RINTOMO (Settlement) AVIA
The Ridomo Gorge is one of nature’s wonders of exceptional beauty with wonderful geological and morphological formations and a great diversity of fauna and flora. It is ideal for recreation, physical exercise and walking and is of particular aesthetic and tourist importance.
The gorge is situated at the beginning of the Messinian part of Mani, at 15 km from Kalamata, originates at the mouth of the Sadova stream and stretches up to the Prophet Elias top of the Taygetos mountain at a distance of 21 km. It was first mentioned by Pausanias (160 BC), who crossed this gorge that was the natural boundary between the Messinians and the Spartans, and refers to it as the Choerios Nape (=gorge of the pigs).
The inhabitants of the area used it as a way of communication with the Taygetos and Lakonia and, therefore, many cultural elements have survived to this day, such as the well preserved, stone paved footpaths of Sotirianika - Altomyra - Pigadia - Vorio and Sotirianika - Tubia, as well as the arched bridges at Koskaraga and Tubia.
The itinerary, is characterized by particularly beautiful geological formations, rocky slopes, rare formations, areas of layers with typical chromatographic areas and slopes with caves the stalactites of which are visible from the stream bed.
The most impressive part of the gorge is the point where its bed becomes very narrow, an area 100m long, about 2m wide and 60m high, at the footpath leading from Kedro (Gaitses) to Pigadia. The double, stone bridge linking the vertical, solid slopes of the aforementioned especially beautiful formation is a traditional art monument of great significance.
Having a narrow bridge of the gorge at the Kalamata-Kabos road and at a length of 12km, as a reference point, the gorge splits into two streams, the Ridomo stream and the Kareas stream. This is the location of the «Panagia Kapsodematousa» Monastery (=Blessed Virgin Mary who burnt the haystacks), celebrated on July 2nd with a traditional feast. Similarly, on the opposite side and on the Ridomo stream, one finds the Aghia Marina church, celebrated by the stock breeders of the area on July 17.
Moving up along the gorge, towards the alpine zone of the Taygetos mountain, from Kitries to the mouth of the Sadova river, in the Mediterranean zone there are lentisks, a type of chickpea plants, bushy oaks, white beamstrees, sage leafed pear trees, different types of arbutus etc., while in the semi-mountainous area there are hornbeams, commences and cedars and in the mountainous area there are oak trees, fir trees, maple trees, hawthorns and wild plum trees.
This text is cited March 2003 from the Messenia Prefecture Tourism Promotion Commission URL below, which contains images.
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