Petra to Petra Walk on Lesbos, Greece.
A long walk from Petra via Vafios and eventually back to Petra, Lesbos Island Greece.
This 22km wander was one of our favourite walks whilst we were on holiday on Lesbos, in particular because two parts of it involved paths and fields which were covered in foliage and flowers (in early May) as well as lots of rocks and
several streams, quite apart from the abundant reptiles and birds. The tracks' part was also a delight to walk along (and up/down) because of the birds, trees and shrubs etc.. The only poor part of the walk was near Molovos where you get treated to a distant view of an incredibly
scruffy rubbish tip but this is only visible for a few minutes. At around 22km this is quite a hard walk due to both distance and the probable heat - with the only drinks available at Vafios.
This walks starts from the main square in Petra, - walk along the main road with the sea on the left to reach the large yellow OTE building, turn right alongside this building and follow the road inland as it wanders along to join the main Petra by-pass road.
Cross over and take the road on the left which goes past the Evangelia apartments and then continues more or less straight as it passes through farmland and for a while alongside a stream towards the hills ahead. About 1.5kms from the by-pass you come to a t-junction by farm buildings, turn
left up what is a quite slippery gravel track which winds up quite steeply into the hills to reach a cross track. Turn left soon passing a concrete culvert on the left, and after about 200 metres look on the right for a path marked Vafios - this path is initially quite overgrown and rocky but soon improves..
This is a really nice path going through all sorts of undergrowth and various trees, with heavily mossed rocks at times and an opportunity to see a snake or two as well. The path climbs steadily up hill with occasional blue dots to assist - after a very rocky area which might be a little wet you come to a
gate on the left, go through this and then continue on the path. Eventually the path seems to end by some very large boulders liberally marked with blue dots, (we think the path originally continued but has now been mostly destroyed by a bulldozer) - go right here possibly through high grass and
scrub to climb up onto a track - this is only a few metres away. Turn left along the track and follow it down to cross a stream bed (we saw tortoises here) - continue in the same direction up the hill opposite - this is blue dot marked and after a few metres cross another track, climb
on up across rough ground for just a short distance to reach the main tarmac road.
Turn right and follow the road round it's hairpins - passing two tavernas then just after the second taverna (Taverna Vafios) turn right up a broad cobbled street into the village. The street becomes very steep and also narrows considerably - simply stay
on this to the top, then turn left passing a local cafe to emerge on a concreted area. Go right and then left up the concrete path to reach a track. Stay on this track which winds downhill and then along the hill side to reach a junction (about 3/4 of a kilometre from the concrete area).
Turn left and now simply stay on the track and keeping left at another track junction to eventually reach and re-join the main road.
Cross the road and take the track to the right of a large single storey white building - the track swings round to the right then climbs a little as it heads towards the church. Just before the church - Ag. Ioannis - take note of a grass track going off on the right, however continue on up to the church to have a look
round. Return back to the previously noted grass track and take this across the field - it passes an enclosed spring on the left and then goes through a gate - this area can be quite muddy and wet. The fields and whole area around here are just a mass of wild flowers in the spring.
Follow the path as it goes along the field edge, drops down between rocks along another field then goes slightly right and continues as a rocky stream bed for a while. Cross the stream after which the path bears diagonally left up through scrub, then bends right between trees to then descend down to a gate by
another river. Cross the river on the stepping stones, then stay on the path as it goes diagonally left up the side of the valley, the river becoming ever further below you on the left. The path is stony, sometimes quite narrow but very easy to walk and follow - it gradually rises to come
out by some large rocks to meet a track - there are farm buildings opposite. Turn left down the track and stay on this as it winds slowly down and around the hills, with nice views of the valley and the coast on the right - the track eventually comes to a junction.
Ahead you can see several farms and also the wonderful sight of the rubbish tip. Turn left and now follow this track as it winds down hill then at a hairpin bend ignore the track on the right, continue on down i.e. staying on the main track. As the track levels out it swings round to the right and a track
joins from the left, head on towards and past a sheep farm which straddles the track. Stay on this track to eventually reach a track junction, turn left and then left again shortly afterwards to soon reach a concrete bridge (a track comes in from the right).
Cross the bridge and continue on the track as it swings round to reach the main road. Turn left and after several 100 metres take a track on the right marked "To Petra". Stay on this track as it passes the reservoir and continues. When Petra comes into view away on the
right you pass the original path used to Vafios and just after that the concrete culvert and then the track junction, here go right to walk back into Petra.
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