Some time ago I wrote a post on the village of Antartiko in Florina, which started this thread of the “unknown Greece”. Today I continue with the village of Lasta, 20 kilometers north west of the small town of Vytina, in the center of the Peloponese.
The village is built on the north side of the mountain Mainalon, at an altitude of 1200 meters, and is covered by pine trees. This part of Greece is being inhabited since the Ancient times. The inhabitants were called Arcadians, and the whole area Arcadia. During the 10th century A.D. there was a massive movement of Slavs in the area. One of the consequenses is that many of the villages in the area have names of Slav origin.
Lasta is today almost empty. Only during the summer the past inhabitants come to the village. My visit took place during a foggy wintery day between Christmas and New Year 2011 and I almost felt I was in a ghost village.
There is plenty of water in the village and the area overall. there are small fountains and a pool. The photo above is a reflexion of the trees in the pool.
This is a place for the brave. How many closed houses and doors and windows can you see? A few kilometers to the south is the Ski Center of Mainalon, very popular with weekend visitors. I is almost like a different world!
The natural beauty of the area makes this village a small treasure, given that it will never become trendy or popular with the casual weekend visitors. It does not matter that the village does not have the tumultuous blood – stained history of so many other villages and town in Greece, and its only claim to fame is that Ibrahim Pasha stayed in the villge in the period of the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire. .
Almost 10 km away is the big village of Magouliana, that maintains a steady polulation, even during the winter months.
Many inhabitants of Lasta have moved to Magouliana.
The visit left me with a sense of discovery and loss. I discovered a beautiful village at a distance of less than 200 kilometers from Athens, tucked on the northern slopes of Mainalon. But at the same time I lost it, as I will never be able to bring the village back to life.