Friday, March 15, 2013

Kanalia-Kapourna (Glafira)-Kato Kerasia

On the way from Lake Karla to Kapourna
 Distance: 9,2 km
Duration: walking time 2,5 h., total time 3 hours
Altitude: from 65 m. (Agios Nikolaos chapel) to 435 m. max. to 125 m. (Kato Kerasia)
Signing: red marks, signs
Drinking water on walk: no

Download GPS track:   from Wikiloc   from Everytrail
        This is a route suitable for winter, as it passes through low vegetation at a low altitude. Starting from the byzantine chapel of Agios Nikolaos, we initially go uphill, following the ancient route that led from Lake Karla (ancient Greek name Boibeis) towards the sea. Approaching the village of Kapourna (called Glafira on the road signs), we change direction and follow the old path that goes from Kapourna to Kato Kerasia.

        If we take the bus to Kanalia from Volos (, we can get off at the football field approaching the village and then walk southerly on the asphalt to get to the chapel. We can also return to Volos by bus from Kato Kerasia.
Αgios Nikolaos chapel (after restauration)
         Agios Nikolaos chapel lies on the asphalt road from Kanalia to Velestino at a distance of two kilometres from Kanalia. This notable byzantine monument (dating from 12th century AD) was recently restored and is well worth of a visit (sadly, the doors remain locked). We walk fifty more metres on the main road in a southerly direction (towards Velestino) and then turn left onto an asphalt road along which we walk straight ahead, ignoring other roads to the left and right. This becomes an earth road after we cross the bridge over the Kerasiotiko stream.
Lake Karla on the left
Going slightly uphill through an area with kermes oaks, we soon see a sign and red marks that direct us to the path diagonally to the left. Further up we come across sections of kalderimi and, if we look back, we have a striking view of lake Karla.
The stone bridge at Kakorema stream
 We cross the Kakorema stream, at the well-preserved stone arched bridge and the path/kalderimi brings us to a spring with a plane tree and watering trough, which has unfortunately dried up after a borehole was drilled close by. The residents of Kapourna used to love coming to this spring at Kakorema on May Day.
The spring at Kakorema near Kapourna
          We continue on the road and in a little while reach a fork and follow the wide uphill path on our left, which immediately comes to a crossroads. Straight ahead to the south, the road continues towards Kapourna (this is the continuation of the old route to Volos), while another road on the right also goes towards Kapourna and the hill of Prophitis Ilias, where the fortifications of the ancient acropolis of Glafirai are still visible. We turn left here onto the earth road heading northeast, now following the route towards Kato Kerasia. 
Seeing Lake Karla and Kanalia from the path at Metochi hill
          After walking for a kilometre on the road, we reach a point where we see a sign and red marks on the left and, leaving the road, we walk on a wide path in a northerly direction, continuing uphill for a short while. On our right is the hill Metochi (474 m). The path soon begins to descend slightly with a shallow gully on our left, and our direction gradually becomes easterly. Ahead in the distance, Kanalia and Lake Karla are visible.
         We cross a meadow lengthwise and continue on the path in an easterly direction following the red marks, ignoring goat tracks leading in other directions. We descend over stony ground with kermes oaks and from a certain point onwards have a  beautiful view of Kato Kerasia from above.
View of Kato Kerasia
         We come out into a field and follow an earth road which continues to descend, then we pass a river bed and join another road from the right, emerging onto the asphalt road above a sharp bend near Kerasia. After this bend, we find the path again next to a wooden electricity pole and walk downhill, coming out onto a road that runs next to the stream. We follow this and soon reach the asphalt bridge next to a basketball pitch opposite the village church. A few metres further up is the village square of Kato Kerasia.

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