Trekking in Greece
The Peloponnese and Pindos Way
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Guidebook describing challenging treks in the mountains of Greece, traversing the Pindhos Range, near Athens, and the Peloponnese, plus a handful of shorter routes including Mount Olympus. The treks demand a high level of commitment and fitness due to their remoteness and difficult terrain, and boast stunning unspoilt scenery.
- June-Sept is the most settled period for weather, and not too hot in the mountains; snow Nov-April in the mountains.
- Karpenísi, Métsovo, Ámfissa, Trípoli, Dhíakhofto, Sparta, Áyios Nikólaos
- demanding rather than technically difficult; suitable for fit and experienced walkers; remote: navigation skills essential
- Must See
- traverse of the Pindos, Mt Olympus, Mt Khelmós, Mt Párnonas, beautiful scenery, rich flora and cultural interest
This guidebook presents four specially devised treks in the mountains of Greece, showcasing its beautiful scenery, rich flora and cultural interest. The Peloponnese Way crosses the Peloponnese peninsula from Dhiakoftó in the north to Pantazí beach in the south, via Trípoli. Taking in alpine meadows, a dramatic gorge and forest-clad slopes, the 220km route can be walked in around a fortnight. The 460km Pindos Way is a south-north traverse of Greece's mountain backbone, and can be walked in a month, or split into sections of around a week. With remote terrain, navigational challenge and fewer facilities on route, it is the toughest of the four treks but offers a unique chance to experience both the country's wilderness and traditional mountain life. A shorter 80km Zagóri trek can be enjoyed in its own right or incorporated into the Pindos Way, and the final route explores Mt Olympus, home of the ancient gods of Greek myth and the highest mountain in Greece. With clear mapping alongside detailed route description for each stage of the treks, as well as background information about the region and a Greek-English glossary.
Traditional mountain life
A little history
Flowers and wildlife
Navigation and maps
Sleeping and eating
Getting on with people
Weather and when to go
What to take
Access to the mountains
Using this guide
Part 1 The Peloponnese Way
Section 1 Dhiakoftó to Trípoli
Stage 1 Dhiakoftó to Méga Spílio monastery
Stage 2 Méga Spílio monastery to Áno Lousí
Stage 3 Áno Lousí to Tourládha
Stage 4 Near Tourládha to Dhára
Stage 5 Nimfasía to Vitína
Stage 6 Vitína to Kardharás or Kápsia
Stage 7 Kardharás or Kápsia to Trípoli
Section 2 Trípoli to Pantazí beach
Stage 8 Psilí Vrísi to Áyios Pétros
Stage 9 Malevís convent to Vamvakoú
Stage 10 Vamvakoú to Paleogoulás
Stage 11 Mistrás to Anavrití
Stage 12 Anavrití to Taïgetos mountain refuge
Stage 13 Taïgetos mountain refuge to Árna
Stage 14 Árna to Pantazí beach
Part 2 The Píndos Way
Section 1 Ámfissa to Karpenísi
Stage 1 Ámfissa to Víniani and Reká ravine
Stage 2 Mt Ghióna: Víniani to Láka Karvoúni refuge
Stage 3 Láka Karvoúni refuge to Sikiá
Stage 4 Sikiá to Athanásios Dhiákos/Áno Mousounítsa
Stage 5 Mt Vardhoúsia: Athanásios Dhiákos/Áno Mousounítsa to Yiourtáki sheepfold
Stage 6 Yiourtáki sheepfold to Mt Oxiá/Sarádena refuge
Stage 7 Mt Oxiá/Sarádena refuge to Kokália obelisk/Rákhes Timfristoú
Stage 8 Kokália obelisk/Rákhes Timfristoú to Karpenísi
Section 2 Karpenísi to Mesokhóra
Stage 9 Karpenísi to Kerasokhóri
Stage 10 Kerasokhóri to Varvariádha
Stage 11 Varvariádha to Epinianá
Stage 12 Epinianá to Spiliá monastery
Stage 13 Spiliá monastery to Petrotó
Stage 14 Petrotó to Kalí Kómi
Stage 15 Kalí Kómi to Moskhófito
Stage 15A Kalí Kómi to Mirófilo
Stage 16 Moskhófito to Mesokhóra
Stage 16A Mirófilo to Mesokhóra
Section 3 Mesokhóra to Métsovo
Stage 17 Mesokhóra to Gardhíki or Athamanía
Stage 18 Gardhíki or Athamanía to Matsoúki
Stage 19 Matsoúki to Kalarítes
Stage 20A Kalarítes to Khalíki ridge route
Stage 21 Khalíki to Métsovo
Section 4 Métsovo to the Albanian border
Stage 22 Métsovo to Vália Kálda
Stage 23 Vália Kálda to Vovoúsa
Stage 24 Vovoúsa to Dhístrato
Stage 24A Link: Vovoúsa to Skamnéli
Stage 25 Dhístrato to Samarína
Stage 25A Dhístrato to Palioséli
Stage 26 Samarína to Dhrakólimni
Stage 26A Palioséli to Dhrakólimni
Stage 27 Dhrakólimni to Ayía Paraskeví/Kerásovo
Stage 28 Ayía Paraskeví/Kerásovo to Kefalokhóri
Stage 29 Kefalokhóri to Aetomilítsa/Dénsko
Stage 30 Aetomilítsa/Dénsko to Mt Grámos summit
Part 3 Zagóri and Mt Gamíla
Stage 1 Tsepélovo to Kípi via Kapésovo and Koukoúli
Stage 1A Tsepélovo to Kípi via Khadzíou bridge
Stage 2 Kípi to Monodhéndhri
Stage 3 Monodhéndhri to Pápingo via Víkos gorge
Stage 4 Pápingo to Astráka refuge
Stage 5 Astráka refuge to Tsepélovo or Kapésovo
Stage 5A Astráka refuge to Kónitsa
Stage 6 Skamnéli to Kónitsa
Part 4 Mt Olympus
Stage 1 Priónia to Spílios Agapitós/Refuge A
Stage 2 Spílios Agapitós/Refuge A to Mítikas and Yiósos Apostolídhis/Refuge B
Stage 3 Yiósos Apostolídhis/Refuge B to Priónia
Stage 4 Priónia to Litókhoro
Appendix A Route summary tables
Appendix B Glossary
Appendix C Further reading
Appendix D Useful contacts
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UPDATE APRIL 3rd 2018
Section 2: KARPENÍSI TO MESOKHÓRA
Stage 12: Epinianá to Spiliá monastery
Walking time 13 hours, NOT 8hr 30min
Book page 148: AFTER "Turn L on the track behind the modern house..." the text should read as follows:
Turn L on the track that runs behind the modern house. Follow it up to join the main track and continue NW for about 30min, ignoring a L turn down to the Asprórema stream. Ford a stream and the little used track begins to climb. On the first R bend above the ford by a stand of fir trees you come to a once-substantial stone house (E00289028/N04340635; 1044m; 4hr 45min). Continue along the track passing a couple more abandoned but solid stone houses until it comes to an end at E00288704/N04341237; 1152m).
