Thursday, November 3, 2022

Platanias-Lafkos (circular)



Distance: 13,6 km

Time: 4 hours walking time, 5 hours with stops

Altitude: from 0 m. (Platanias) to 303 m. (Lafkos square) to 385 m. (max)

Total elevation gain/loss:  623 m.

Signing: red paint, round yellow signs

Drinking water on walk: Lafkos

Start/finish: Platanias beach

Last checked: 13/11/2022

Download GPS file: from Wikiloc

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>>       This circular route combines the two existing routes between the two villages, climbing from Platanias to Lafkos on the main kalderimi via Agios Nikolaos chapel and coming back by the western route, that passes by the Lafkos cemetery and the chapel of Epano (Upper) Ai Giannis. It is better to start from Platanias, in order to have most of the uphill sections at the beginning of the walk. At the tourist beach of Platanias, which is also served by bus service (www.ktelvolou.gr), and in Lafkos of course, there are restaurants and guest houses that operate all year round. 


        Starting from the seaside of Platanias, we first walk through the wide bed of Chalorema stream. At the basketball court we turn left and walk on a dirt road that goes uphill to the west, with a small stream on our left. Further up we reach an intersection, where we go right heading north.

        A little further on, the road makes an S and we pass by a stone hut. Just a few meters after the hut we go diagonally to the right, on a path that enters an olive grove. Observing the signs, we cross the olive grove, and continue on a path that soon descends to cross the small stream of Poros. The path shows sections of cobblestone (kalderimi) climbs with turns and then we join at an angle a dirt road, which climbs straight ahead to the small church of Agios Nikolaos. In this peaceful and shady place, we will definitely make a stop. 

Agios Nikolaos chapel

      After the chapel, we pass a house and then the road forks to the left. The path normally continued straight ahead through the olive grove, but it is unclear and we prefer to go uphill on the road. We reach an intersection, where we find again the path that goes up between the two roads. This part, like other parts of the route, was previously closed by vegetation and was cleared in the winter of 2011 thanks to the efforts of the Friends of the Kalderimi of South Pelion and the Volos Alpine Club.

       Further up we get back on the road to the left and after a hundred meters, paying attention to the red signs on the right, we find the path that goes up again. We pass by a water tank, which we leave on our right, and enter the asphalt road that comes from Mikro beach. A wide dirt road (going to be asphalted) leads to the right towards the monastery of Agios Spyridon.

     Here normally the path continued straight ahead northwest, on the left boundary of the estate in front of us. But it is blocked by vegetation and fenced, so we walk down on the road making a smooth curve around the estate. Further on, where the road turns left, we go straight uphill on the wide path. Soon we meet the road again and cross it at an angle, continuing northwest on a narrow kalderimi. Here is the highest point of our route (385 meters) and we can see in front of us the village of Lafkos and the sea of Pagasitic gulf.

Approaching Lafkos

        The kalderimi joins the main asphalt Lafkos-Promyri below the electricity substation, and we follow the asphalt until the intersection. Here we go straight uphill on a paved road for a few meters and immediately to the right. We are already inside the village of Lafkos and we follow the stone paved street that leads to the square. It took us about 2h 15' to get here (walking time 1.50') covering a distance of 6.2 kilometers. 

Lafkos square in winter

     After resting and having a coffee or refreshment in the picturesque square of Lafkos (next to the church there is the museum of paintings by the remarkable painter Thanasis Fabas, which is definitely worth a visit if it is open), we follow the central kalderimi back (to the south). At a signed V-junction we take the right branch. Further down we cross the asphalt and continue opposite, reaching the cemetery of Lafkos.

Going down from the Lafkos cemetery

    A dirt road continues to the right of the cemetery, and we follow it. As we descend, we enjoy wonderful views of Pagasitic sea, with the islet of Alatas in the foreground. If we pay attention, we will also see some remnants of cobblestone in the earth road. Further down, as the road makes a smooth left turn, we continue straight ahead downhill, finding the kalderimi. This brings us to the chapel of Agios Ioannis Theologos, called "Epano Ai Giannis" and nicknamed "Sti Sara", from the loose stones in the bed of the stream. Below the chapel passes the route that comes from Milina- Pighes on a dirt road (Milina-Platanias and Milina-Chondri Ammos-Valtoudi routes). 

