A long walk in the hills above Lefkes, Paros, Greece.
A long circular walk out of Lefkes on Paros Island with windmills and several lovely monasteries to look at one the way. This 18km circular walk through the hills above Lefkes can be quite hard
going if the weather is hot. There is a reasonable amount of climbing involved especially during the second half of the walk when you climb up the mostly shadeless track to Aghios Georgios Monastery,
and then just for fun climb some more to continue over the hills before dropping back into Lefkes again. There are no tavernas or anything out on
this walk so you obviously need to take a lot of drink and also have something decent on your feet plus hat etc. etc. - this is a mostly track
walk. A regular bus service runs from Parikia to Lefkes - leave the bus by the tavernas at the top of Lefkes (ask the bus driver if you are not
sure). From the bus stop follow the small road into the village - ignore the road which leads down on the left - continue along round the top of the village soon passing a taverna and then a sign indicating the Byzantine Road.
Continue round the top of the village then at a cafe in front of you turn right on the narrow village road. Then turn right again following the now dirt path round to a junction where the Byzantine Road starts. You may care to take a look at some old wash houses and springs which are hidden amongst shrubs on the left before continuing.
Turn right on a concrete road which climbs quite steeply towards windmills - passing a church amongst fir trees below on the left and with excellent views of Lefkes.
The line of windmills appear above you and there is an old walled path leaving on the left which you can take to reach them - however this path is quite overgrown so you may wish to continue on the road instead.
Either way divert left to look at the windmills - one of which we found we could climb up inside. Return to the road [N37°02'33.81" E025°12'51.07"]
and turn left - stay on this track as it winds it's way across the valley soon with Moni Aghia Kiriaki in view to the left.
The track goes past the Monastery's entrance - apparently this is no longer actually a monastery and is privately owned therefore it's not possible to go inside for a look round.
The track goes across the valley and then bears right soon passing a small church somewhat hidden by some houses and fir trees - then just a little further on reaches another church snuggled in just below the track on the right. This is an essential
stopping place - the church has lots of shaded seating but on top of this you can walk on down to series of streams - the foliage and trees and rocks here are brilliant.
Having spent probably too long wandering around the church surrounds go back onto the track and continue along - Kefalos and the monastery of Aghios Antonios are soon in view - pass a small damn on the left and then reach a track junction
[N37°02'12.96" E025°13'35.54"]. Turn right now heading to the signposted monastery of Aghios Georgios - this is quite a climb of just over 2kms and the track is somewhat bear of foliage but there are
nice views out to the coast. The monastery is yet another essential stopping place and perhaps even more so remember to walk along to the church just above it - if you are lucky the wind will be blowing and you can cool down.
From the monastery continue up the track - again this is quite steep in places as it climbs between trees to then go over the saddle of the hillside.
Keep right at a junction (left takes you to the small church of Aghios Nikolaos - actually we walked down to this nice little church but the track ends there - i.e. it's a dead end) and continue across the hills.
Ignore a rubble track on the left - when a small church and house appear ahead of you fork right off the main track onto a smaller track. This track goes pass the buildings and then climbs a little to rejoin a
main track by some Cyprus trees - go right and continue along as the track climbs up the side of the hill
and eventually joins a tarmac road. The windmills previously visited and then Lefkes Town are visible on the right and on the left high up loom the aerials at Aghii Pantes.
Go right along the tarmac road and follow this for about 2 kilometres - then look for a signpost marked "to Kaparos" where a track crosses the road
- go right here along a nice walled track now heading directly towards Lefkes.
A small church appears on the hill to the left and near here the track comes out on the road - go right and follow the main road passing another small blue roofed church. Shortly after this take steps down on the right -
cross a small track and continue ahead on more steps to finally enter Lefkes - turn left to go back to the bus stop and tavernas.
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