Sunday, December 13, 2020

Potistika-Xinovrisi (circular)

 Distance: 8,6 km. (+1 km to visit Bourboulithra)

Time: 3,5 h with stops (+1/2 hour to visit Bourboulithra)

Altitude: from 0 m. (Potistika) to 218 m. (Xinovrisi square)

Total elevation gain/loss: 354 m. (including visit to Bourboulithra)

Signed with round yellow signs and red paint

Drinking water on walk: no

Start/end: Potistika beach

Download GPS track:  from Wikiloc

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    This is a suggested circular walk between  Potistika beach and Xinovrisi village. On our way up from Potistika, we have the option to visit the location Bourboulithra at the bed of the stream that lies between Xinovrisi and Siki. Other walks in the area include Siki to Xinovrisi and Argalasti to Xinovrisi.

    Starting from the beach of  Potistika, we initially walk on the asphalt to the north (to the left as we face the sea). In a few meters we come to a road junction, where there is a sign to Volos pointing left. We take the right branch climbing sharply and keep climbing on the main road, ignoring branches to the right or left. Further on, it becomes an earth road, with sections of kalderimi in it. After two kilometers from the start, there is a signed Τ-junction with a road on the right. Here we have the option to make a detour to visit the location Bourboulithra down at the bed of the stream. This detour will take half an hour with return. In order to visit Bourboulithra we turn right, in the direction towards Siki (to the north). In a few metres up the road there is another T-junction and we go straight ahead on the path to reach the streambed, overgrown with vegetation as water is running constantly. 

    Returning back from Bourboulithra, we continue on the road in a westerly direction, parallel to a stream. We pass by a drinking water fountain with some water running only in winter. After that, we notice a small concrete bridge on our left. It is better to continue on the road and cross the stream to the left a little further on, or alternatively pass over the bridge and then walk parallel to the stream to come out on the road again, and go uphill. Then we easily find the kalderimi again on the right, climbing up the slope.

   Reaching the ridge, we meet the asphalt road coming from Potistika beach. We walk on this uphill entering Xinovrisi and turn left to reach the peaceful village square with the two big plane trees offering plenty of cool shadow in summer. Here at the square is a good place to have a stop for refreshment. 


    Now it`s time to start walking back to Potistika. From the big plane tree at the square of Xinovrisi, we walk down the stone paved kalderimi, which soon opens to a concrete paved road at the lower edge of the village, and we take it to the left. After twenty meters we find the kalderimi on the right, hidden by grass and soil, descending just below the last house of the village. A little further down, it joins an earth road for a short distance, but soon emerges again, descending towards a large stream. 

                                                               The path next to the stream

    Crossing the (normally dry) stream bed, we continue for some distance at the opposite bank. Then we start to climb on the slope, the kalderimi eventually becomes an earth road and opens to the asphalt, on the outside of a bend. If we look back, we can see Xinovrisi. To the north, Siki and Neochori are visible too. 

    We walk on the asphalt for fifty meters and then leave it to the right, descending to find the kalderimi again. We go past a small fountain on the right and a cottage on the left, then cross a field overgrown with canes and then come to an earth road junction. 

  We continue on the road straight ahead in a north-easterly direction and we do the same at the next junction with an uphill road to the right. After a little while, our road heads uphill and takes a right bend, where we notice a short section of kalderimi. Here we leave the road to the left, following the fence on our left side and descend on a path, which shows some traces of kalderimi here and there. Eventually it joins an earth road, which we follow downhill and turn left at the junction. We keep walking on the road, passing by olive groves and summer cottages. On our way, we can see the beaches of Potistika to the left and Melani to the right.

                                                                   View to Melani beach

    Further on, the road becomes concrete paved and then joins the asphalt. We can avoid the last piece of asphalt down to the beach, if we take the earth track from the chapel we meet on the left.


Friday, November 13, 2020

Damouchari-Mouresi-Kissos-Agios Ioannis (circular)

 Distance: 13,9 km

Time: 6 hours with stops

Altitude: from 18 m. (parking at Damouchari) to 539 m. (Kissos)

Total elevation gain/loss: 806 m.