Epano Ai Giannis chapel

       After a stop to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the landscape, we follow the dirt road now to the left (southeast), ignore another road that goes uphill and shortly we reach the bed of the stream called Koumani stream or Koumanorema (in previous editions of the Anavasi map it is referred wrongly as Ammorema), at a point where it is joined by a smaller stream on the left.

Walking next to Koumani stream

       Here, the road crosses the main stream to the right (heading to Chondri Ammos ). Another road, which we follow, goes uphill to the left. We keep following the earth road climbing constantly. At junctions we meet, we take the most steep climbing branch.  The section of the original path-kalderimi on the left of the road is blocked by stones fallen during the construction of the road. Climbing up, we pass by a grove with chestnut trees, and higher up we join at an angle another road. We go left (east) and after fifty meters we leave the road  to the right, seeing the signpost. Here we descend gently towards a small stream walking on a narrow goat path. 

Walking on goat tracks

         After crossing the stream, the path climbs smoothly on the opposite slope, makes a curve and crosses a second small stream in the same way. We climb smoothly again and on the ridge we meet a narrow abandoned farm road, which we follow uphill. Eventually, we come out onto the asphalt that leads to Mikro beach. We walk on the asphalt for fifty meters downhill and, as it turns right, we leave it and go straight ahead. In front of us is a small plateau with two concrete pillars on the right.

      We walk on the plateau straight ahead in an easterly direction and immediately, seeing the signpost, we find the path with the red marks, descending smoothly. A little further down, observing the signs, we turn right onto a narrow path and begin to descend diagonally down the slope towards a shallow ravine. After crossing it, we continue uphill walking in goat tracks and come to a dirt road, which runs parallel to the ravine. Here is an intersection with another dirt road that goes uphill, and we follow it through an olive grove. At another intersection a little further on we go straight ahead.

Seeing the Aegean sea

          On the ridge there is on our right an abandoned quarry and we now can see the Aegean sea in front of us. The road turns right, but we continue straight ahead downhill to the border of a grove and in thirty meters we find the continuity of the path on our left, descending between low scrubby vegetation. Lower down, we join the road again, which keeps descending making a right turn and we follow it for about a hundred meters.

      As we reach a small plateau that we see in front of us, we turn left and leave the road (attention to the signs) descending on a narrow path, which in a few meters comes at the upper limit of an olive grove. We descend into this olive grove with zig-zags (the path here is unclear), next to the vegetation that serves as a border of the neighboring grove. Alternatively, we may prefer to climb down less steeply, following a narrow  earth road that was recently constructed  in the adjacent grove.

Approaching Platanias

        Soon we come down on the same dirt road, on which we walked at the beginning of our route. We reach the intersection where we go left and go downhill with the stream next to us on the right. The road finally ends at the bed of the large stream (Chalorema), next to the basketball court. Following the stream, we soon reach the picturesque beach of Platanias.

At Platanias harbour


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Alevizou bridge-Leschiani bridge-Sourvia monastery-Agios Nikolaos-Loutsa (circular)

 

Τhe bridge of Leschiani

Distance: 13,8 km

Time: 8 hours, with stops

Altitude: 709 m. (max) to 332 m. (minimum)

Total elevation gain/loss: 666 m.

Signing: red paint marks

Drinking water on walk: no

Start/end: Location ''Mavrolithari'', 5,5 km from Fitoko church (see further on)

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         This is a fairly long circular walk, with which we pass by two stone bridges (Alevizou and Leschiani), from the monastery of Sourvia and the chapel of Agios Nikolaos. The time when we recorded it (31/5/2020) was 8 hours, but with a relaxed pace and long stops. The walk can be shortened by about 2.5-3 hours if we skip the monastery of Sourvia and Agios Nikolaos and climb up to Loutsa from the Leshiani bridge (see below). 


