Distance: 5,1 km
Duration: 2 hours (incl. return), walking time 1.35′
Altitude: from 0 m. (Afissos) to 252 m.(Niaou square)
Marking: red marks, round yellow signs
Drinking water on the route: no
In this route, we climb from the seaside resort of Afissos to the village of Afetes (formerly called Niaou, a slavic name meaning pen, still in use by locals) following a dry riverbed, an exciting and demanding walk that is best avoided if the weather is rainy, for obvious reasons. Then we return to Afissos by the main kalderimi (most of which is now covered by asphalt) passing by the graveyard, enjoying a spectacular view of the sea on our way down.
Starting from Abovos beach just south of Afissos, at the corner of Marabu restaurant, we walk on a concrete road vertical to the beach, initially heading east. After 700 m. the road takes a sharp right bend becoming asplhalt and continues towards Niaou. At this point, we walk straight ahead in a northerly direction on an earth road and at a fork we go left. The road goes by the side of Halorema stream and soon, following the red marks, we find ourselves walking into the riverbed, surrounded by the rocky banks under the cool shade of high trees, birds singing and all. It is an exciting experience and not too demanding, although we must exercise attention not to slip on the rocks, especially if they happen to be wet. There are some sections of path on the side of the stream, and another stream (Kalarites) eventually joins from the right.
After about 1,5 km of walking in these adventurous conditions, we reach a rock where a tall plane tree grows. Here, the members of the local syllogos (or association) are planning to build a woodbridge to facilitate access. For the time being, we climb quite easily to the rock, only to find a kalderimi on its top that climbs steeply to the right. If we are on the opposite course (that is, from Niaou to Afissos), we must apply high caution not to slip on the way down. Here a side rail would be extremely useful.
Further up, we pass by Karkanteli fountain, cross a concrete road and continue climbing on kalderimi that leads us to the village square featuring the old church of St. John the Baptist.
|Niaou (Afetes) square|
A stop at the taverna for food or just a refreshment is welcome, and then we continue on stone paved road to reach the parking space, where we turn immediately left to find a kalderimi that leads to the stone arched bridge of Fraggakis, over the homonymous stream.
On the other side, we continue uphill on kalderimi in a southwesterly direction and exit the village. Passing by the graveyard on the right, the kalderimi opens to an asphalt road, on which we walk downhill. Further down, as the asphalt takes a sharp left bend, there is a small stretch of kalderimi marked with red spots, conveniently cutting the corner.
Walking another 500 m. on the asphalt, we reach a newly built tourist accomodation on the right (Karavia villas). Here, instead of continuing onto the asphalt all the way down, we suggest to follow an alternate, more pleasant route. So, at the upper corner of Karavia villas we turn right on a narrow earth road next to the concrete fence. Further down another earth road joins from the left and we continue straight ahead, having another fence on the left, then a low stone wall (pezoula). Soon we turn left following the course of the stone wall and then right on a downhill path-kalderimi that opens to an asphalt at the outskirts of Afissos. After 100 m. on the asphalt, we turn left on a concrete road that further down is stone paved. At the end we turn right and immediately left at the corner of ”The Garden of Eden” guesthouse, into a wider stone paved road that opens to the Afissos square, on the right side of the fountain facing the sea.