A stone’s throw from Nea Ionia, just 3 km northwest is located the village Fytoko. From Fytoko we descend into the formed by the stream Kaliakouda gorge, where in its deepest point there is a picturesque arched stone bridge. We keep walking to the north for 6.5 km, where we find the church of Panagia Lestianis. Keep in mind that just before the church, on the right there is a path that leads within 10 minutes to a three-arched stone bridge. In 3.5 km we find the monastery of Sourvia, which during the Ottoman Empire, along with the monastery of Flamouri, were the biggest ones in the area. The monastery was build during the first half of 16th century by Saint Dionysios of Olympus and was renovated in 18th century by Saint Gerasimos. It is of fortress architecture, has remarcable frescoes and has been used as a base during the Greek Revolution. And this is where our little adventure ends, to follow the same route back.
Distance: 22 km
Duration: approximately 9 hours (with stops)
Marking: red marks
Starting point: Monastery Gorgoepikou Fytokou
Maximum altitude: 1290 m. (Lagonika)
Drinking water in the path: no
This is one of the largest routes in Pelion, following in the footsteps of keratzidon (conductive) and loggers who were moving on the wooded hillsides.
Anyone who arrived in Lagonika coming from the northeastern Pelion, had the following main features: a. Proceed southwest to Chamorigani, from there to turn left passing Elatorema and then through the bridge Karya to arrive at Tranos Isoma. b. To follow the northwest path to Antovito and from there could either continue north to Kokkinogeia-Ano Kerasia-Flambouri or through Monastery of Sourvia to head south to the bridge of Alevizo-Fytoko-Volos or west to Kato Kerasia Lake and Karla. c. Halfway to Antovito they could turn southwest, taking another path to the chapel of St. Nicholas, passing the ravine Kaliakouda a bit above the bridge of Lestianis, to go out in the clearing of Loutsa and from there to Fytoko and Volos. This latter route will be described here, walking from Volos to Puri.
We arrive from Volos to Fytoko by car and just before the parking lot to the church, we follow the cement-paved road left up to the monastery Panagia Gorgoepikou (there are signs). At the left of the monastery entrance starts a narrow trail road (only for jeeps). We take the road and 1300 meters away we park the car and start trekking by the corral following the north-northwest direction. The soil is rocky, smooth, with sparse flora.
A while after, the trail begins to descend towards a shallow ravine. We go up to the ridge across, and then we follow the right path into an elongated field. At the end we follow the trail that goes up towards the northeast and arrive in the large clearing of Loutsa, at the point located in the Military Geographical Service (692 m.). Next to that point there is a threshing. Right in front of us there is the unique tree of the area, and next there is a pond (Souvala) and a corral. At the west lies lake Karla. From here also begins the route Makrynitsa-Lestiani-Kato Kerasia.
From Souvala we follow down the glade on the north-northeast course. We soon turn right to enter a straight path full of plants vegetation that later begins to descend steeply, with successive zig-zags, to reach the great ravine of Kaliakouda. We cross the creek at the highest point above the bridge of Lestiani and go up the bank accross. At the Trail junction we turn left, to arrive at the chapel of St. Nicholas.
We follow the uphill trail road that starts in front of the church and we continue left along the ascending path. We take the left route at the trail cross that descends to the monastery of Sourvia. Then we follow the right route that continues uphill with open bends towards the northeast and comes in an open area. On the upper side the path becomes narrow. Soon we will see on our left a blue water pipe. We follow the pipe to reach a wide path on the right side of a ravine.
After the ravine begins a long valley and a bit higher there is a trail road that leads to Xirakia-Antovito. We keep on following the pipe to reach a square bench. At the crosspath we keep on following the pipe up right, to reach a long clearing with apple trees. Then we leave the pipe and walk straight ahead along the clearing. We go down to reach a ravine, we cross it to follow the bank accross among the oak trees to reach a clearing from where begins the road to Chamorigani. We take the road on the left that leads to Xirakia-Antovito and soon we reach a shallow creek.
From here we follow the eastern ascending path to reach the cross-path to Antovito. We take the right side of the path to reach an ascending path with red marks that leads to an oak forest. We go though the forest to find another crossroad, from where our path continues to the southwest.
