Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tsagarada-Fakistra-Damouchari

Fakistra
 Distance: 7,9 km
Duration: 3.15' (walking time 2.30')
Altitude: from 500 m. (start) to sea level (Fakistra, Damouchari)
Signing: red marks, a few round signs
Drinking water on walk: fountain after Agios Georgios chapel, Agios Nikolaos chapel

 Download GPS track:    from Everytrail     from Wikiloc

       On this route, we descend from Agia Paraskevi church in Tsagarada to the beach at Fakistra and then follow the coast until we reach Damouchari. From here, if we wish, we can return to Tsagarada on the kalderimi (see the route Tsagarada – Damouchari – Ai Giannis) or we can continue to the nearby coastal settlement of Ai Giannis (Agios Ioannis), from where we can return to Tsagarada by bus (www.ktelvolou.gr). Fakistra is an isolated beach, but at Damouchari and Ai Giannis we can find tavernas and hotels.
        From the main road through Tsagarada, at the junction towards Agia Paraskevi, there is a café-bar. We set off from here and follow the kalderimi that descends and brings us out onto the asphalt road at a bend. We turn to the right here and after a short distance come out into Agia Paraskevi square with its famous old huge plane tree next to the church.
Agia Paraskevi square with the big plane tree
      The kalderimi descends from the square and we pass a spring water drinking fountain at its lower edge. We immediately enter a beautiful chestnut forest and pass next to a small bridge on the right on our way down (don`t walk over the bridge).
Walking in chestnut forest
       Lower down, the kalderimi comes out on a road and we go down and then immediately left at a junction, to reach the church of Agios Georgios. We continue on the asphalt road  downhill for 300 metres. Looking out for red dots and a small round yellow sign on our right, we find a kalderimi which goes straight down through thick vegetation and leads us past a spring water drinking fountain. We come out onto the asphalt road again and walk to the left for twenty metres, before we find the continuation of the kalderimi on our right. Walking down this, we cross the road twice more before the path comes out on the road again. 
Approaching Fakistra beach at the Aegean
        At this point the path should continue straight downwards on the other side of the road. However, at present it is impassable, so we have to walk down the road with hairpin bends towards the sea. Lower down is the church of Agios Nikolaos, after which the asphalt ends. There is a wooden kiosk here, next to which a kalderimi descends and in five minutes leads us to the beach at Fakistra.
Fakistra beach
          Returning to the kiosk, we take the narrow earth road to the right in a northerly direction. Within a few metres there is a kalderimi to the right, which leads us down to the chapel-retreat of Krifo Scholio (Hidden School) in a cave close to the waves. A visit to this evocative place, which is ideal for quiet reflection, is thoroughly recommended.
Krifo Scholio
       We continue on the road which runs parallel to the coast and soon see a rocky spit of land, Makrolitharo, jutting out into the sea. Here there is a path/kalderimi coming from the left that used to lead to Agia Kyriaki in Tsagarada. We continue on the road, which further on ends and becomes a path. After passing by the locked chapel of Agios Antonios, the path comes out on an earth road and we walk uphill to reach a kiosk. 
Damouchari
         Here we meet the main kalderimi that comes from Agia Paraskevi in Tsanarada and we follow this downhill. Ahead we see Damouchari. After some zig-zags the kalderimi brings us to a wooden bridge across the Chalorema. Justifying of its name (Chalorema=destroying stream), the stream has partially destroyed the cement path which we walk across to its other bank.
The bridge over Chalorema stream at Damouchari
          Here we find ourselves on the pebbly beach of Damouchari, just beneath the ruins of the old medieval castle. If we walk a little further along the paved road, we reach a small harbor with the deserted building of the old customs and two tavernas. Some scenes from the Hollywood film ''Mamma Mia!" starring Meryl Streep were shot here in 2006.
 
Damouchari port

   Continuing a short distance on the paving, there is a kalderimi on the left that leads to the asphalt road. From here, walking for another 15 minutes, we can get to the beach of Papa Nero at Ai Giannis. This final section is described in the Tsagarada-Damouchari-Ai Giannis route.

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