Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hania-Tria Remata-Kissos

Distance: 12,9 km
Time: 5,5 hours
Altitude: from 1300 m. (refuge at ski center) to 1430 (max) to 506 m. (Kissos)
Signed with red paint marks and various signs
Drinking water on walk: no
Download GPS file (gpx): from Wikiloc

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       Τhis is a recommended alternative route from Hania to the village of Kissos.  The standard route Hania-Kissos is shorter (7,5 km starting from the second parking lot of the ski center, or 6,5 km if we start from the base of lifts -approx. 2,5 hours), but the problem is that nowadays, half of the walking is on the main asphalt road to Kissos. By contrast, the route presented here is almost twice as long, but much of it takes place on fabulous path in beech forest, and the last part is on earth road in chestnut forest, following the course of the large Kissotiko ravine. In Kissos, apart from the renowned church of Agia Marina (featuring an excellent carved wooden iconostasis and byzantine-style frescos from 18th century), there are restaurants and hotels operating all year round. From Kissos, one can continue walking to Mouresi and Agios Ioannis.
        The start of the walk is at the refuge of Volos Alpine Club (EOΣ) at the ski center. If we start from the end of the asphalt road at the third parking lot, we walk on the uphill stone paved lane which leads to the refuge (the higher one) in 15 minutes. Left to the refuge we start walking to the east, on an uphill dirt road that ends at the wide ski track “Panorama”. At the other side of the track and a little higher, we find the entrance of the path marked with a signpost. This path also leads to other destinations (Tsagarada, Mouresi, Eastern Refuge, Xourihti, Agios Lavrentios, Agios Georgios).
Path in beech forest
         Walking in beech forest initially to the east and later to the south, we climb  to the clearing of Golgothas peak at 1430 m. of altitude. Here in 2006 two F16 fighter jets crashed, killing their four pilots. Searching around, one can still find some debris from the planes. In 2015 the father of one of the pilots built here a memorial to the dead.
       Leaving Golgothas, our path heads downhill in a southeast direction. We pass two signed crossings on the right to Agios Lavrentios and Agios Georgios respectively, and then the path opens to a narrow earth road, at the area called Monastiraki. 
The earth road at Monastiraki

         Here we follow the road to the left (there is a sign to ''Kissos''). After 50 m., looking to the left (attention), we see the small round sign and a red paint mark on a tree,  indicating the continuity of the path. We descend into beautiful beech forest in a northeasterly direction, noticing some charcoal pits and other traces of past human activity. 
          After a while, the path opens to an earth road. We have to watch for the red marks, as stretches of path and stretches of road alternate on the way down. Eventually, we come to cross the large Kissotiko stream. After a final section of path, we walk on the earth road for about an hour, because this has replaced the original path. Walking into chestnut forest, we can see excellent views of the Kissotiko ravine and the overgrown opposite slope. 
Approaching Kissos
       Approaching Kissos, we pass by the chapel of Profitis Elias on the right. The road is covered now by concrete. At a V-junction we go right and then continue on kalderimi down to the village square with the main church of Agia Marina, built in 1745. 
Kissos square -Agia Marina church

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