        The walk starts and ends at the location by the name ''Mavrolithari''. We go there by a dirt road that is passable by normal cars (not with lowered suspension). Just before the parking lot of the church in Fitoko, turn left onto a concrete road with a sign for "Moni Gorgoypikoou''. The road becomes asphalt for a while and then continues as a dirt road. We keep going straight, ignoring successive intersections on the right towards "Loumbarda", "Gioni" and "Gorgoypikoou monastery". After 5.5 kilometers from Fitoko (of which 3.5 on dirt road), we reach the location ''Mavrolithari'', where the dirt road turns right, starting to descend towards the ravine of Kaliakouda (also called Kserias). There we leave our car and start walking.

          So we walk along the road, dense vegetation on our left. In a hundred meters, where the wild  vegetation ends and we have an (abandoned) grove on our left, we leave the road and go down in the grove. The path is not readily visible at first, but we walk along the lower part of the estate smoothly, following the contours of the terrain. A little lower down the path is clearer. We cross the road at an angle to the right and find the path again below. We keep descending, come out on the road again and reach the bridge of Alevizou.

The bridge of Alevizou

        Constructed in a year uknown, by unknown masons - possibly from Epirus - this is the second in a row of four bridges of the Kaliakouda gorge (the other three are of Louziniko, Leshiani and Karia). It got the name of the owner of a large estate in the area, who is believed to have paid for its construction. The span of its arch according to the book of Nikos Haratsis is 9.2 meters and the height is only 2.25 meters. The former president of the Makrinitsa community, Spyros Koikoumis, told Haratsis: ''I remember this bridge was very high, so much so that when we passed over it we were afraid to look down. The stream was very deep at this point and the rocks on the banks steep and high. But now it's been quite a few years that the water has brought down a lot of gravel and rocks, to an extent it is almost blocked from below.''

Alevizou bridge at spring

        The bridge used to be for many years in bad condition, ready to collapse. It was repaired in 2009,  however this repair has significantly altered its character and its current form is a far cry from the original. Also, the addition of low side walls increases the resistance to the flow of water, so that in the event of a heavy rain there is danger of it being swept away by the flooded stream.

         After the bridge we continue up the dirt road. At the second sharp right turn above, a path branches off on the left going north towards Agios Athanasios chapel. Just next to this path`s entrance, we leave the road  and follow another uphill path with red markings that heads east. On our way we cross the road twice. At the third time we walk for fifty meters on the road and find a path that continues climbing. Finally we come out on the upper side of a large meadow.

In the meadow

        Here we join an earth road that continues climbing and further up ends, opening to another large meadow. We cross the meadow walking roughly in the middle of it, and at the other end we find a path that continues smoothly to the northeast.. Further on we cross a smaller clearing, where there is a plastic water tank and a watering can on our right. A dirt road ends here on the left. We walk through the clearing in the same direction and continue on a path going downhill, always following the red marks.

The path in oak forest

        Eventually, we come out on a dirt road, on which we walk. We go down to a plateau and walk on a wider dirt road, going to the right. In a few meters there is a triple junction and we take the middle road, which soon brings us to the chapel of Panagia Leschiani. Next to it there is a stone water fountain, inscribed  with the date 1888 (usually without water) opposite to it a large plane tree.

          Ηaving got here, we must definitely visit the bridge of Leshiani. So, from the fountain we walk on the path to the south, and in five minutes find ourselves in front of the only three-arched bridge in Pelion. The span of the middle arch is 9.20 m and the height is 5.85 m.


