Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Αfissos-Niaou (Afetes)

Niaou (Afetes)

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 walk: Niaou square


Download GPS track:    from Wikiloc     from Everytrail

      In this route, we climb from the seaside resort of Afissos to the picturesque village of Niaou (original village name of slavic origin, meaning pen, still in use by locals-officially called Afetes) following a dry riverbed, an exciting and beautiful walk, (which, for obvious reasons, is best avoided if the weather is rainy). Then we return to Afissos on  the course of the main kalderimi (stone paved path), most of which is now sadly covered by asphalt, passing by an old stone bridge and the village`s cemetery, enjoying  spectacular views of Afissos and the sea on our way down.

      Starting at Abovos beach just south of Afissos, from the corner of Marabou restaurant, we walk on the concrete road away from the sea, initially heading east. After 700 m. the road takes a sharp right bend becoming asphalt 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 Chalorema stream and soon, following the red marks and the signs, 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 caution not to slip on the rocks, especially if they happen to be wet. There are some sections of path on the sides of the stream left or right, and another stream (Kalarites) eventually joins from the right (we go left there).
Chalorema ravine

      After about 1,5 km of walking in these slightly adventurous conditions, we reach a rock where a tall plane tree grows. Here, the Cultural association of Afetes built in April 2013 a wooden pedestrian bridge to facilitate access to the village.
The new wooden pedestrial bridge, a volunteer community work
      We climb over the bridge to the rock, to find a kalderimi climbing steeply to the right. If we are on the opposite course (that is, from Niaou to Afissos),  we should apply high caution here not to slip on the way down if the stones are wet.
Kalderimi climbing to Niaou square

     Further up, we pass by an old fountain named Karkanteli, then cross a concrete road and continue climbing on kalderimi that leads us to the village square and the main church of St. John the Baptist.
Niaou (Afetes) village square
        A stop at the taverna for a refreshment or something to eat is welcome, and then we continue next to the church on flat stone paved road. As we reach the parking lot, we turn immediately left, to find a narrow downhill kalderimi that leads to the stone arched bridge of Fragakis, over the homonymous stream.
Fragakis stone bridge at Niaou

      On the other side, we continue uphill on road-kalderimi in a southwesterly direction and exit the village.
Leaving Niaou, on the way to the cemetery
      Passing by the cemetery on the right, the kalderimi then opens to an asphalt road, on which we walk downhill, between olive groves. Further down, as the asphalt takes a sharp left bend, there is a small stretch of kalderimi marked with red spots and a sign (attention left), conveniently cutting the corner.
      After another 500 m. on the asphalt, we reach a newly built tourist accomodation (Karavia Lux Inn).
       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 we turn right on a narrow downhill earth road next to the fence. Soon another earth road joins from the left and we continue straight ahead, having another fence on the left, then a low stone wall. We turn left following the stone wall and then right on the downhill path that opens to an asphalt road at the outskirts of Afissos.
Looking down to Afissos
       After 100 m. on the asphalt, we turn left to a concrete road that further down is paved with flat stones. 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 Afissos square, facing the sea.
Afissos square
       Walking now on the coastal road to the left, we will get back to Abovos beach in five minutes.
Abovos beach

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