Hiking in Kythira
Meet Kythira’s hiking trails!
STARTING POINT: The central square of Mylopotamos
MAIN SIGHTS: Waterfalls, watermills, including Filippi’s restored watermill, Old stone bridges and lagoons
CONNECTION TO OTHER TRAILS:
This is one of the most famous paths of Kythera. The path starts at the central square of the picturesque Mylopotamos village. It follows the old paved path to the unexpectedly impressive waterfall called “Neraida”. From there, one can follow the creek until the beach of Kalami. After about 300meters, you will reach the beautifully restored watermill of Fillipis, where the owner, Fillipas, will be happy to guide you around the mill and explain you how people used the water force to grind barley and wheat in the old times.
Further down, you will pass through abandoned watermills. If you stop walking and look around these haunted mills, you might manage to travel back in time. Who knows! Sometimes you get the impression of listening peoples voices. Soon, you’ll realise that the sounds come from the water that drops abruptly as it goes down in this narrow valley, creating every now and then small waterfalls and beautiful lagoons. Difficult to resist in a quick and… frozen swim in the crystal clear waters of the creek.
After about 1km, you will reach two old stone bridges connecting watermills. It is impressive how they resist in time. You can also get inside the abandoned watermills. Be aware of danger though. The buildings are in ruins and can hide dangers. About 10 minutes walking down from the last bridge, you’ll reach the end of the proposed path. Those who wish can continue walking down the creek. However, please note that it is quite difficult to walk it down. Sometimes you might need to use climbing ropes. If you continue, you’ll reach the beautiful church of Panagia Orfani, built inside a cave overlloking the creek, and from there, at about another hours walking distance, you’ll reach the beach of Kalami. Those who will take the way back to Mylopotamos, we have designed the path in such a way so you dont have to walk it back from the same way. If you follow the signs you will get onto a old path with impressive stone steps. If you look at them carefully, you will realise how much attention the builder gave to details!
After about 20 minutes of walking uphill, you will get back to the tarmac road leading to the central square of Mylopotamos. We are absolutely sure that this trail will be memorable to you! Especially if you walk it during a hot summer day!
Tips! You can combine this walk with a visit to the Castle of Kato Chora.
STARTING POINT: The old hospital of Potamos
MAIN SIGHTS: Potamos, Trifylianika, Paliochora, Kakia Lagada Gorge
CONNECTION TO OTHER TRAILS:
From Potamos, one of Kythera’s central villages, a path leads to the ruins of the island’s medieval capital, Paleochora. The route passes through the settlement of Melitianika, where a beautifully crafted kalderimi (cobbled path) leads to a small church with a manger built into one of its walls. This same cobblestoned path leads on to the village of Trifyllianika. From here, a small detour leads to the famous fountain of the village. From Trifyllianika to Paleochora, the scenery is truly magical. Winding up and down over the small hills of the region, crossing small creeks and streams, the attentive walker will discover pools with water and small waterfalls, well-hidden from those in a hurry to reach their goal, the Castle. The fortified city of Paleochora, once known as St. Demetrios, is one of the most impressive sights to be found on Kythera. The city was abandoned in 1537 under the attack of Barbarossa, leaving countless derelict homes and churches to haunt the formidable gorge of Kakia Lagkada, with a cliff face bordering on 200 meters in height.
Tips! It is strongly suggested that you plan your walking on that trail for Sunday. Every Sunday morning, at the central square of Potamos village, you will find an open air market (“pazari” in Greek).
STARTING POINT: The Promenade of Avlemonas
MAIN SIGHTS: Avlemonas, Fossils, Agios Giorgis church, Minoan Peak Sanctuary excavations
CONNECTION TO OTHER TRAILS:
The picturesque harbour town of Avlemonas marks the starting point of one of Kythera’s oldest walking paths. Its usage dates right back to the Minoan period, when it enabled the island’s inhabitants access to the Minoan Peak Sanctuary – the largest of its kind found outside of Crete. Walking along this trail truly feels like being thrown back in time. After leaving behind the populated harbour-town of Avlemonas, the path gradually ascends the “Mountain”, passing through old deserted fields where only the ancient stone walls bear witness that wheat was once cultivated in today’s bare soil. Today, only a few beekeepers’ hives remain scattered across the landscape.
While progressing along the path, the observant hiker will notice that in tricky points along the path, the supporting stonework has in fact lain there for centuries… Arriving at the summit, the sight of the chapel of St George and its beautiful Byzantine mosaic, is always an exhiliarating experience. For any mountaineer who has “conquered” the Mountain by foot, the rewarding panoramic view across the island, especially towards its eastern shores, will remain etched into memory for many years to come.
