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Elevation: 2,410 m (7,900 ft) (Profitis Ilias)
Location: eastern Messenia
western Laconia
Length: approx. 50 km, north to south
approx. from 10 to 20 km from east to west
Easiest route: climb

Mount Taygetus, Taugetus, or Taigetus ([Ταΰγετος, Taugetos] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)) is a mountain range of the Peloponnesus, Southern Greece, extending about 65 mi (100 km) north from the southern end of Cape Matapan in the Mani Peninsula. It rises to about 7,900 ft (2,410 m) at Mt. Hagios Ilias (Mt. St. Elias or Prophitis Elias). The mountain is named after Taygete. It was used by the Spartans to execute criminals and the deformed. In Byzantine times and up until the 19th century, the mountain was known as Pentedaktylos (Greek for five-fingered). The mountain range includes the prefectures of Arcadia, Laconia and Messenia.

The highest peak of the mountain is known for displaying the approximate shape of a pyramid. A church of the prophet Elias (προφήτης Ηλίας) is located near the peak. European walking route E4 also leads there.

The valley of the Evrotas River lies to the east, while the Ionian Sea lies to the south and west along with the Gulf of Kalamata or the Messenian Gulf and Arcadia to the north.

Almost all of the Evrotas valley, the Parnon Mountains and half of Laconia can be seen from the eastern slope. The western slopes panorama includes Kalamata and the eastern half of Messenia. Most of the southwestern part of Arcadia can also be seen.

Part of Skoteini Plevra

The central part of the mountain range is commonly called "Skoteini Plevra" which means "the dark side" because the villages that are in the Taygetus don't receive as much sunshine, especially in the morning and the pre-dusk hours. Much of the area is forested and in higher areas, deforested with grasslands, meadows and flowers. The area receives sunshine only during the afternoon hours. The length is about 4 to 5 km and the width is approximately 1 km.

Geographical features

Places on the Taygetus

Nearby places

In order of ascent, example north to south in the west.

There are a few creeks in the range including two running within GR-82.

Taygetus also has a resort. Climate has cool summers in the central part with snowy winters. Most of the eastern half is grassy while the rest of the mountain is covered with pine trees.

An ancient road linking Messene along with the rest of Messenia and Sparta ran in the southern part of the mountain in ancient and medieval times. The modern highway is Greece Interstate 82, the Kalamata to Sparti Highway running in the north-central part with a pass of about 1,060 m. It is the only highway that runs through the Taygetus ranges.

A trail is situated in the south central part of the range west of Mystras.


The Spartans threw criminals and "unfit" (weak, sickly, deformed, or mentally retarded) children over Mount Taygetus into a valley known as Ceadas (Κεάδας) or Caeadas (Καιάδας). In the antiquity, male Spartan newborns were abandoned here if deemed unfit after examination for vitality.

Most likely, the children were thrown off the mountain.[original research?] Sparta was a warrior city and physical weakness was not tolerated. Recent evidence however, funded by the University of Athens, discovered remains of adult individuals and claimed that Ceadas was also, or mainly, a place of punishment for criminals, traitors and captives.[1]


External links

Coordinates: 37°6′N 22°18′E / 37.100°N 22.300°E / 37.100; 22.300