        Nikos Haratsis writes in his book "Stone arched bridges in Pelion": "This bridge is a work of art, a real monument that anyone seeing it will stop to admire and wonder... I was amazed by its shapely line and carefully looked at its three arches. What symmetry, my God, and what a beautiful rhythm it has! As if it is ready to move with you, the medial arch, which dominates the whole body, presses lightly but firmly on the two pedestals, gently weighs on the two smaller arches that are right-sided, and finally fades to the banks and merges with these. The sycamores, the heathers, the holly trees, the cedars that are on the banks and embrace it, as if they are the extension of the bridge, bound in the same rhythm of perfect nature... Its pedestals and bases are rooted in rocky, stable ground. One pedestal, the northern one, on the side where the water comes, is wedge-shaped to withstand the pressure of the water. The stones that form the arches are long and narrow, with narrow joints between them, giving the impression that the masons have not used a hammer. The stones that are low in the bases are larger and harder. Its walkway is cobblestone, which is in good condition and traces a slightly curved path, thus following the entire line of the bridge. Its side walls had been washed out at some point when the stream flooded down a lot of water, and they have been rebuilt. However, the difference in construction style is easily discernible. In that same year the south base, high near the arch, was also damaged and has been repaired. Here too, the difference in the construction style and the quality of stone can be seen.'' 


        Here we have the option, if we wish, to shorten our walk by approximately 2.5 hours, skipping the Monastery of Sourvia and Agios Nikolaos, and continue climbing on the kalderimi  from the bridge of Leshiani straight up to the clearing of Loutsa. But for the full walk, we return back to Panagia Leshiani. Here we enter a dirt road going uphill slightly. To our right, an uphill road leads to the monastery of Sourvia. We do not take this, instead we go straight ahead and in a few meters at the corner of the fence we turn left and walk on a wide path that begins to climb entering an oak forest. We follow the red marks and finally arrive at the (usually locked) entrance to the monastery of Sourvia.

Sourvia monastery

        Dedicated to the Holy Trinity and celebrating on the day of Pentecost, it was built in the 16th century by Saint Dionysios in Olympus and later had Saint Gerasimos the Younger as abbot. In 1878 the monastery was burnet down in the aftermath of a battle between Greek revolutionaries and Turks. In 1943, a Resistance printing press operated inside the catholicon (the main church). Today Sourvia, without monks anymore, belongs to Flamouri monastery. Restoration works are ongoing.

Church interior at Sourvia mon.

        After the necessary stop to rest but also to enjoy the wonderful view to the south and west, we take the dirt road and continue downhill. After about 2 kilometers, paying attention to our left, we see the red signs marking the path to Agios Nikolaos. At first we move towards the east and then south, we cross a stream and finally we reach the chapel of Agios Nikolaos. Τhe dirt road we cross here comes from Leschiani. 

Agios Nikolaos

        We continue through the south side of the church going down the path and reach the bed of the stream of Kaliakouda. There is no bridge here. On the other bank, the path climbs uphill and we reach the large clearing-meadow of Loutsa with the characteristic tree, which stands out in the whole area. Here we intersect with the Makrinitsa-Kato Kerasia route. Near the tree there is a trigonometric pole (altitude 692 m.) next to an old shredding floor.

Loutsa

        Leaving back the pole, we take a southwesterly direction and descend straight on a path that is now (in 2022) clear. A black water pipe also descends alongside us. Further down we come out into a long narrow clearing-meadow and walk to its right edge. Here we find a dirt road, which we follow. Further on, we enter a large meadow and pass by a pen on our right. Finally, the road takes us to the location of Mavrolithari, from where our walk began.



Friday, October 14, 2022

Makrirachi-Aetofolia (circular)

Aetofolia

 

Distance: 3,3 km

Time: 1 hour 50'

Altitude: from 235 m. (Makrirachi square) to  420 m. (max)

Total elevation gain/loss: 274 m.

Signing: red paint, yellow round signs

Drinking water on walk: no

Start/finish: Makrirachi square

Last checked: Οctober 2022

Download  GPS file:  from Wikiloc

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             Starting and ending in the square of Makrirrachi, this relatively short circular route, which takes less than 2 hours, allows us to visit the excellent viewpoint of Aetofolia (meaning ''eagles nest'') through the wild gorge of Megalo Rema. The return to the square is made using the main kalderimi that comes from Chania via Prophitis Elias and Agii Anargiri chapels.


