Sunday, August 20, 2023

Around Vizitsa (circular)

Liturgy at Taksiarches chapel, 5/9/2015

 Distance: 5,8 km.

Time: 2h40' with stops

Altitude; from 283 m. (min) to 525 m. (max)

Total climbing up/down; 386 m.

Signed with:red paint, several metal or wooden signs

Drinking water on walk: Vizitsa, Milies train station

Start: main asphalt, just above the main church

End: Vizitsa village square

Last checked:August 2023

Download GPS file: from Wikiloc

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      This beautiful circular route, which has the village square of Vizitsa at its highest point, is giving us the opportunity to visit many attractions of the area: the monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos and the old fountain below it, the train station of Milies, the metal train bridge at Taxiarches chapel (or, as it is sometimes called, the De Chirico bridge), the small church of Taxiarches on the rock, the small stone-concrete bridge over the stream, the waterfall ''Katafidi'', and finally the central church of Zoodochos Pigi under the square. To see all that, it will take a little less than three hours, including generous stops as we please.   

Old mansions at Vizitsa

    Srtarting from the main asphalt and walking towards Milies, we pass above the shop of the Women's Cooperative "Esperides" (where we can buy quality local products), and find on our right the kalderimi (cobblestone path) that leads below to the old tiny monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St. John the Baptist), worthy of a stop. Leaving the monastery, we descend on a narrow cobblestone path next to the wall of the monastery, and immediately join a wide cobblestone below. On our left is an old (renovated) drinking water fountain. The cobblestone below is cut abruptly by a dirt road, on which we walk to the left.  

                       The kalderimi  below the monastery of St. John the Baptist, Vizitsa

        In a short while, we pass under the cemetery of Vιzitsa and come out on an asphalt road. We cross it and continue along the path, which quickly becomes a nice cobblestone. To our right we have the large Miliotiko ravine. We see high up opposite the white chapel of the Lifting of the Holy Cross and, if we pay close attention, we will see below it, built in a recess of the steep rock on the cliff, the small chapel of Taxiarches. 

The metal bridge from above

    The cobblestone becomes a path again and we get to a path junction. We choose the right branch, intending to walk through the Milies train station, as that path crosses a stream and comes out just at the station's entrance.

Arriving to the train station of Milies

        We walk along the tracks and after ten minutes we reach the famous metal bridge, built in the early 1900s by the German engineer Schneider, a specialist in metal bridges, under the supervision of  chief engineer Evaristo de Chirico (father of the important surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico , who was born in Volos). 

        We return by the same way and, reaching the intersection below, we go left. The path runs smoothly along the wooded slope, We pass by a cave that was used by a shepherd for his animals (now  abandoned) and we cross twice the large Miliotiko stream (there is usually no water here). The path becomes a dirt road and we come out on the asphalt road that goes to Argyreika. Here we walk uphill and at the second sharp turn that the asphalt makes, we leave it straight ahead onto a dirt road, which soon becomes cobblestone and we cross the stream again over a small concrete bridge.

      Shortly after the bridge, paying attention to our left, we find a narrow path which in a few meters brings us in front of the impressive "Katafidi" waterfall. It is a truly beautiful spot, especially in the spring when the stream brings down a lot of water, and we will definitely stay long enough to enjoy it. In the summer the water dries up, but the spot always remains impressive.

Katafidi waterfall at its best

    We return to the wide, expertly made cobblestone and climb up towards Vizitsa. A little further, the cobblestone is blocked by a landslide and we have to leave it to the right and make a detour walking on a dirt track. Further up we reach an intersection, where the cobblestone continues climbing diagonally to the left, next to a large shrine. Constantly climbing, we pass the central church of Zoodochos Pighi, cross the asphalt and finally reach the picturesque square of Vyzitsa at an altitude of 525 meters.

                                                                 Vizitsa square

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