Leave the track and climb R up the earthy bank (E00288770/N04341472), then turn back L. The path is reasonably obvious, zigzagging up beneath big open firs to reach the three ruined cottages of Sfirí (E002887886/N04341453; 1301m). The firs are thinning out here. There are a number of overgrown and aged fruit trees, a sure sign of former habitation, but no sign of a water source.
Keep straight uphill from these ruins for a few minutes. For 20 to 30 minutes from where the trees end the path is very unclear in the unkempt grass and encroaching scrub. You need to get on to the spur directly above Sfirí. The old path seems to have swung out to the L before curving back R above a thicket of young firs and climbing up on to the spur from here. You reach the spur line at E00288991/N04341638 (1417m; 6hr 30min), clear of all the trees. The best thing for the moment may be to clamber directly up on to the nose of the spur from Sfirí, making your way as best you can; it should not take more than 20 to 30 minutes from Sfirí.
From here you continue up the ridge bearing NNE to the 1700-metre contour. The going is easier from here on; you are clear of the trees and traversing N and NNW across the flanks of point 2062m to reach the Delidhími col in around two hours, about 4hr total from Maria's house (8hr 30min).
For Leondíto, drop down from the col almost due N, keeping to the spur that divides the two gullies opening below you. After about 10min you pass a water trough L and carry on down to meet a clear transverse path (E00288920/N04344500) crossing the grassy slopes just below the 1700m contour (9hr).
Turn L or W on the transverse path. Cross a dry gully and bear R along the opposite flank, then up and over a sharp little spur, cutting back L down a good rocky path on the W flank to the shallow gully below. Here, bear R and down to the shepherds’ hut at Lakómata (E00288364/N04344572; 9hr 30min).There is a spring here and it is a good place to camp if there are no dogs in residence.
From Lakómata, follow the track W for 30min beneath the distinctive horn-like peak of Salayiáni, passing a spring on the L, to a second sheepfold with a solid little cottage on a piece of level ground at the locality known as Mégas Stanós (E00287091/N04346821; 10hr).
Mégas Stanós makes a good campsite too, as long as there are no dogs in residence. A second advantage is that the shepherd who brings his sheep here in summer speaks very respectable English; his name is Yiánnis Makriyiánnis.
Bear R at the fork shortly after. The track contours N along the slope for about 600 metres, before zigzagging precipitously down into the woods at a locality called Niáles. At the bottom zigzag (10hr 30min), a disused track comes in from the gully to your R; this is an alternative route from Lakómata, marked on the map but very overgrown with bracken. From Niáles, continue down the track to arrive in Leondíto in about 1hr 30min (12hr).
Head N along the road from the square with its 900-year-old plane tree. On the L just past a walled spring and opposite the church (R below the road), a track cuts up L to a large new house. Turn R along the path that follows the fence enclosing this new house. You come out in a rough field with a ramshackle hut. Pass it and, bearing L, you enter the forest. Do not lose height.
The path to the monastery was obviously once a major route for pilgrims. For several years, the word has been that the path is impassable. If anyone tries to tell you that today, pay no attention. We cleared and marked the tricky second half in 2017!
The path improves as you continue in and out of small gullies and over intervening spurs, sticking pretty much to the 900–1000m contour except for the last stretch where, from a natural belvedere at E00286054/N04349226, you gradually lose about 100 metres in height, dropping below the fir-line down into a deep little gully. Cross over by a large plane tree before climbing back R and steeply up through trees and across an expanse of stable scree. Just before you reach the monastery (Moní Spiliás; 13hr), spectacularly perched on a crag above the Koumbourianítikos river valley, you pass a wonderfully powerful spring. Do not miss a visit to the beautiful monastery church.
The monastery of Spiliá offers………………………….It is a 30min walk.END
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Tim Salmon first visited Greece in 1958. He has lived and worked in the country, visited countless times, written and translated books and articles, and made a film about shepherd life for Greek TV.View Articles and Books by Tim Salmon
Michael Cullen was born in Greece and spent his childhood there, returning in 1990 to set up his own trekking business. He has spent most of the last fifteen years researching and leading hikes throughout the country, as well as compiling walking guidebooks and accommodation websites.View Guidebooks by Michael Cullen
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