Castle of Agios Georgios - Paleros - Castle of Sternas - Palaia Plagia / Aitoloakarnania

We started our excursion with the goal of visiting the Ancient Acropolis - Castle of Sternas from the 5th century BC, but we decided to make a larger "circle" excursion in the wider area and we were rewarded. So our exploration started from Plagia Aitoloakarnania and the castle of Agios Georgios.

It should be noted that the village of Plagia is known for having the best meat and grilled dishes in the area. The residents are mainly engaged in animal husbandry, so they rightfully know all the "secrets". There is also tangible evidence that the livestock farmers of the Kingdom of Odysseus used to pass their animals "across" from the island of Lefkada and specifically from Nidri to graze in the pastures of the area.

We crossed the village and climbed up the hill to the castle of Agios Georgios. The construction of the castle was completed in March 1807. In May 1821, the castle was besieged by the Greeks under G. Tsogas, who eventually captured it. Around the castle of Plagia, there are the remains of the fortification of an ancient city, almost eight times larger in size than that of the newer fortress. The city included an acropolis, which was located at the eastern edge of the fortification, approximately where the newer fortress is located today.Its wall was built using the polygonal construction system and dates back to the 5th century BC. 

It includes 11 rectangular towers and at least one gate.

This city is identified by some as the Homeric city of Nerikos, which was handed over by the Athenians to the Acarnanian Paleraeans in 431 BC. The view was truly magnificent. The entire eastern side of Lefkada was in front of us...!!! 

Dorpfeld places the classical Nerikos on the hill where the Castle is built. Also, the German researcher classifies the area of the Plagia Peninsula in the geographical unit of Homeric Ithaca (Homer 353). While enjoying our coffee inside the castle, we started towards the small picturesque harbor on the back side of the village, with the fishermen preparing their nets for their next catch... Then, a beautiful basic off-road route unfolded along the entire coastline in front of us... A passable route that reaches almost to Paleros

Unfortunately, as we learned from the locals, the road will be paved soon, although some have serious objections..!!! We simply hope that it will be done in the best interest of the residents. Along the route, there will be an unforgettable beach!!! Where the calves take a swim in the sea and "lounge" on their quiet beach. There are also V-shapes that are ideal for Off-Road "unwinding" with plenty of flex and play!!! If someone has the permission of the farmers and is not bothered by the livestock, the location is ideal for Overlanding right by the sea. Just before Paleros, we started the ascent towards the Ancient Acropolis of Sterna. Paleros, where the most significant site in the area is the Ancient City of Palairetus, which was located in present-day Kechropoulas in the Southeast of the Peninsula. The City is believed to have existed since the Mycenaean period, as evidenced by the city walls, part of which belongs to the 2nd millennium BC, for example. The city was known as Zaverda until 1928. The ascent towards the Acropolis was simply magnificent, with the view from 507m being unique.

Advance route with rocky terrain that requires careful selection of "lines". Sharp planted rocks are waiting to "cut" the tires almost throughout the entire route. Other hazards such as slopes and narrow passages are not present! Castle of Sterna dates back to the 5th century BC. It is an archaeological site that was part of a fortified complex. The summit is higher than the peninsula at 507m, providing panoramic views over the entire area towards Lefkada, south towards Echinades, and north towards the coasts of Epirus and the entrance of the Ambracian Gulf. The name "Sterna" was certainly attributed out of ignorance solely from the ancient reservoir that is preserved. With beautiful scenery and the pleasure of the journey, we completed our "circle" in the village of Palia Plagia, the ghost village of Aitoloakarnania.

A trip to another era, amidst almond trees and unique ruins that bring to mind a settlement on an island. Specifically, some "ruins" testify to the close ties that the wider area had with the Venetians. The herds of today's shepherds often use the area as a grazing ground. In the village, a stop for figs and photos at the ruins is a must, giving a unique atmosphere from the past to the present...!!! It was a beautiful excursion to an area that deserves and desires to welcome visitors without losing its character and traditions, offering them moments and images from its history and landscapes. We experienced it and highly recommend it...!!!!

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