We then reach a ravine on the left, we go down our path, which becomes narrow, we enter the oaks once again and at the clearing, we turn left, following the marks, to descend again to the ravine. We cross the ravine and through the descending south-east path, we reach the peak of Lagonika (1295 m.). This is the highest point of our route.
Then our path becomes descending. In front of us lays the peak of Pourianos Stavros, the highest one in Pelion (1624 m.). Everywhere around us are thick oak forests that cover the landscape, allowing us from a certain point to admire the great Lagonika ravine reaching the Aegean sea. We continue up the ravine to reach Kanalakia.
Here we see the path that comes from West haven – Makrynitsa to Pouri and goes down on a narrower path first towards north and then northeast, until we meet the groove brings water from the source of Lagonika. If you follow the groove to the left, you will reach the little source of Lagonika. We turn right towards Pouri, constantly marching along a rural road and next to the groove for an hour, to finally arrive at the chapel of Agia Marina, at an altitude of 1005 m., next to a large open cistern. The church was built over a century ago, right after the granting of the use of Pouri source by the local community in 1891, which was very important for the village. Actually, the first water reached the certain point on the feast day of Saint Marina on July 17.
We follow the groove, descending to the right by the church, to reach a trail road. On the right begins the path to Pouri. However, there is an alternative path that goes past the chapel of St. Elias. At the cross path we turn right, we pass a creek and finally we reach a path that goes through some chestnut trees. The path leads to a farm with apple trees. We then find the groove again, we turn right at the crosspath to reach Profitis Elias, where there is a wooden kiosk. The location offers spectacular views to Zagora, Chorefto Anilio and Mouresi, from the Aegean sea, up to Kotroni peak (1550 m.).
We follow down the road, we cross an estate to find our path again on our right. Out path descends to a road. We walk by the reservoir of the aqueduct, where the road ends left, to follow the path on the right that leads us to the village. The route ends at the church of St. Dimitrios on Pouri square.
Kissos is a small mountain village situated in a superb location at 520 meters altitude, literally hidden in lush vegetation and almost “invisible”, as it is located about 2 km above the main road. Access to Kissos has improved in recent years thanks to the new road that connects the village with Chania: driving from Chania to the ski center of Agriolefkes, we find on our left a small sign Kissos. Following this indication through some dense forests we arrive in fifteen minutes at Kissos.
The beech and chestnut forests wrapped around the village are so tall and dense that at some points become impenetrable. Ivies of all kinds twist around the tree trunks, giving the village a special uniqueness, while maintaining its traditional color. It is a landscape embraced by the green and the most magnificent view over the Aegean, where you can easily relax and dream. Everybody who has visited Kissos has literally loved it.
Its beautiful cobbled square is dominated by the basilica of Agia Marina, that is considered one of the best and most representative ecclesiastic monuments on Mount Pelion. Agia Marina is famous for its history, its architecture and interior design. Built in 1650, it still impresses visitors with its gilded carved iconostasis inside, the four domes on the roof of the central aisle, painted by Constantine Pagonis and a number of frescoes of Byzantine icons and genre scenes. The first dome depicts Santa Marina and scenes from her life. The second dome depicts the Virgin Mary, the third depicts Christ and the fourth God as a venerable old man. The illustrations are very well preserved and the sacred temple, the famous landmark of the village and attracts many visitors each year.
On July 17th takes place the feast of Santa Marina with traditional dances and songs and with the participation of the entire village, while on September 20 is celebrated the memory of St. Eustatius. In the picturesque square you will come across the bust of Rigas Feraios.
Just outside Kissos, there are areas to visit on a horse or a 4×4, truly seducing paradises with numerous images of wild natural beauty and trails for all hiking lovers. There are small treasures for the traveler who wants to discover something of the unique charm of this landscape.
Kissos is a place to visit throughout the year. During winter (when the mountain is not snowy) you can go up to the ski center of Agriolefkes, located within walking distance. The new road connecting Chania with Kissos is then closed as it becomes a ski slope. In the summer you can go down for a swim at the sandy beaches of Agios Ioannis and Papa Nero or Damouchari, the fascinating beach with white pebbles.
Kissos is a village that gives you a genuine feeling of warmth, peace and tranquility, so it is ideal for both holidays or just a small stop.