Signing: red paint marks, metal signs

Drinking water on walk: yes (Damouchari,Mouresi, Mavroutsa, Kissos) 

Start/finish: Parking lot at Damouchari

Download GPS track:  from Wikiloc

    This is a suggested circular walk in East Pelion, in which we climb from Damouchari to the squares of Mouresi and Kissos, and then descend to the beach of Agios Ioannis to finally return to our starting point. Most of the walk takes place on kalderimi (cobbled stone path), but there also are sections on asphalt, earth road and earth path.

    Starting to climb from the drinking water fountain at the parking lot of Damouchari (end of asphalt road), we turn immediately left on a concrere road with a central stone-paved lane. In fifty meters we see on our right the beginning of a kalderimi and follow it, climbing sharply. It joins a stone-paved road that soon becomes earth road.  Watching out for the red marks on the left as we climb the earth road, we find again the kalderimi, which was abruptly cut by the road and is not readily visible (attention). Further up, it opens to another earth road and we find it again on the left side of the road. This procedure is repeated one more time and we find ourselves walking through a virtual tunnel of vegetation around us.

A tunnel of vegetation

    The kalderimi opens to a concrete road climbing steadily and we reach a junction, where it becomes again visible through the concrete. If we take here the road to the left, in five minutes we will reach an excellent viewpoint called Tsouka. 

View from Tsouka (looking to the north)

    Back to the junction, we continue up the road-kalderimi having a line of cypress trees at the side. We cross the asphalt twice as we climb up. Third time we meet the asphalt on a sharp turn, we follow it uphill and pass by the church of Agia Paraskevi on our left. At a V-junction we take the right branch, walking now on even ground. In a little while we reach the square of Mouresi with the church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity). This is a good place to have a stop for refreshment. 

The square of Mouresi

    Resuming our walk, we continue on the same asphalt road through the village. After about half a kilometer, watching for the red marks on our left (attention), we take a cement-paved track going uphill. Soon the paving stops and the kalderimi appears. We pass just below a small church, then cross a concrete road at an angle and finally the kalderimi opens to the main asphalt, on which we walk exiting the village.  After 150 m. watching on our right (attention) we find a downhill path-kalderimi. 

    Τhis  joins an earth road crossing apple and chestnut orchards. Reaching a kiosk, we find the continuity of the kalderimi, which later joins another earth road. After crossing a stream, we leave the earth road (which continues uphill) taking the path on the right. This takes us down to cross the large Kissotiko ravine over a modern metal bridge that lays on the old stone built bases. High  plane trees cast their shade on the large rocks scattered over the riverbed as water is running constantly, creating a magnificent scenery. 

    After crossing the stream, we climb on the other side on kalderimi, then joining an earth road. Higher up we pass by the church of Agios Konstantinos at the settlement of Mavroutsa. 

Agios Konstantinos church at Mavroutsa

     We cross the main asphalt and coninue uphill on road-kalderimi, watching for the red marks at junctions, eventually reach ing the square of Kissos at 519 m. of altitude, the highest point of our walk. At the square lies the notable main church of Agia Marina, built at 1745 AD. This is another place recommended for a stop. 

Interior of Agia Marina church 

    Now it is time to start descending towards the sea. Just below the tavern ''Klimataria'' we descend a few steps and continue on kalderimi that goes parallel to the asphalt road, passing under the parking lot. Further on we join the asphalt and walk on it downhill exiting the village.


    At the junction with the main asphalt road we take this to the left. After 400 m. on the main road (attention), we find the kalderimi watching on our right. On our way down through the settlement of Agios Dimitrios there are sections of cement road, we pass by two water fountains and the church of  Metamorphosi, and eventually join the asphalt road, just under the large church of Agios Dimitrios. We walk on it downhill. As the asphalt takes a left turn, we take a cement road that has a central lane of kalderimi. 

Agios Dimitrios settlement

    Further down, we come to join the asphalt again. As it takes a left turn,  we take a cement road straight ahead. We come to a junction where the cement road turns right and another road heads straight (attention). Here we turn left to find the continuity of the kalderimi. Again we join the asphalt and again as it takes a left turn we find the kalderimi. We cross the asphalt three more times on our way down. The third time we descend sharply on steps, then take the cement road to the right, that opens on the left side of the river where we can cross it over a wooden pedestrial bridge. Left to the river lies the touristical settlement of Agios Ioannis. On the right lies the old church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St. John the Baptist), the camping and the excellent sandy beach of Papa Nero. 

