Aghios Dhonatos to Pirghos and back walk on Lefkada Greece.
is the second highest location on the Ionian Island of Lefkas and although you are obviously quite high up the area is somewhat unusual since you discover that there is a quite large flat plateau with lots of fields to be enjoyed.
The area is still used by the local farmers who grow corn, grapes and also have large herds of sheep and goats out grazing - and in the Spring some of the fields are covered in masses of wild flowers - plus seemingly thousands of the attendant bees, moths and butterflies.
We went up there quite a few times whilst on our Lefkada holiday which was taken in late May and enjoyed several walks we did around the area - and quite unusually for Lefkas one walk was almost a circular
Often as not we finished our day out walking by driving the fairly short distance over to the Lefkada naturist beach at Kathisma
- all in all a great day out and we even missed the heavy thunderstorms which occurred around Nidhri that afternoon but did not affect our side of the island.
Lefkada Greece walk from Aghios Dhonatos to Pirghos and back. Assuming you have a car to get to the start the best place to park is by the nice little church of Aghios Dhonatos which is located above Egklouvi - there are quite a few old stone houses to look at around here and a picnic area.
Continue ahead on the small road - this soon descends and the whole plateau and it's extensive series of fields open up before you - also above in the distance you can see the aerials which are sat on top of Pirghos. The walk is very straightforward since you simply follow the narrow surfaced road (ignore the track leaving on the
right shortly after starting the walk) - the quiet road does a huge loop round the right hand side of the plateau. In May we found there was so much to see and enjoy, from rocky outcrops to huge fields of red poppies and larkspur - plus a huge variety of butterflies and all sorts of bees.
Around 4.5kms from the start you will be walking with a gully below on the left.
It is worth trying to spot a narrow path which goes down through this gully and heads towards the flat area since you will need to find this on the way back.
As the road bends sharply left you reach a junction with a broad track going off on the right (this actually goes to Aghia Paraskevi Monastery and then on to Aghios Ilias so if you were cycling and wanted to circle back to Nidhri you could go this way and continue via Alatro and
Charadhiaka and onto the coast).
To continue the walk just stay on the metal road - this now starts to bend to the left and eventually climbs in earnest as it gets nearer Pirghos. Eventually at the aerials the main feature apart from the great views is that the whole road surface is covered in sheep and goat droppings - so you can imagine the flies etc. Having achieved the climb and
enjoyed the views there is not much hesitation in turning back down the road. Shortly after passing the track junction (now on the left) make your way half right across the grassy/scrub area on the right-hand side of the road and look out for the start of the previously mentioned narrow path you hopefully spotted on the way up. This narrow path goes fairly straight and downwards heading
towards the plateau and eventually meets up with a (usually) dry stream bed on the right.
Sometimes the path does totally disappear but stay on the left hand side of the stream bed keeping always in the same basic direction and you will find it again.
As you near the flat area terraced fields appear on the right however don't be tempted to cut down to these too early as you will find lots of thorn and bramble and have to keep climbing over walls. Basically stay ahead and join the clearer field area as you now head straight towards two concrete wells and several trees. A
grassy track starts from the wells - follow this track as it goes between fields of grapes, poppies and corn (there were so many butterflies, birds and bees etc around the area it was unbelievable) all the way back to the original small tarmac road. Turn right and walk back up the hill to the start at Aghios Dhonatos.
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