Tips! Ask the locals to get you in touch with the local priest. He has the keys of the church on top of the hill. It is really worth it to visit inside as you will get to see some mosaics from the 6th century AD!
STARTING POINT: Agios Giorgis church in Lourantianika
MAIN SIGHTS: Cypress forest in Lourantianika, Agios Giannis church (at Agriolies), Fyroi (red land), Kapsali
CONNECTION TO OTHER TRAILS: M01, M11, M11A
n essence, the route connecting Louradianika and Kapsali is a charming rural trail amidst beautiful scenery. The pathway begins at the church of Agios Georgios. Just outside of the village, tucked away behind the church (which dates back to the late 16thcentury) lies a breathtaking cypress forest! A step under the shade of the cypress trees propels you into a tranquil setting completed by running streams of water, where protruding tree roots form a natural staircase for sure footing. The resting areas along the path have been lovingly installed by Mathios, the heart and soul behind this trail route.
Leaving behind the cypress forest, the trail climbs the mountain side towards to picturesque church of Ai-Giannis of Agriolies, which offers a remarkable view over the eastern side of the island. From here, the trail begins a smooth descent towards Kapsali, passing though the olives groves of Fyros (red earth). From here you can take a detour to the Agious Akindynous (“Harmless Saints”), a small cliffside monastery at the mountain top, with a panoramic view over all of Kythera. Heading downhill towards Kapsali the trail offers a great view over the city and fortified castle of Chora.
Tips! At the beginning of the trail, at Lourantinika, is a beautiful cypress forest, ideal for a short afternoon’s walk, or a pic-nic!
STARTING POINT: The small peer of Diakofti
MAIN SIGHTS: Diakofti beach, Amazing views, the Holy Monastery of Agia Moni
CONNECTION TO OTHER TRAILS: M37
This footpath climbs gently the slopes of Agia Moni Mt, surrounded by sage, thyme and Erica bushes. It is an old, built footpath, that ends at the Holy Monastery of Agia Moni. From the top, the views are panoramic to all over the island. You should visit the Monastery. It has been built in the 19th century, thanks to the important contribution of Theodoros Kolokotronis (Greek Independence War Revolutionary), and others grants. Take a closer look at the limestone bell tower, which is an great example of Kytherian art. It said that during the German occupation, from one of the cells of the Monastery, the Dean Mormoris, was informing the allies about incoming German ships through a hidden radio. Today, in one of the cells, Father Georgios Antikeimenakis has installed a self-inspired candle making atelier. From Agia Moni, you could either walk back to Diakofti from the same way, or continue on the small asphalted road till you meet the beginning of footpath M37, which goes down to Diakofti as well, thus creating a circle (M37 option will add another 6,6km, 2h50’ of walking).
Tips! You can easily combine this trail to trail M37. To reach the M37 trailhead you will have to walk the asphalt road from Agia Moni downwards.
STARTING POINT: In front of the Chora Castle entrance (alternatively, at the beginning of Kapsali bay)
MAIN SIGHTS: Chora, Castle of Chora, Churches of Mesa Vourgo, British stone bridge, Kapsali
CONNECTION TO OTHER TRAILS: M04, M11, M15
- It is strongly advisable that you visit the castle of Chora! Be aware that it is not open during all day.
- You can start the trail from the main square of Chora, thus combining it to a beautiful stroll in the island’s capital.
STARTING POINT: The Kapsali peer / The Hotel Eleni in Livadi
MAIN SIGHTS: Kapsali, Old coble stone path, Agia Sofia cave, Agios Giannis (of Agriolies)
CONNECTION TO OTHER TRAILS: M01, M11A, M15
From the picturesque Kapsali Bay, one can walk to Livadi through an amazing path. The path climbs the cliffs above Kapsali and after about 40 minutes of walking reaches the spectacular cave of Agia Sofia in Kalamos. In this cave, where lies the homonym little church, an archaeological team discovered the most ancient antiquities ever found on the island. Under the cave’s shadow you can take a small rest before starting the second ascent, towards the village of Kseroniamata. The path reaches, through abandoned fields, the old church of Agios Giannis (of Agriolies) with spectacular views towards the Eastern parts of the island. Another hour’s walk leads the walker to Livadi, one of the commercial villages of Kythera.
- Take a powerful torch with you, so that you can explore the cave of Agia Sofia in Kalamos.
- You can combine this trail with trail M15 starting from Lourantianika.