            Starting from the square of Makrirachi, we keep walking on the main asphalt towards Anilio village. Immediately after the last houses of the village, we take an uphill narrow road on the right. We pass a water reservoir and walk on the wild northern slope of the gorge, in a dense oak forest. Paying attention to our right, we notice a post with a sign, which points right to "Aetofolia". The uphill path we are walking on now is narrow and relatively difficult, however in 10 minutes we find ourselves at Aetofolia. From this point we have a magnificent view of the overgown gorge of Megalo Rema up to Agriolefkes peak. The Aegean sea can be seen on the opposite side. It is worth sitting quietly for a while to enjoy this unique viewpoint.

Aetofolia 

      In order to return, we continue in the same direction on the path, which immediately turns into a narrow earth road. At the point where there is a signpost on both sides of the road (ATTENTION) we meet the kalderimi coming from Agii Anargiri, which used to be the main connection of Makrirrachi to Chania and Volos. We follow it going downhill to the right (it is initially difficult due to soil that has fallen on the side of the road).

Anilio village on the opposite side of the stream

       The kalderimi continues to descend and we go through the first houses of Makrirachi. Finally we come out on a concrete road, where we go left. The road (formerly a kalderimi) descends and ends at the main road, immediately above the village square.

Mushroom tasting at Makrirachi square (October 2022)


Thursday, September 29, 2022

Alogoporos-Anisvales-Theriakodas (circular)

Theriakodas

 

Distance: 6,9 km

Time: 3-3,5 hours with stops

Altitude: from 0 m. to 244 m. (max)

Total altitude gain/loss: 265 m. 

Signing: red paint, round metal signs

Drinking water on walk: no

Start/end: Alogoporos beach

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       Centered around Alogoporos beach, we combine the Trikeri-Alogoporos and Trikeri-Theriakontas trails to create a three-hour circular walk. Long pants are recommended, as the path to Theriakodas is narrowed by overgrown vegetation, but still remains passable (and beautiful). 

        Starting from the beach of Alogoporos, we first walk on the asphalt. A little further up, the asphalt makes a right turn and we continue straight ahead through an olive grove. We cross a dirt road (it's the same one that goes to Theriakontas) and climb continuously on a clear path, from some parts of which you can see the sea.  


            We reach a small clearing, where the climbing ends. This location here is called ''Vlachi'', according to Nikos Haratsis. There used to be a pen here. We now begin to descend on the path heading south. Finally we reach a long and narrow pit with grass, called ''Anisvales'', again according to Haratsis. If we cross it transversely, we will find on the other side an uphill path that goes to Trikeri.   We do not do this, but turn left descending to the pit, and from its lower end we find a path on the right that descends smoothly to the east, crosses a small stream and, climbing a little, meets on the other side a path that runs parallel to the stream. This is the path that goes to Theriakontas and we follow it to the left (north). 


        The vegetation is quite overgrown, but the path remains passable, pending an initiative to clean it. In any case, long pants are recommended for the time present. 

The hut near Theriakodas

        Walking along the nice unpaved path, we pass by a hut and have the stream right next to us on the left. We follow a fence and finally come out on the pebbly and deserted beach of Theriakontas. There is no tourist development here, nothing to disturb the tranquility of the landscape.

Theriakodas

       At the left end of the beach begins a road that climbs roughly parallel to the coastline. We follow it, and after about 700 meters, paying attention to our right, we find a path that faithfully follows the coastline and takes us to the eastern end of Alogoporos beach.


Seeing Alogoporos

       A cafe with rooms for rent operates here. From here you can also take the water taxi to go across to the island of Paleo Trikeri. Here lies the monastery of Evangelistria, as well as a few rooms for rent and two cafe-restaurants at the seaside.

The water taxi to the island

Τrikeri island




Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Hania -Profitis Elias chapel-Plakotoura waterfall (circular)


 

Distance: 7,3 km.

