Wednesday, August 15, 2012



Distance: 5,7 km
Duration: walking time 1.50', total time (with stops) 2,5 h.
Altitude: from 423 m. (Pouri) to sea level
Signed with: red marks, a few signs
Drinking water on walk: beaches Analipsi, Tourkovrisi, Parisena

  Download GPS track:   from Wikiloc    from Everytrail     

          This is an excellent route, with sections of unique natural beauty offered by the paradise on earth that  Pelion mountain is. In the first part we climb on calderimi (cobbled stone way) down to the church of  St. John the Baptist (the kato [lower] Ai Giannis, as it is called by the locals), and then walk along the Aegean coastline, passing from several beautiful beaches, to finish at the large tourist beach of Horefto. Here, as well as in Pouri and Zagora of course, one can find restaurants and hotels and we can return by bus (check the timetables at The whole route is clean, except maybe from a tiny section of path near Ai Giannis church, which can be bypassed if necessary.
         At the end of the main asphalt road at Pouri, the bus stops to turn back at a concrete plateau that also serves as a parking lot. From its south edge (in the direction of Zagora) we follow a narrow downhill asphalt road (formerly kalderimi). In a few meters, next to the elementary school, the asphalt turns right and reveals a kalderimi in excellent condition on the left. Further down, it opens to a narrow asphalt next to a plane tree. Walking on the asphalt for 30 m downhill, we find again the kalderimi on the right and continue to descend.
Approaching the graveyard of Pouri

           We cross another asphalt and the kalderimi leads to the graveyard of Pouri. We pass next to a church and after a few meters (attention), watching out for the red marks, turn left downhill into forest. We descend in a beautiful natural scenery, first in forest and then amidst lower vegetation, in alternate sections of kalderimi and path. Eventually, the path opens to an earth road, descending in a southeasterly direction. We pass by a cottage and reach a junction with another road. Here we turn left and in a few meters right to a downhill path. The last time we passed (July 2012), unlike previous times, it was all but blocked by vegetation for 10 meters and we had to clean it with hand tools. If it is blocked indeed, then going back to the road junction we take the road to the right, heading southeast and after 150 m. there is an earth road on the left with a metal door, that after an initial bend leads straight to the church, which we see near the sea next to a few cypresses. The path I mentioned before opens to another earth road that immediately crosses the road to Ai Giannis and we go left.
Ai Giannis church near the sea rock
          In his book ''A hikers` guide to Mt.Pelion'', Nikos Haratsis says referring to Ai Giannis of Pouri: ''Of all the small country churches of Pelion, I think that this one has unique grace, unique solitude and  a unique view of the Aegean. Like a lonesome lighthouse keeper, rooted on this steep rock, twenty meters above the sea. Its only companions are a few trees-walnut, lemon, olive, cypresses-and a small hut beside it. If you walk to the edge of the rock and look to the east, you can see the capes of Horefto, Agios Ioannis of Kissos and Damouchari. Dear Lord, there are not enough hymns to praise this holy place you have blessed us with''.
       Coming back from the church,  we walk straight on the road, pass through the metal door (it was open anyway) and continue to the left on earth road, that soon becomes concrete and opens to a sharp bend of the asphalt coming from Pouri. Walking on the asphalt downhill, we get to another bend, with a sharp left turn towards Elitsa beach that is nearby. At this point we continue straight ahead on an earth road, and pass a stream over a concrete bridge. At a junction we take the road to the left and pass by the small chapel of Analipsi, newly built, as the stream flooded in recent years and destroyed completely the old church. We then reach the homonymous beach (Analipsi), pass by a taverna near the sea and, just at the end of the beach, after the last house, there is a narrow path on the right climbing the slope. At a junction we head left, walking parallel to the coastline, twenty meters above the sea.
Analipsi beach as seen from the path

       Soon the path widens and we find ourselves wishing it would never end, due to the striking natural beauty around us.
Tourkovrisi beach
         We pass above Tourkovrisi beach and then next to a white shrine, built, as we were told, by a local after he had found an icon into the sea. There are sections of kalderimi on our way, more and more often.
The shrine between Tourkovrisi and Parisena beaches

        The kalderimi passes by the renovated old Pantos mansion and opens to the sandy beach of Parisena. This one, like Tourkovrisi, maintain a ''hippie'' style, as they are both accessed only by foot, and one can find here free campers and nudists, young and old.
Pantos mansion above Parisena beach
          Walking along Parisena beach on the sand, we find at the other end a path-kalderimi that takes us to the tourist location of Horefto.

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