Old picture of Agios Ioannis

    From the south end of Papa Nero beach we continue on path-kalderimi, which joins a narrow asphalt road and we go left. In a few minutes we come back to the parking lot at Damouchari, from where our walk had started. 


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Κottes-Trikeri-Lighthouse-Agia Kyriaki (circular)


Shrine near Kottes

Distance: 15,5 km

Time: 5-5,5 hours (with stops)

Altitude: from 0 m. to 311 m. (Trikeri, Agia Triada church)

Total elevation gain/loss: 625 m.

Signing: round yellow signs 

Drinking water on walk: no

Start/finish: seaside at  Kottes

Download GPS track:  from Wikiloc


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 This is a 5-hour circular walk around Trikeri (time including stops), starting from the seaside settlement of Kottes. Τhe best season for it is spring and autumn, due to the lack of shade. There is also an option for a shorter 3-hour walk (see below).

    From the middle of the seaside of Kottes, we follow the stone paved track going uphill. Τhe climb to Trikeri will take about an hour. Reaching the village, we climb the steps to get to the square, where we can have a stop for coffee or refreshment. We continue in a southerly direction through the village`s narrow alleys to the highest point where lies the church of Agia Triada (Holy trinity). Descending steadily in the same direction, we get to join a narrow asphalt road, and i a few meters we reach the location ''Vigla'', offering a spectacular viewpoint.

View from Vigla

    We continue on the narrow asphalt, eventually joining a wider asphalt and walk on it downhill. At the sharp left turn we continue straight ahead on an earth road. At the V-junction we go left downhill and i9n a few minutes reach the lighthouse built just above the sea at the location ''Kavoulia''. A guard  is staying there permanently.

The lighthouse at Kavoulia

    Leaving the lighthouse, we walk on a path following the coastline.

On the coastal path

    Going through the beach ''Geroplina'' (with the option of taking a swim) and through the shipyard, we come to the seaside settlement of Agia Kyriaki. 
Agia Kyriaki

    With the fish taverns on our right, we walk away from the sea on a kalderimi climbing sharply and constantly. Higher up we cross the narrow asphalt and continue straight ahead to reach the square of Trikeri and continue downhill to return to Kottes, where we can have a swim and lunch at the seaside tavernas.

On the way down to Kottes

    Now, as some people may find the idea of a 5-hour walk distressing, there is the option of a smaller, 3-hour circular walk if we skip Kottes altogether. In that case, it is best to start from Agia Kyriaki, climb the kalderimi up to Trikeri square, then descend as described via Vigla to the Lighthouse and return to Agia Kyriaki and its taverns by the coastal path. 

Trikeri square

Friday, June 26, 2020

Kissos-Tympanos springs

Distance: 2,9 km
Time: 45 min.
Altitude: from 500 m. (Kissos square) to 536 m. (Tympanos)
Total elevation gain: 167 m. Total elevation loss: 108 m.
Signing: red paint on the path
Start: Kissos square
Download GPS track: from Wikiloc
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     Α visit to the springs of Tympanos near Kissos is an absolute must, an unforgettable experience. Double waterfalls, water pond for an icy swim, huge rocks at the overgrown ravine, water coming from above, from the sides, from everywhere -a wild paradise, just 45 minutes from the square of Kissos.
Swimming in the ice cold water of the pond
Double waterfalls
         Starting from the drinking water fountain at Kissos square, we walk to the south on a generally downhill paved road, that later becomes unpaved. Just before we reach the streambed (where there is a large pond worthy of a visit), at the sharp left turn of the road we find an uphill path marked with red paint and follow it. A little higher up we meet an irrigation ditch and follow it uphill.
                      Near Tympanos, there are two short sections where we have to walk along the waterway with a drop beneath. With encouragement, everybody can do it, unless they suffer from severe acrophobia. Then we have to crawl for a few meters through a tunnel dug in the rock, along the waterway. In our experience, walking on the ditch and through he tunnel is much easier if we do it barefoot, taking our shoes off.
The tunnel dug in the rock
         After the tunnel there is a safety rope on the side. You`re likely to get your feet wet, so as we`ve said it pays either to take your shoes off, or carry a second pair.
        In spring, excessive water flow due to melting snow can render the passage quite difficult, so the best period for visit is in June. In August water flow is markedly diminished.