Vytina is a mountainous village in the Peloponnese, in the prefecture of Arcadia. It is located at an altitude of 1033 meters, on Mount Menalon, in a verdant area with pines, firs and chestnut trees. It is one of the most valued mountain resorts of the Peloponnese and Greece in general. Because of its location, it is a good starting point for many getaways.
Its name, according to the most popular belief, comes from the word “Vythos” (meaning seabed) because it was originally built in a basin between hills.
It is said to have been built after the collapse of the ancient city of “Methydrio”, the ruins of which are located 5km away.
Pausanias mentions the city of Methydrio in 174 BC: “Methydrion is no more a thriving city.” The most likely time of the foundation of Vytina is said to be around 350 AD, at 2-3km from its current location, at the area called Damaskinia.
In ancient times, the goddess Demeter and Ippias Poseidon were worshipped here; the ruins of the temple are preserved at the route to the village of Magouliana. During the Greek Revolution of 1821, Vytina was recognized as a waqf, i.e., a sacred place. It served as supply centre, and as a result the city played decisive role during the war and was fired seven times by Ibrahim.
After the liberation and until World War II, Vytina was the big commercial centre of the region with an important market. There was even a branch of the Bank of Athens and a Forestry School here. The most important reason for that development was the lack of transport to the surrounding villages, and when the transport network was established, Vytina ceased to be the commercial centre it used to be. A major attraction for Vytina today is the ski centre of Ostrakina in Menalon. Worth visiting in the area is the castle of Argyrokastro (at an elevation of 1,450m) near Magouliana, on the edge of a 100m high cliff, erected by the Franks in 1205, once they established the Barony of Akova.
The main sights in Vytina are the Church of Agios Tryphon that stands in the square of the town, built in 1846 with black marble from the surrounding area as its main material, the two traditional wood stoves located near the central square and the Folklore Museum. What makes the town so beautiful is the tree-lined road that starts almost from the square and ends on the national road Tripolis-Vytina. Main local products are honey from conifers and livestock products, meat, cheese, etc.
With Vytina as a base and within a reasonable distance, one can visit Dimitsana, the gorge of Lousios, Stemnitsa and Lagadia, while climbing up the slopes of Menalon with a good, paved road one reaches the plateau of Ostrakina at an altitude of 1,600m where there is a small ski resort.