Friday, August 11, 2023

Boufa (Koropi)-Panagiotiko Dam-Neochori

Just above the Panagiotiko reservoir

Distance: 9,5 km.

Time: 4,5 h    

Altitude:  from  7 m. (Boufa) to 462 m. (Neochori square)

Total climbing up:581 m. Total descent|: 128 m.

Signed with red paint and some round yellow signs

Drinking water on walk: Neochori

Start: east end of Boufa, at the point where the straight section of the asphalt road ends

End: Neochori village square

Last checked: June 2023

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      Ιn the old days, this was the road of communication between Neohori, its settlement of Zervochia and the fertile valley of Boufa. Travelers would start from Neochori walking on the northern slope of the Platanorema ravine. They would cross the stream over the stone arched bridge of Taratsa (or Malamaki) and would continue on the southern bank, until they reached their destination. Today the stone bridge is lost, buried in the bottom of the Panagiotiko Dam, so we now cross over the dam. The span of the arch of the lost  bridge was 5.80 m and the height 4.60 m, measured by Nikos Haratsis in his book ''Stone arched bridges of Pelion'' (in Greek). 

The bridge of Malamaki, now lost forever (photo: Nikos Haratsis)

      In the rest of the route, the original path is preserved for quite some distance, with small sections of cobblestone. Some parts of it have become rural roads. In general, this is a very nice route, best to walk in spring or autumn. It was researched and cleaned by volunteers in the winter and spring of 2023. We can leave our car in Boufa and, after walking, return to Boufa by the bus (depending on the bus schedule, see Another option for this path, is to make a circular route Neochori-Zervochia-Niaou (Afetes)-Neochori.  If we are walking Milies-Neochori, we can use the more pleasant section from the dam to Neochori, (see the route Milies-Panagiotiko dam-Neochori ),instead of walking on the standard route that is passing by Panagia Tourkogianni church  .

The artificial lake of Panagiotiko

    I will describe the route starting from Boufa. The start, marked with a red paint arrow, is at the eastern edge of Boufa, at the end of the main asphalt straight section, where the uphill turns to Afissos begin. It should be noted here that at a distance of 700 meters from this point, there is the beach "Paradisos", where in the summer there is a refreshment bar and a tavern. To walk to Neohori we first take the narrow rural road that generally runs straight northeast. In 500 meters, there is a fork where the left road is cement paved. We take the right road and in thirty meters at another fork we take the left road that goes uphill with turns. Higher up there is another intersection, where we also go left. The road ends and a path continues next to low dry stone walls. Going gently uphill, we turn right (south) for a short while and we are happy to find elements of cobblestone on our way. Following the cobblestone path, we pass through olive groves, walking generally in  a northeastern direction. 

       A little further on, the path is closed for thirty meters from branches that have fallen from the pruning of olive trees and we haved to bypass the closed part from the bottom (the owner of the olive grove promised to remove the branches). The path continues and comes to the end (or rather the beginning) of a rural road, which we follow, always in a north-easterly direction. We reach a triple junction, where the road on the right goes to Zervohia, while we continue straight in the same direction. Further on, we leave the intersection to Pavlakia-Milies on our left and continue straight, also ignoring the uphill road on the right. Our road ends smoothly in an olive grove and a slightly uphill path continues  in the same direction.

    Higher up, the path is abruptly cut off by a dirt track (a rural road). We follow it uphill and in twenty meters at the intersection we go left uphill. The road soon ends and we find the path again. In front of us we see the wild northern slope of the Platanorema ravine with its large tower-like rocks and hear the water flowing below- it is advisable to stop for a few minutes to enjoy the feeling. We pass a small stream and further on the path is cut off by the opening of a road that serves the dam.

        We descend somewhat steeply to that road, where we walk uphill for a short while, until we  reach the dam. and we cross it to the northern slope. At the first intersection we go right on a disused road, which runs a little above the water level. Paying attention to our left as we walk, we see the red sign marking the entrance to the path. We now walk again on the restored path, which initially goes uphill and we pass above a ruined hut, finding a couple of kalderimi sections.

       Further on, we cross a stream and continue steadily uphill on a dirt road. We ignore road intersections to the right as we climb uphill. Higher up, on a wide right turn of the road, a path leaves strairht ahead, and in a few meters we join the Milies-Neochori route, which comes from Panagia Tourkogianni church. We are now walking on the Milies-Neochori route. The path higher up opens to a dirt road, which leads to the asphalt, we cross the asphalt bridge and then follow the red signs to the square of Neochori.

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