When visiting Tripoli a wonderful trip to make is to the monastery of Varses. Neochori Megalopolis is a pretty stop-over on the way, just below the monastery. This is a village that has flourished in recent years, and has very good infrastructure. Wonderful walking trails starting at Neohori are flanked by many trees. It is hard to believe that it is located just 11 km away from the cosmopolitan Tripoli.
The Monastery of Varses is one of the most significant of religious Arcadia. Apart from being a large shrine, the site of the monastery is a sanctuary of beauty and tranquility. The devotion of the monks has transformed it into an earthly paradise blossoming in the mountains. The slope on which it is built is named Koutroufi, it is a foothill of Parthenio (Virgin) Mountain. The haze of history covers the monastery. Its very name is hard to explain. A preserved document exists that mentions it as the Monastery of the Forest, which is very apt as it is located in the middle of the forest of Mainalo. Another version says that there was once a monastery lake named Valta and the name Varses is a misphrase. The Monastery of St. Nicholas of Varses is among the oldest in the Peloponnese. It already has behind it, a millennium of history.