Time: walking time 3.10', total time 4 h. with stops

Altitude: from 1200 m. (max) to 754 m. (min)

Total altitude gain/loss: 437 m.

Signing: small yellow signs and red paint

Drinking water on walk: no

Start/end: 1st parking lot of Hania ski center

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        This walk uses two new path sections, which give the opportunity to create a circular walk. One path connects the Plakotoura waterfall with the main road, at the level of Prophitis Elias chapel. The other one was used by those going from Zagora or Makrirrachi to Agios Lavrentios, making the route shorter, as they didn`t have to pass unnecessarily through the center of Hania.


        Starting from the lower left side of the first parking lot of the Hania ski Center, we walk on a downhill path with red markings, which at the beginning has twenty meters of cobblestone (kalderimi). On our left (attention!) another path marked with red markings on  a white background branches off. It  belongs to a mountain running race (UTP-we don`t take that). 


            Our path descends, crosses two small streams and comes a bit awkwardly to cross the main asphalt road. Climbing on the other bank, we soon come across the Zagora-Chania cobblestone kalderimi, at a point where there is a vandalized metal signpost. The cobblestone is in good condition and descends smoothly through the beech forest. 


On the old kalderimi to Zagora

        We cross the asphalt 9 times consecutively, always to the left, finding the continuity of the kalderimi, and on the tenth time we arrive at the chapel of Profitis Elias, which is a suitable place to have a stop. 

Arriving at Profitis Elias

        We continue our walk by returning to the main road and follow it downhill (to the left). Further down, at a sharp turn of the road, we leave it and go straight ahead on a dirt road, following the signs. At the first V-junction we take the left branch and at the second, where there is a signpost, the right one. Soon the road ends and continues as a downhill path, which brings us to the waterfall of Plakotoura. A place of intense natural beauty, with running water all year round from two streams, which here converge and one forms a small pond, while the other falls from a high rock, creating a slim waterfall that you can't get enough of seeing. The magic of Pelion touches all the senses and cannot be described with words.

The waterfall at Plakotoura in early September

         Leaving Plakotoura, we follow the path of the Waterfalls uphill and reach the Hunters' refuge hut at the location called Nisaki. 

Hunters hut at Nisaki

        Continuing to climb steeply on the path of the Waterfalls through a beautiful beech forest, we finally come out on the asphalt and in a few meters further down, we return to the 1st parking lot, from where our walk began.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Makrinitsa-Pliasidi-Zagora

 

View to Horefto 

Distance: 18,5 km.

Time: 8 hours (with stops)

Altitude: from 620 m. (Makrinitsa) to 1480 m. (max) to 510 m. (Zagora)

Total elevation gain: 1075 m.

Total elevation loss: 950 m.

Signing: red paint, some metal signs

Drinking water on walk: Agia Paraskevi mon. near Makrinitsa

Start: Brani parking lot,  Makrinitsa (end of asphalt road) 

End: Agios Georgios square, Zagora

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        In his book ''History of the Provinces of Volos and Agia'' (published in 1960) Yiannis Kordatos, a renowned scholar of Zagora,  mentions an alternative, higher way used by locals to go from Zagora to Makrinitsa-Volos: (sic) starting to climb from ''Kordateika'' or Platanovrisi, passing by the ''middle Kotroni'', reaching ''Schizopetras'', turn west, get past ''Machera fountain''  and from the peak ''Plesidi'' go down to Makrinitsa. We tried to unearth this forgotten route, and after some research came up with this 8-hour walk. 

 After having some rest and refreshments at Agios Georgios square in Zagora,  we may wish to  continue descending for an hour or so to get down to Horefto beach  for a refreshing swim to the sea.


          As we come to the higher parking lot at Makrinitsa, at the end of the asphalt road, we see on the right a kalderimi (cobblestone path) heading uphill. A red handmade sign indicating to ''Πουρί'' (Pouri village)) is nailed to a tree. This was made, along with  many others, by the late local hiker Dimitris Kottalis. One can also start from the drinking water fountain in the parking. On our way from Makrinitsa to Pliasidi, in addition to the usual plain red marks, there also are red-on-white  marks that belong to a mountain running race (Ultra Pelion Trail, UPT).