Distance: 5.8 km
Duration: 2 hours (net time 1.40)
Altitude: 630 m. (Makrinitsa) at 285 m. (Kappa bridge) at 398 m. (Stagiates)
Signage: signs, red marks
Drinking water in the path: yes
This is a circular route, with starting point the square of Makrinitsa and descending initially the track to Volos. Arriving in Koukourava, the lower district of Makrinitsa, we cross the Great stream from the arched stone bridge and we follow the path that ascends to Stagiates. From there, we follow the eastern path-track passes over the stream and returns to Makrinitsa. The path of course goes vice versa, or you can only go a part of it. Advantages are the stunning views of the sea and the green slopes of the ravines.
There are two paths beginning at Makrinitsa square, next to the west side of the church. The one on the right starts a bit ascending, leading to Sarakino and Fytoko. We will follow the one on the left, which is wider and consists a true masterpiece, going through the village houses.
We pass by the churches of St.Athanasios and St.George and as we approach the road, the track turns right and a bit later it becomes inaccessible. That’s why at the certain point we will follow the road, passing first by the Stafylopatis mansion. A bit later we will meet our track again and follow it descending towards Nanos mansion.
We pass by the plane tree next to a fountain without water, and then we come across two intersections of cobbled tracks on the right, that descend to Volos. We will continue straight, pass a fountain without water and a dry triple fountain with a plane tree and then descend on the road (at this point there is a sign to the house of Argiro). Across descends a narrow road. We follow it and immediately turn right into the path that brings us to Tampakika area in the Great stream. Here we see the double-arched stone bridge of Kappa next to the tannery ruins. As shown in the photo, some stones are missing from the base of the eastern arc, creating concerns for the stability of the bridge. Hopefully it will soon be restored.
We cross the stream and on the other side we find two paths. The one on the right descends by the stream to Aidonofolies – Agios Onoufrios. We will follow the one on the left that descends the slope. A bit later we come across an ascending road, and we turn right. A bit later we will meet our path again on our left and we follow it ascending. Then we reach the first houses of Stagiates. We walk a bit along the track – it’s better not to follow the red arrow that turns left, but continue straight for a bit longer and slide left on the cemented track with the steps. that leads to a road. A bit farther the road turns right and leads as to the church of St.Athanasios on Stagiates sq.
We then have the change to drink some cool water from the old fountain with the Arabic inscription beneath the shadow of two large plane trees, before we continue our journey across a paved ascending road. Then we come across another fountain, where we turn left on the track that goes beyond the asphalt. Fifty meters later we slide right on the ascending road, that leads to the convent of the Annunciation. On the left of it entrance continues a narrow rural road, that we follow, viewing before us Makrinitsa. Sometime later, to the point of a left u-turn, we leave the road and go straight to the path that leads to a wooden bridge, that was recently built by the residents of Stagiates. We cross the stream and follow the path that eventually leads to the entrance of Makrinitsa.
Argalasti –Lefokastro – Kalamos
Distance: 8.6 km
Duration: 2hrs 45mns (including rest stops)
Road marking: red marks
Maximum height: 255m. (Argalasti square)
Drinkable water during the trip: yes (Lefokastro)
This is one of the most beautiful routes of South Pelion. It starts at Argalasti and slopes down to the sea-side settlement of Lefokastro, and as far as seaside Kalamos. From Kalamos we can either return to Argalasti (see Argalasti –Kalamos route) completing a circular route of a total length of about 4 hrs -including rest time- or, if we feel like it and feel fit enough, we can carry on walking along the sea-side towards Pau, and from there come back again to Argalasti taking about 5 hrs, all in all. (see route Kalamos – Pau Monastery –Argalasti).
Starting from the corner drugstore on the Argalasti square, we follow the narrow cement road heading west passing in front of the post-office. We come to a crossroads on the left corner of which is the renovated stone building of the old Girls School. The cobbled path to Kalamos continues straight ahead. We take the turn to the right, on another cobbled path heading North. A little farther down, the path becomes loose for 30m., turning into something like a wide groove in stony ground.
