Theonimfi, a ’boutique’ guesthouse/B&B in the mountain village of Dimitsana, is something for romantic escapes. When Thefi and Irini bought the 150-years-old house, it wasn’t much more than a few walls and some trees happily growing in what used to be the living room. The restoration took a few years, but the house is standing again and it looks as if it has always been that way. Inside, the guesthouse offers a spontaneous blend of modern (including an elevator!) and traditional features, as well as luxury and no-nonsense elements. Stone walls, wood-beamed ceilings and plank floors are in tone with the historical character of the house, while the choice of furniture and decoration adds a contemporary feel. On the ground floor, there’s a slightly cluttered but definitely cosy breakfast/sitting room with an open fire, while the four bedrooms on the first and second floor are spacious, comfortable and tastefully done, with fireplaces and modern en-suite bathrooms, two with a Jacuzzi bath. Thefi and Irini prepare a rich and dangerously delicious breakfasts for their guests, but you will find plenty of opportunities to burn off a few calories during the day. Make the walk through the Lousios gorge with its cliff-hanging monasteries!
4 double rooms
Prices for two persons from 100 Euro per night, breakfast and taxes included. For a full overview of room rates, please contact Guesthouse Theonimfi.
En-suite bathroom (some with Jacuzzi bath or massage shower)
Television with DVD/CD player
All rooms are non-smoking
Small sitting/dining room with a fireplace
Laptop on request
Breakfast, served between 9.00 and 11.00 am, is viciously delicious. Freshly made juices (an apple/orange/carrot blend when I was there) will fool you into thinking that you’re in for a healthy ride, but as more and more plates with absolutely-not-dietetic goodies are brought to your table, you will relinquish whatever good intentions you may have started off with. Especially the homemade marmalades and loukoumades are to die for. For lunch and dinner you will have to walk (two minutes) to the main street where you will find restaurants and tavernas, and there is also Thefi and Irini’s music café To Pano Kato where you can some snacks and sweets.
Children are welcome at Guesthouse Theonimfi, but the four rooms are strictly doubles (no twin or single beds) and extra beds are not possible. It is really more of a luxury bed and breakfast for couples, the romantic escape kind of thing, than a place for family holidays.
Walking and hiking
The whole area is simply gorgeous for walking, and even those who would not normally walk further than the first street corner will be tempted to have a go at it. Make sure you don’t miss the Lousios Gorge with its historic cliff-hanging monasteries. Some you can access quite easily, but to get to others, and also to do the entire 5 km hike through the gorge, it is best to go with a guide. The ‘Secret School’ or Kryfo Scholio of the Monastery of Phylosophos, where, during the years of the Ottoman occupation, monks taught the youth the Greek language and culture, is a must-see.
Go rafting in the Lousios Gorge. You can do it any time of the year, but best late spring and in summer, when everything is green and the weather is mild. During the winter you could also go skiing in the Mainalo ski centre, about 30 km from Dimitsana. It’s a small resort (three lifts, eight runs) but it is not bad for a relaxed day on the slopes.
There is a great deal of touring to be done in mountains of Arcadia: go and explore the traditional villages in the area (Vytina, Stemnitsa, Magouliana, Lagadia, Karitaina and more). If you don’t mind a bit of driving in the mountains, make a day-trip to Ancient Olympia, about 75 km away.
Visit the open-air waterpower museum of Dimitsana. Many victories during the War of Independence against the Turks were attributed to the watermills that grounded gunpowder and produced a constant supply of it to the partisans. In Stemnitsa the Museum of Popular Art is worth seeing.
Guesthouse Theonimfi is in Dimitsana, a beautifully preserved village in the mountains of Arcadia, 25 km from Tripoli. The guesthouse is in a quiet location in the higher part of the village, next to Guesthouse Kazakou. Small shops, cafés and places to eat are just a couple of minutes’ walk away.
Coming from Athens, you should follow the motorway from Korinthos to Tripoli. Turn off the motorway between Korinthos and Tripoli just 10 km before Tripoli, towards Levidi and Vytina. About 12 km after Vytina, follow signs for Dimitsana (and Stemnitsa). At the very beginning of the village, take a left into a narrow street up the mountain – there is a sign for Guesthouse Kazakou. Guesthouse Theonimfi is right next to Guesthouse Kazakou.
FIND IT ON THE MAP