Karytaina is a village and a community in Arcadia, Greece. It was the seat of the former municipality Gortyna. in 2001 Karytaina had a population of 204 for the village and 257 for the community, which includes the villages Kalyvakia and Karvounaris. Karytaina is situated on a hill on the right bank of the river Alfeios, near its confluence with the Lousios. The Frankish Castle of Karytaina was built on a steep rocky outcrop in 1245 by Hugues de Bruyères. During Frankish domination (13th-15th century) its name was Skorta.
Karytaina is 9 km southwest of Stemnitsa, 12 km east of Andritsaina, 12 km south of Dimitsana and 12 km northwest of Megalopoli. The Greek National Road 76 (Krestena - Andritsaina - Megalopoli) passes east of the town. Karytaina was depicted on the reverse of the Greek 5000 drachmas banknote of 1984-2001. Karytaina has schools, a church, and several shops and services.
Enough for history... One of my friends joined me on this trip, it was Mid-Spring and a very hot but cloudy day. When we reached at the village and strolled around shooting whatever we found impressive enough, we headed for the castle at the top of the hill. We were more willing than capable of walking all the way to the top without resting here and there since we thought it was about to rain. But we had not enough courage and stamina for a non-stop climb. We stopped several times checking the view, but we knew our prize was waiting for us at the top.
Reaching the top, we spent some time catching our breath ignoring the weather that finally made us a favor and didn't bring rain to us. As we strolled around we realized the place was hiding from us more that we could see or guess. But there were very dangerous paths to follow away from anyone up here and we could not take any chances. After I took my final shot of the village from the top of the castle we headed to my car. All the fatigue had gone away, we were rewarded with one of the best views in Messinia, after all...