt into the river which was later named after him. Source: www.mythicalpeloponnese.gr [vc_row][vc_column][ivi_nbcaj... read more
During classical times Olympia was the city of Ilia best known as the area where the Olympic Games took place, the greatest athletic event of the then-Greek world. Today Ancient Olympia is a village and a municipality of Ilia, built in the valley of river Alpheus. Nearby lies the archaeological site, one of the most popular ones in Greece, which attracts every year tourists from all over the world.... read more