Friday, December 26, 2014

Neochori-Siki

Distance: 6,8 km
Duration: 2,5 hours (walking time 2 hours)
Altitude: from 460 m. (Neochori) to 210 m. (Granitsa stream) to 310 m. (Siki)
Total ascent: 373 m.  Total descent: 401 m.
Signed with round yellow signs and red paint marks
Drinking water on walk: no
Download GPS track:  from Everytrail   from Wikiloc


                 This route, passing from the ruined chapel of Agios Efstathios,  was blocked for many years, until it was cleared by volunteers in 2013-2014. There is also another southerly route passing from Agios Georgios chapel at Lai, but this remains currently blocked.
             We can go to Neochori by bus (www.ktelvolou.gr) or walking from Milies or Niaou. There is also a walking route from Siki to Xinovrisi. At the square of Neochori the restaurant is open all year round, whereas at Siki only during the summer season.
             Starting from the upper corner of the square of Neochori, we take the uphill stone paved track going east and walk between a church, which is on our right side, and the school on our left. A little further up at a junction we take the wide uphill kalderimi to the right, watching for the red marks. We join a paved road at an angle and head east, exiting the village. After crossing a stream, we notice the sign on the left and enter a section of the path that has been restored.
A restored section of the original path
           This opens to an earth road junction, where we head straight on to the east. Immediately there is a V-junction, where we take the road to the right, which has a section of kalderimi.
          A little further on, we have a grove on our left. Just as we reach its corner (attention to the left), we climb for a few metres on a path just next to the grove and then turn right to the east.  As we climb, we enjoy excellent views over Granitsa ravine, Siki village and the Aegean sea. That area was burnt a few years ago but is overgrown again.
          At the ridge, we pass by some pine trees that managed to escape the fire and  join a descending earth road. We reach a crossroads and continue in the same southeasterly direction on a seemingly abandoned uphill track. Reaching the ridge, as the track turns gently left, we  go right and find the path, descending for a while until it joins an earth road again. We soon reach the chapel of Agios Efstathios, the roof of which unfortunately has collapsed and lays in ruins.
Reaching Agios Efstathios chapel
         A little further down, we leave the road and go straight ahead onto the path, which descends on the north slope of Granitsa ravine. This word means ''border'' in slavic languages, and indeed used to be the border between the  land jurisdictions of Neochori and Siki. It opens to the sea at the beach called Pantazi Ammos.
Going down to cross Granitsa stream
       The path opens down to an earth road, which we follow to the right and pass next to a building of the water system. We cross the stream and continue on the concrete road uphill. At the first left bend, there is a section of the path climbing next to the road on the right, and joins in again higher up (not signed).
      On the ridge, we join the asphalt road going to Pantazi Ammos beach, and we follow it to the south (to the right) entering Siki. Watching for the round yellow sign at an electricity pole, we go left downhill on a stone paved track and pass by a parking lot and the main church οf Agios Georgios, ending up to the cosy square of Siki.
Siki village square

 
    
     



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