Sunday, April 17, 2022

Chorefto-Zagora-Panagia Rasova-Pouri (circular)


Parisena beach


Distance: 16,7 km

Time: 8 hours (with stops)

Altitude: from 0 m. (Chorefto) to 700 m. (max)

Total elevation gain/loss: 906 m.

Signing: red paint, metal and wooden signs

Drinking water on walk: yes (Zagora, Rasova, Pouri, Chorefto)

Start/end: Chorefto beach, at the turn of the asphalt to Zagora

Download GPS file (.gpx): from Wikiloc


  

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    This is a long circular walk in East Pelion, connecting Zagora and Pouri by a mountainous and a coastal way as well. If we do the walk in spring, we will get the bonus to admire at a distance the waterfall of Megalovrachos, the biggest in Pelion, that remains dry in summer.

    Starting from the beach of Chorefto, we walk on the asphalt as it takes an uphill turn heading to Zagora, and then leave it to the right, taking an uphill cement road going to Aegeus hotel. The road  has a central stone paved lane, and is obviously a former kalderimi. Higher up, cement paving ends and the stones of the kalderimi appear. This section suffers from a landslide and a fallen tree, but we manage to keep on the track and eventually join an earth road. 

On the kalderimi to Sotira -or into the jungle?

    Here there are two options. We either walk on the earth road to the right, as in this recording, only taking attention at the road junctions (1st junction-to the left, 2nd junction-right, 3rd junction-left), or we take the path signed by rsctangular metal signs and red paint. Both routes meet higher up, becoming a wide, well-preserved kalderimi, that however soon becomes cement paved. 

View to Chorefto from above

    Following this uphill, we have to deal higher up with another kalderimi section affected by landslide and fallen trees. With some difficulty we can get through crawling on our knees. Then we get past a mule stable, trying not to scare the mules, and finally get to Metamorphosis (Sotira) church in Zagora. The building is relatively new, built in 1889 to replace the old church dating from 1168, that was unfortunately destroyed by devastating landslides and fire. Near the church is a drinking water fountain, highly appreciated after all this uphill walking. 

At the church of Metamorphosis (Sotira)

     Leaving the fountain, we continue uphill on a cement road (ΒΟΛΤΟΥ street) that again has a central stone lane. This opens on the main asphalt road of Zagora. We turn left and then leave it at an angle to the right. We keep climbing up in zigzags through the houses of Zagora, walking on kalderimi, paved or unpaved. At some point we pass near a characteristic old drinking water fountain, Platanovrisi.

Platanovrisi fountain

    Leaving the last houses of Zagora, we keep climbing on earth or cement roads in a generally westerly direction.

The waterfall of Megalovrachos

 

    From a certain point we can see a a distance the waterfall of Megalovrachos, an impressive sight as it is the biggest and highest waterfall in Pelion. It only has water in the spring when the snow is melting, and gets dry in summer.

Crossing Kalokerinou stream

    The road crosses the stream of Kalokerinou at a higher altitude, then two more smaller streams and then we start going downhill, eventually reaching the old church of Panagia Rasova, one of the oldest in Pelion.

Panagia Rasova church

    Built around 1250, it is the only remnant of a fortress-like monastery, whose last monk died in 1885. The surrounding cells and other buildings have collapsed and been removed over the years. It  is open only on its celebration day on November 21st, the Entrance (or Presentation) of Virgin Mary.


    We continue on the road downhill, keeping attention on the left for the cedar tree. When we reach this, we turn left and traverse an apple grove. On the other side of the grove we continue on a downhill road that gets us to the upper quarter of Pouri.  We take a kalderimi on the right, that opens to the main asphalt road at the entrance of Pouri. Here also is a drinking  water fountain. We walk a short distance on the asphalt and, just as we reach the parking lot and the taverna of Makis, which is on our left, we take the narrow cement paved road on the right, descending through the houses. Shortly, cement paving ceases and we now walk on proper kalderimi. 

Pouri

    This brings us down to the villages graveyard, a good place to have a stop with the Aegean sea in sight, and then continue downhill. Eventually we join an earth road and then a narrow asphalt. As it takes a sharp left turn to end at Elitsa beach and the picturesque little church of Agii Pantes (All Saints), We continue on a straight line southbound, cross again Kalokerinou stream over a bridge, get past the church and reach the pebbly beach of Analipsi. 

Analipsi beach

    An earth road branches off to the right, going to Chorefto. Walking on the beach we pass a summer taverna (Plimari) and, at the last house we climb a few steps, then walk on an earth path having a cottage on our right. An uphill path (not visible from distance) marked with red paint leads us to the small chapel of Agios Nikolaos, a nice place to have a stop under the shade of the trees.

Agios Nikolaos chapel

     We continue on a cement road downhill, walking along fenced property. This section of the path suffered heavily from a landslide some years ago, forcing us to take the detour via Agios Nikolaos as the original path has disappeared. Anyway, the last fence is soon left behind and we find ourselves walking on a beautiful path-kalderimi a few meters above the sea. 

The shrine between Parisena and Tourkou beaches

    A large shrine is built on the side of the path inbetween the beaches of Tourkou and Parisena. These two beaches carry a ''hippie'' style due to nudism and free camping practiced  by its summer visitors.

Parisena beach

     The kalderimi eventually takes us down to the large sandy beach of Parisena. After walking along it, we climb on kalderimi past the rocks and reach the northern end of Chorefto beach, coming to the point where our walk had started from.          

Chorefto beach

  



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