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Published on 2014-10-26
Elati, a village attracting tourists all through the year, is the first village we meet on the road, 14 km from the Pyli at an altitude of 860m. The population of 700 in the winter rises to 4,000 in the summer, with the main income coming from tourism and secondarily from logging and stock-raising.
The rare beauty and the hospitable spirit of Elati combine to make it one of the most developed holiday resorts in the area. Hotels and rooms for rent offer accommodation for short or long term vacation.
Local cuisine will not disappoint the visitor either: the taverns of Elati are famous for game meat (deer, roe- deer, wild boar, hare etc.) prepared and served in unique ways.
Here one can also obtain rare herbs, like mountain tea, oregano, lime flowers, musk etc.
Although surrounded by the peaks of Psilo (1700m), Arkoudotrypa (1600m) and Kokkinos Vrachos (1100m), Elati is easily accessible all through the year, being only 14 km from Pyli. Trekking to the wonderful springs of Canalia, Kalogeromandri, Gouves, Itamos, Arvanites and Bey is certainly worth the try.
One can visit the cave at Arkoudotrypa and the cave of stalactites near Pialia. A great feast takes place in Elati on August 14-15th and on April 23rd at the courtyard of the church of Aghios Georgios (3 km towards Kotroni).
Traces of an ancient castle and settlement have been found at "Psili rachi", "Fteri" and "Katofli" places, at the southeast of the village, on the way to Kalogiroi village. They are believed to be part of the ancient city "Petnaio" or "Potnaio" which flourished from the 5th century B.C. till the Roman years. In 185 B.C. Athamanes asked Filippos the 4th to give them back the village and Athinaios. In Petnaios area, a carved tombstone of Echenikos, a warrior or army officer killed in a battle in the 4th century B.C., was found. Broken chamber-pots, tiles, statuettes, coins and two different sized and shaped graves were also found.