Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Μilina-Chondri Ammos-Valtoudi

Chondri Ammos

Distance: 12,2 km
Time: 3.40' (walking time 3.20')
Altitude: from 0 m. (Milina) to 245 m. (max) to 0 m. (Valtoudi)
Total elevation gain /loss: 400 m.
Signed with: round yellow signs and red paint marks
Drinking water on walk: no
Download GPS track (gpx):  from Everytrail   from Wikiloc

           This walk goes from the sea of Pagasitic gulf to the Aegean and back. It is almost circular, as start and finish are 2,8 km away on the coastal main asphalt road. It is best to walk in May-June or September-October, when the sea is warm enough (a swim at Chondri Ammos is a must do), but the sun is not too hot, as a large part of the walk lacks shade. At Valtoudi there are two tavernas for food and drink.
           Starting from the church at the seaside of Milina, we initially walk on the asphalt road to Lafkos. We go past a bridge on the right (over which goes the road to Kidonies), and then leave the main asphalt to the right, heading to the settlement of Piges. On our right side is the bed of Koumanorema stream (mistakenly referred at some maps as ''Ammorema'').
         After the last houses, the road becomes unpaved and passes for one hundred meters on the other bank. Returning to the left bank of the stream, we leave the road and start climbing on kalderimi next to the fence of a cottage. The kalderimi soon becomes an earth track, on which we walk to the east, going past a small chapel (the Kato Ai Giannis). After a little while, we notice another chapel on the left bank of the road just above us, the Epano (Upper) Ai Giannis. Here comes a kalderimi from the cemetery of Lafkos, so the village of Lafkos could serve as an alternative start for our walk (see the walk Lafkos-Platanias westerly route).
Walking next to Koumani Rema stream
                                                               We continue on the road, which runs parallel to the Koumanorema stream bed, going past two junctions with an uphill road to the left. After the second junction, the road we walk comes for a short distance on the right bank of the stream and finally ends at a metal door at the left bank. At that point we go into the dry stream bed under the shade of high trees, in a beautiful natural setting.
        We walk past two old wells and a dry water fountain. Then the path, always signed with red marks, starts to climb on the right bank of the stream and eventually opens to an open flat area, called Pente Alonia (''five threshing floors''). Here we join an earth road to the right, and continue on a southwesterly direction. After about a kilometer we meet a junction and go left. In about 600 m. there is another junction. Here we go right and in a few meters we notice the path branching off to the left downhill.
Seeing the Aegean Sea

         Following  that path, a small stream starts to appear on our left side and soon we can see the Aegean sea at the distance. After a couple of zigzags, the path opens into an olive grove and disappears. Walking empirically in the same direction for a short distance, we come to a hut and enter an earth road. This joins another road in a T-junction. To the left, that leads to Mikro beach. We turn to the right (to the west) and follow the road until it comes to end at the pebbly beach of Chondri Ammos, in about 2,5 hours from the start of the walk. A few summer cottages line the beach. In antiquity, this was one of the two ports of the ancient city Olizon, mentioned in Homeric poems (the other port was at Valtoudi-Mavri Petra). Some ruins of Olizon may still be seen at the nearby hill ''Paliokastro''.
Chondri Ammos

        After a refreshing swim in the crystal clear sea, we put on our hiking shoes again and walk along the beach. On the other side an uphill earth road begins. At the next two junctions we take the road to the right, At the next three junctions we go left uphill, following the red marks. From certain points we enjoy really nice views over the sea.
Leaving Chondri Ammos
         At the top, there is an olive grove on our left side. Reaching a derelict hut, we take a downhill path to the right. Descending into the olive grove, we soon reach an earth road, which we follow downhill. Keeping an eye for the red marks on the right side, after a little while we find a path section, descending parallel to the road, below on the right. This opens to an earth road on a sharp turn-junction and we take the left branch, decending gently on a northerly direction. That road opens to the main coastal road, at the mooring site called Valtoudi, next to the two tavernas that operate there.
       If we follow the asphalt for another 2,8 km. to the right (north), we will return to the starting point of our walk.


  1. Your blog is really very nice and informative in which there is the authentic description . Thanks for sharing this.

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  2. Hello there!
    Just a quick heads up from us, we did a lot of cutting out and freeing up the path as it was very hard to get through on a lot of passages due to the vastly growing stitchy shrubs! We did leave the dry aterbed though at some point and freed up a different path to the left of the riverbed (walking up).
    On the way down we cleared up the path again a lot. Only took a blister and many scratches from it ;)
    Its a lovely walk although the beach is stinking of dog pooh as one of the inhabitants of the first hut seems to let them poo on the beach - what a shame... :(

    greets from Hanna & Thomas