|View to Horefto|
Distance: 18,5 km.
Time: 8 hours (with stops)
Altitude: from 620 m. (Makrinitsa) to 1480 m. (max) to 510 m. (Zagora)
Total elevation gain: 1075 m.
Total elevation loss: 950 m.
Signing: red paint, some metal signs
Drinking water on walk: Agia Paraskevi mon. near Makrinitsa
Start: Brani parking lot, Makrinitsa (end of asphalt road)
End: Agios Georgios square, Zagora
Download GPS file (.gpx): from Wikiloc
In his book ''History of the Provinces of Volos and Agia'' (published in 1960) Yiannis Kordatos, a renowned scholar of Zagora, mentions an alternative, higher way used by locals to go from Zagora to Makrinitsa-Volos: (sic) starting to climb from ''Kordateika'' or Platanovrisi, passing by the ''middle Kotroni'', reaching ''Schizopetras'', turn west, get past ''Machera fountain'' and from the peak ''Plesidi'' go down to Makrinitsa. We tried to unearth this forgotten route, and after some research came up with this 8-hour walk.
After having some rest and refreshments at Agios Georgios square in Zagora, we may wish to continue descending for an hour or so to get down to Horefto beach for a refreshing swim to the sea.
As we come to the higher parking lot at Makrinitsa, at the end of the asphalt road, we see on the right a kalderimi (cobblestone path) heading uphill. A red handmade sign indicating to ''Πουρί'' (Pouri village)) is nailed to a tree. This was made, along with many others, by the late local hiker Dimitris Kottalis. One can also start from the drinking water fountain in the parking. On our way from Makrinitsa to Pliasidi, in addition to the usual plain red marks, there also are red-on-white marks that belong to a mountain running race (Ultra Pelion Trail, UPT).
The kalderimi winds uphill among the village houses, passing by a lone pine tree next to a bench and two fountains and eventually opens to a narrow dirt road, which leads us to the old monastery of Agia Paraskevi.
|Agia Paraskevi chapel|
Having enjoyed a refreshing stop at that tranquil spot and filling our water supplies from the fountain (no other fountain is on our way), we continue uphill on dirt road. After a right turn we find the path on our left. It soon opens to another dirt road, which then turns right and comes to an end. We continue on a path with sections of cobblestone, climbing into chestnut forest.
|Path in chestnut forest|
We cross an earth road and further up turn left on another road. Watching on our right side, after about 30 m. we find the path again, climbing between chestnut trees. Further up, we walk parallel to a water ditch, noticing another handmade sign to “Pouri”. From a certain spot, we can see lake Karla at a distance to the west.
|Agios Augoustinos chapel at Trano Isoma|
On our way is also the newly built chapel of Agios Augoustinos, where we can have a stop. We continue on dirt road and come to a signed road junction. We continue straight ahead on a northeasterly direction, next to a concrete irrigation ditch. The road ahead leads to Flabouro springs and Pourianos Stavros peak. After 50 meters we turn right (attention!) on another dirt road that climbs steeply uphill. On a tree a small round sign indicates the direction to ''Pliasidi'' to the right. The red-on-white marks are still with us on this way.
We pass by the Tzanopoulos estate, where there is a hut. On our left we see a square building, probably a water tank. Immediately after the estate the road makes a slight left turn downhill goeing to Flambouro. At this point we leave it and go straight ahead uphill in an easterly direction on a path, which eventually takes us to the asphalt that goes to the military radars. We are close to the peak of Pliasidi (1547 m.), which is on our right, but getting to the fenced top is prohibited.
Reaching the asphalt, the red-on-white marks turn to the right and we leave them (attention). Here we turn left and walk on the asphalt for about 2.3 km, going towards the radars. At the second junction with a dirt road on the right, we leave the asphalt and take the road, which descends northeast into the beech forest. We pass by a large rock, which the locals call "Machera". From some points we have a very nice view to the south, seeing three large wooded ridges descending to the sea one behind the other.
Further down, at an altitude of 1180 meters, as we join another dirt road (which comes from the asphalt just below Hania), we reach a small shelter hut for hunters and firewatchers that has the inscription "ΘΗΡΟΦΥΛΑΚEΙΟ ΠΥΡΟΦΥΛΑΚEΙΟ'' (in Greek). On the day we passed (7/11/21) it was being renovated by a group of hunters.
|At the hunters shelter|
We walk on the road to the left for two hundred meters and go right at the junction (straight ahead, the road goes to Xeforti and Agia Marina). The area here is called "Schizopetra". Descending, we find successive sections of path that alternate with sections of road and we need to pay attention to the red marks. Οur general direction is to the northeast.
|Path in beech forest|
|Agios Athonas chapel|
A little further north we see another hill with antennas at the top, which on the map is referred to as "Lefko Kotroni" (732 m.).
Going down the concrete road and watching for the red signs at the intersections, we pass by the church of St. Magdalene. Further down we find a section of the original kalderimi as we descend next to the fence of a cottage. We continue on kalderimi covered by cement. Further down, as we get into the village and cement paving ceases, the original kalderimi reappears and leads us straight to the central square of Agios Georgios.
|Agios Georgios (Zagora main square)|