Kreion/Ktenias mountain, also named Chtenias, is on the border between the regions of Argolida and Arcadia. North of Ktenias is Artemisio, and south is Parnon. Its highest point is at 1,643 metres and second highest is the peak “Prophet Elias” at 1,589. The view from the mountain’s top is amazing, encompassing Parnon and Taygetus on the south, up to the plains of Argolida on the east, and the plateau of Tripolis is visible as well as Mainalo mountain on the west.
The mountain is found in ancient writing as Kreion mountain, possibly named after the Titan Crius (or Kreios, or Krios, the son of Uranus and Gaia) who was particularly worshipped in Peloponnese.
Near the peak named “Prophet Elias” in Tourniki, on the southern part of the mountain, is a forest that was dedicated to the goddess Artemis according to Pausanias, comprised of trees from the Taxus Baccata species, often called English Yew or European Yew. Artemis was worshipped in a temple that was inside the yew forest.
Up to 800 metres, vegetation is dense, but from that point on the ground is rocky and nothing but few bushes grow. In the location called “Psilo Lithari-Kontodiasela” is a wind farm. A good site to visit at the end of November is the settlement of Krya Vrysi, 20 kilometres west of Argos and at a height of 750 metres, so that the visitor can take part in the hiking organised every year by the local cultural association; the groups hike to the verdant gorge of Koumaria.
While ascending to the Profitis Ilias, the highest peak of Kreion Mountain, we have seen wild cows and we also passed from the Itama trees that the myth says where the sacred trees of Goddess Artemis. (The scientific name of the tree is Taxus baccata and is a conifer native to western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia. It is the tree originally known as yew, though with other related trees becoming known, it may now be known as English yew,or European yew)
After 4 hours of long and steep climbing we have managed to reach the top of Ktenias Mountain. The view was breathtaking.
We stayed on the top for about 30 minutes and after that we decided to descent and go to Kria Vrysi village where local farmers had arranged for us a delicious BBQ with local goat meat.