Minagiotiko TrailThe Minagiotiko Natura 2000 Trail crosses an area of great beauty in South Messinia, Peloponnese. It’s a signposted path that follows the sinuous course of Minagiotiko River for 13 km, and goes through the green valley formed around its catchment area. Along the way, there are interpretive signs and panels containing maps and information on the natural and cultural assets of the area.
The trail starts from Kato Ampelokipoi Village and ends in the seaside village of Foinikounta, where the river’s mouth is, too. Along the way, you’ll see ruins of mediaeval watermills, a traditional fountain built in 1908, and a waterfall (in Paliomylos location). An impressive rock formation will catch your eye, as on the top of it sits the ruined 13th century Molines Frankish Castle. Further on, you will reach the Masouras watermill, which is in a fairly good condition, with a water tower, and an aqueduct with a beautiful arch. After a 2 km hike, you will enter a Natura 2000 protected area. The variety of plant and animal life is quite impressive: the forested areas include centuries-old plane, wild olive, carob, oak, and pine trees. You might also catch a glimpse of rare birds in their habitat, among them three endangered species of eagle. A deserted mediaeval church will be the next stop on your hiking trip. A little further on, you will meet an idyllic little lake with small fish and eels, nestled in a very beautiful lakeside area. Among the highlights of your hiking trip will be an impressive cave with stalactites, with a mediaeval fortification and an arched construction. Above the cave rocks, there is a deserted mediaeval church, also worth your visit.
Make sure you include the Minagiotiko Trail in your list of activities, next time you visit Messinia region, and check on the availability for a guided tour. Learn about the local great biodiversity, and visit the monuments. It's a three-hour hike from Kato Ampelokipoi Village to the Cave (14 km), and one that all nature and adventure lovers will appreciate!