Makrinitsa

    The kalderimi winds uphill among the village houses, passing by a lone pine tree next to a bench and two fountains and eventually opens to a narrow dirt road, which leads us to the old monastery of Agia Paraskevi. 
Agia Paraskevi chapel

        Having enjoyed a refreshing stop at that tranquil spot and filling our water supplies from the fountain (no other fountain is on our way), we continue uphill on dirt road. After a right turn we find the path on our left. It soon opens to another dirt road, which then turns right and comes to an end. We continue on a path with sections of cobblestone, climbing into chestnut forest.

Path in chestnut forest

         We cross an earth road and further up turn left on another road. Watching on our right side, after about 30 m. we find the path again, climbing between chestnut trees. Further up, we walk parallel to a water ditch, noticing another handmade sign to “Pouri”. From a certain spot, we can see lake Karla at a distance to the west.

Agios Augoustinos chapel at Trano Isoma

         On our way is also the newly built chapel of Agios Augoustinos, where we can have a stop. We continue on dirt road and come to a signed road junction. We continue straight ahead on a northeasterly direction, next to a concrete irrigation ditch. The road ahead leads  to Flabouro springs and Pourianos Stavros peak. After 50 meters we turn right (attention!) on another dirt road that climbs steeply uphill. On a tree a small round sign indicates the direction to ''Pliasidi'' to the right. The red-on-white marks are still with us on this way.


        We pass by the Tzanopoulos estate, where there is a hut. On our left we see a square building, probably a water tank. Immediately after the estate the road makes a slight left turn downhill goeing to Flambouro. At this point we leave it and go straight ahead uphill in an easterly direction on a path, which eventually takes us to the asphalt that goes to the military radars. We are close to the peak of Pliasidi (1547 m.), which is on our right, but getting to the fenced  top is prohibited.


        Reaching the asphalt, the red-on-white marks turn to the right and we leave them (attention). Here we turn left and walk on the asphalt for about 2.3 km, going towards the radars. At the second junction with a dirt road on the right, we leave the asphalt and take the road, which descends northeast into the beech forest.  We pass by a large rock, which the locals call "Machera". From some points we have a very nice view to the south, seeing three large wooded ridges descending to the sea one behind the other.


 

       Further down, at an altitude of 1180 meters, as we join another dirt road (which comes from the asphalt just below Hania), we reach a small shelter hut for hunters and firewatchers that has the inscription "ΘΗΡΟΦΥΛΑΚEΙΟ ΠΥΡΟΦΥΛΑΚEΙΟ'' (in Greek). On the day we passed (7/11/21) it was being renovated by a group of hunters. 

At the hunters shelter

        We walk on the road to the left for two hundred meters and go right at the junction (straight ahead, the road goes to Xeforti and Agia Marina). The area here is called "Schizopetra". Descending, we find successive sections of path that alternate with sections of road and we need to pay attention to the red marks. Οur general direction is to the northeast.

Path in beech forest

        Further down, we cross an apple grove (as the path on the side of the grove is very overgrown), and join a dirt road again turning right. Going downhill, the road below is paved with cement as it passes between cherry and apple groves. From one point we have a nice view to the chapel of Agios Athonas, built on a hill above Zagora. 
Agios Athonas chapel

         A little further north we see another hill with antennas at the top, which on the map is referred to as "Lefko Kotroni" (732 m.).

        Going down the concrete road and watching for the red signs at the intersections, we pass by the church of St. Magdalene. Further down we find a section of the original kalderimi as we descend next to the fence of a cottage. We continue on  kalderimi covered by cement. Further down, as we get into the village and cement paving ceases,  the original kalderimi reappears and leads us straight to the central square of Agios Georgios.

Agios Georgios (Zagora main square)