Return to Home Page Harrys Greece Guide

Mt. TageitosMt. Tagetos

The high areas of this highest mountain in the Peloponnese (of which the lower reaches have been described above) reach an altitude of 2404 meters (7885 feet), with its highest point at Profitas Ilias (Prophet Elijah, the name given to the highest peaks in areas all over Greece, usually with a chapel built to honor the Prophet).

The eastern slopes of the mountain, in great constrast to the western ones, which are mostly quite bare, are covered with Greek fir and some nice black pines, with bare limestone above 1800 meters. Oriental planes grow in the valleys. Grassy clearings in the forest and wet areas here and there have many flowers, including foxgloves, orchids, red lilies, a beautiful bellflower; there are also many butterflies, dragonflies and insects in summer. An EOS refuge is located at about 1600 meters amid black pines, above which the forest diminishes and snow increases, though there are some special and rare plants up high, between 1700 and 2000 meters, including an endemic crocus. Though the mountain is not an exceptional bird site, there are short-toed eagles and Bonelli's eagles, and breeding honey buzzards and eagle owls;shore larks breed close to the summit, where there are high valleys and plateaus (though quite barren), and a couple kinds of choughs are also found there.

An area of protected forest is found above the village of Saidona, with mainly Greek fir, and some evergreen maples, holm oak, sweet chesnut, and other deciduous trees. There are also many kinds of flowers in the higher reaches of this forest as you ascend, and quite a few birds. Tagetos is most easily approached from the east, with a good road up it off of the main Sparti-Gythion road. May to July is the best time to pay this mountain a visit.