We keep on walking on a beautiful cobbled path, cross over the little bridge of the brook of Pnevmatiko, then cross a dirt road and then come to another dirt road where we turn left downhill. Inside this road we discern the cobbled path which goes askew off the road to the right. We follow this path, go past a power pylon and in a while, we come to the beautiful stone arch bridge of Rodia.
After the Rodia stream, the cobbled path goes uphill and ends up joining the asphalt road to Lefokastro, at a point where a dirt road goes off to the left towards Kalamos. At the fork there is a signpost and a small road shrine.We follow the asphalt road, which covers the path for 1km, and then looking closely we discern the continuation of the path on our left. The path goes downhill through the terraced ground. Farther down we come to the asphalt road, which we cross, and after a while we come to it again. Up to here, it took us a little less than one and a half hour for a distance of 4.8km. If we follow the asphalt road to the right, we will reach the main beach of Lefokastro after 300m.
In order to go to Kalamos, we carry on walking on the path that goes down, passing by an old drinking fountain with fine water, dating from 1777. In a few minutes, we find ourselves on a beautiful sandy beach.
At the other end of the beach, we climb a path that takes us to a narrow dirt road. The aquaduct from the Panagiotiko Dam runs below us. Unfortunately the aquaduct construction works destroyed the beautiful partly cobbled path that used to exist here.
We start walking on the dirt road, and very shortly come to a fork where the road to the left goes uphill. We, however, keep walking straight ahead keeping close to the sea on our left. When the road ends up at another dirt road, we turn left going uphill for 10m and immediately after that, we turn right into a property, jumping over the low fence at the gate. The path, which has been marked with red marks, like the rest of the route, goes through the property for a while, and then we come to another fenced property. We continue walking towards the seaside, and presently we find ourselves on the small beach of Agios Sostis.
Next to the beach runs a country lane, which we follow for ten minutes to the south. At the point where the main road turns smoothly to the left, we go off it, and continue slightly to the right on a narrow road somewhat sloping down and finally turning into a path taking us to the north end of the Kalamos seaside beach.
We walk along the beach for a while and coming to what seems to be the end of it, we turn left for a few meters and then right into a cement narrow road running alongside the seaside. We cross the pedestrian bridge over the Rodia stream and soon we find ourselves next to the sea. Just before the middle of the beach, near the mountaineering club’s signpost attached on an power pole, we find the cobbled path going up to Argalasti.
The small train of Pelion (1895 – 1971) has been a powerful instrument of civilization, culture and development, and has made its mark on the history of the area. Evaresto de Kiriko, father of the famous painter Giorgio de Kiriko, was its creator. He designed and, with the help of local craftsmen and builders, constructed one of the most beautiful train tracks in the world on the slopes and through the olive groves of the Centaurus Mountain. The train track is 60 centimeters wide and is admired for its aesthetics, morphological harmony and constructive perfection. The ledgendary “Mountzouris” (the Smoky) has recently resumed its touring trips, thanks to its “Friends’” efforts’, and climbs Pelion mountain again at 25km per hour. It starts at Lechonia, labours up puffing and blowing through olive trees as well as the traditional settlements of Ano Gatzea, Agia Triada, Agios Athanassios Pinakaton and Argireika and it terminates at Milies. This fantastic route lends itself to hiking. An uphill paved path takes you to the leafy location of the train station at the square of the village of Milies. Like almost all squares of Pelion villages, Milies square is located in the center of the village, a place rich in vegetation and with a unique view, which offers rest and relaxation in its picturesque cafes. Here it is worth visiting the library, which contains valuable century-old manuscripts, books and rare documents from the Turkish Occupation and the struggle of the Pelion people for independence. The village was the birth place of Anthimos Gazis’, an ardent patriot and a member of the society “Filiki Eteria”, also the birth place of the pioneers of the Modern Greek Enlightment, Konstandas and Filippides. There is also a folk art museum in the village.
The Pelion train: Dimitriados st. 186 – Mavrokordatou st.
Weekdays (Mon – Fri) 07.00 – 15.00, tel. 24210 39723
Ano Lechonia – Milies 10.00
Milies – Ano Lechonia 15.00
Fares : adult (return) 18 € (10€ one way)
Children (return) 10€ (6€ one way)
Access: The station is 12km far from Volos and is connected with a bus service. (Volos – Platanidia, line no 5)