Klapados - Lafionas Walk on Lesbos in Greece.
This Lesbos Island walk takes you from Anaxos out via Klapados, Agios Alexandros, Lafionas and then back into Anaxos.
The walk involves a steady climb on nice shady woodland tracks as far as above Lafionas and then it's mostly
all down hill back - around 15 KMs but note there are no tavernas/cafes on this walk until you get to Lafionas itself.
The walk starts along the main Petra - Kalloni road - from Petra pass a junction on the left to Stipsi and
around 4kms further on a petrol station.
Shortly after this there is an open area on the left with a shrine and a dirt track [N39°15'56.16" E026°12'40.20"]
- we got a taxi to here (this was 10 Euros from Petra). The road bends round and on
the right is a picnic pavilion, a dirt track and a sign marked Ecological Route - Klapados, Ag. Alexandros and Lafionas - go up this track. The track climbs steadily through pine woods - Stipsi can be seen nestled on the hill on the right - stay always on the main track ignoring tracks
going off to the right and left. After around one kilometre the track levels out and bends left, then starts climbing again to reach a crest, with the Gulf of Kolloni now visible down below on the left. Ignore a track going down on the left, instead follow the main track as it
continues climbing through the forest always bending to the right - soon reaching a fairly extensive grassy open area [N39°16'26.46" E026°11'43.98"]
with picnic tables and a farm building on the right.
Continue on out of the area using the same track which now bears right and keeps climbing passing a concrete water cistern on the left and ignoring side tracks - to reach the high point at 406m where there is a wooden bench and good views on the left the valley below and of Stipsi. The track now starts descending and
eventually you reach the ruined village of Klapados.
This is the site of the last battle between the Greeks and the Turks in 1912 when Lesvos was liberated from 450 years of Turkish rule. There are a few ruins here but not really a great deal else to be seen - there is however a fairly new concrete spring/trough and the area is nicely wooded and quite pleasant for a brief stop. Continue on the stony track passing more wooden seats - initially
climbing - after around 200 metres a tracks drops down steeply to the right - ignore this - but bear left always on the main track. The track soon starts to descend and after around 1km crosses a cattle grid - keep going down passing another picnic pavilion and sign on the left to reach a
right, then left and then right again sharp bend and finally crosses a concrete bridge. Climb up to quite quickly reach a major track junction above Lafionas - ahead of you are farm buildings and there is another "ecological site" sign on the left. There is a seat here if you fancy a rest however around 10 million sheep must know of this spot and have left their marks - i.e. there are one or two flies around as well.
There are two tracks going off to the left, the second of which drops steeply down - you must not take these. Take the track which goes more or less ahead and passes to the left of the farm buildings - this track undulates as it curves round the left hand side of the hill passing through lots of trees and nice
foliage. The track starts to descend and goes round a very tight hairpin finally arriving at a gate, go through this and then turn immediately left through a smaller gate to enter a fenced area - cross this lovely open area (lots of foliage, grasses and flowers including orchids in early May) to reach a
picnic table at the church of Agios Alexandros. This church is built on the site of 4th century Byzantine monastery. This is a really nice peaceful spot and full of birds and butterflies - did not see any snakes but we did see a black stork flying around as well as buzzards.
From here go back to the track - turn left and follow the track as it climbs and winds round the hill - eventually with good views of distant Petra and Molovos and eventually Lafionas close by below. Pass the small church of Ag. Georgios and continue along the track to reach a track junction, go left and walk down to a parking area on the edge of Lafionas village. Take the path which heads down into the village, then turn right and steeply down a
cobbled street, turn next right to reach a shop then left after passing the shop and on into the village square where there are tavernas as well as seats etc.
From the square take the no-entry
road on the far right and after passing a cafe on the right turn right down a street, go under a balcony bridge and then continue on the road which soon becomes a dirt track as it heads downhill. Around half a kilometre from the cafe the track splits, take the left hand fork (the right fork goes to Petra) and climb slightly - stay on this track as it wanders along the hillside passing to the left of a conical shaped hill and then as you approach
another similarly shaped hill the track goes right to circle the hill on it's left. The track then heads down and straightens to eventually arrive at the Petra by-pass road. Turn left and walk back along the by-pass to walk back into Anaxos.etc.
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