|Elevation:||2,410 m (7,900 ft) (Profitis Ilias)|
|Length:||approx. 50 km, north to south|
approx. from 10 to 20 km from east to west
Taygetos or Taygetus (Greek: Ταΰγετος), also Taigetos 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). The mountain is named after Taygete. In the Byzantine times and up until the 19th century, the mountain was known as Pentedaktylos (Greek for five fingers). The mountain range includes the prefectures of Arcadia, Laconia and Messenia.
Almost all of the Evrotas valley, the Parnon mountains and half of Laconia can be seen in the eastern part, the western part's panorama include Kalamata and the eastern half of Messenia and most of the southwestern part of Arcadia can also be seen.
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 are 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 approx. 1 km.
Places on the Taygetus
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.
As an aside, but unconfirmed there is a naturally occurring pyramid on this mountain, perhaps one of the few naturally occurring pyraminds in the world. 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 northcentral 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.
This is the mountain on which the Spartans would leave their handicapped children to die. In the antiquity, male Spartan newborns were abandoned here if deemed unfit after examination for vitality. Most likely, the children were thown off the mountain. Sparta was a warrior city and physical weakness was not tolerated, because of the Spartans way of life.
- Official website of the Taygetus
- mani.org.gr on Taygetus
- http://www.gianniskofinas.com/Vouna/t1/taigetos1.htm (in Greek)
- http://www.oreivatein.com/page/mountains/q_z/taygetos/tayget.htm (in Greek)
- http://www.papagiannakos.com/lakonia/taygetus.htm (in Greek)
- http://www.mountains.gr/geographia/taygetos.html (in Greek)
- Traveljournals.net - Location of Taygetus on worldmap
- GTP - Taygetus
- Map and aerial photos: