Take the ferry to Sougia. Stop for a short while in this lovely village to sample breakfast yoghurt at a taverna. Gather plenty of water and provisions for the journey from one of the small supermarkets round the corner. Walk back along the front towards the harbour but bear right to walk up the gorge like a miniature Samaria). Follow the waymarks – these take several forms and can be either:
Signposts with a black E4 on a yellow background.
Paint spots or arrows marked on rocks (red, blue or yellow).
Piles (small pyramids) of stones. (Cairns)
Take care towards the end of the gorge – look for and follow the track which zigzags up the left side of the gorge. When at the top follow a more gentle slope across the crest following red markers and E4 posts.
When you reach the other side of this hill you have a panoramic view of Lissos bay to the left and the ancient city in the valley below. There are two threshing circles clearly visible to the left. Follow the zig-zag path down to the valley floor. Towards the bottom you will pass close to the Greco-Roman Temple where a health centre (Asklepilion) once flourished and part of the 1st Century A.D,. mosaic floor can be seen. This was the source of the sacred medicinal water of Lissos. Follow the track towards the shingle beach. There is a ‘house’ in the middle of the valley and it is possible to get a drink there from a pipe coming from the spring.
On the gentler western slope of the valley there are a group of tombs like small stone huts with barrel-vaulted (curved) roofs. There is also a small ruined theatre and two 13th C. Churches.
The small church at the back of the beach (to the east) has many re-used pieces of marble etc. incorporated originating from the earlier builds. There are also lots of pot sherds and other objects around the area.
If you do not wish to re-trace your steps (climb the hill) to Sougia there is a workmen’s boat which leaves here at 2:00pm from Sougia.
Walking both ways is not too bad. It should take about one and a half hours to walk there and about one hour to get back. The ferry is nearly always late for the return to Paleochora but you should be at the harbour at 5pm just in case!
Walk down the concrete track towards the beach but turn right over the river bridge. Turn right again when you meet the tarmac road. Don’t worry too much, the tarmac only continues for about half a mile. Follow this road up the valley (Anidri gorge). After crossing the river bridge, the road changes to a rough track, concreted in places where it passes through the narrow, steep walled gorge. There are some interesting caves on the left. Follow the main track throughout the olive groves, continually going upwards until you get the village of Anidri.
Anidri is only a small village, and it will take you very little time to have a good look around. There is a water tap on the left hand side of the road which continues through the village. Look for the village church, on the south side of the village. It is worth looking inside as it is double-naved and has some fine frescoes. The walk to here will take about one hour.
If you are still feeling fit look to the south. You can see a church on the top of a hill. To reach this takes about 20 minutes. Go down hill from the village church following the concrete path, then the track through the olive groves always heading towards the church on the hill. At the bottom of the hill there are several goat tracks. Take the one straight ahead, over a couple of terraces. You should find a more distinct path bearing left – this is the beginning of the only zig-zag stone built path to the top. The views from the top are staggering and make the walk well worth while even though the camera cannot do it justice. Return down the same path to Anidri village and Olive Tree Cottages.
Instead of returning to the Olive Tree Cottages, in Anidiri, turn right just past the School house (this stands on its own in the centre of the village). Keep heading down hill, zig-zagging through the olive groves to the dry river bed. Turn right and follow the river bed to the sea. Look for the red dot waymarks. Some parts are a bit tricky and require some dexterity. It may take up to an hour to get to the Anidri beaches from the village. To return to Olive Tree Cottages look for the E4 and red dot waymarks on the west side of the valley
Walk down the concrete track towards the beach, turning left to walk along the track above the beach. At the far end, after the very sandy part, the track becomes single file and begins to rise to the left. There is an E4 sign at the bottom. Unfortunately, the track extends to about 20 feet or so of the top and then skirts around the edge of this cliff. /this may prove to be difficult for people who have problems with heights.
Once past this section the track continues to the top, giving a very good view of the three beaches at Anidri. Follow the markers across and down the hill to the beach which takes your fancy. These beaches, also known as Gialiskari, have much finer pebbles. The ones to the right can be sheltered on a windy day.
The far beach, is very fine shingle. Take a suitable container and tool to collect sea salt from the rock pools at the far end. It takes about three quarters of an hour to reach the Anidri beaches from Olive Tree Cottages.
This is best done in the cool of an early morning. Follow the above instructions for Anidri beaches then just follow the waymarks. Follow the long sweep of the bay keeping the sea on your right. Eventually the track leaves the shore to climb over the peninsular and down to Lissos.
Follow the track and waymarks up the zig-zag path to the top, over the plateau and down to the gorge to Sougia. This walk may take up to five and a half hours so allow plenty of time to catch the boat back
Walk to Paleochora, turn right opposite the ferry to the sand beach. Go to the waters edge and turn right towards the mountain. With the sea on your left progress along the beach, pass the last taverna on the right, then over the rocky foreshore. Eventually notice a small beach where it looks as if concrete has been laid at the waters edge. This seems to be fine sandstone but the interesting thing about it is that many circular blocks (and some square ones) have been removed.
There are some circles in the process of being cut. Any guesses as to what these were for – Circular stones for knife sharpening or just making circular troughs to collect salt? A little way further on and the rocks become much larger and eventually you must get on to the road. Notice the large sea caves to the right. Following the road will take you past many small but popular pebble beaches. Unfortunately the road can be very busy with vehicles speeding by.
After reaching the Tropicana taverna you can swim off the beach opposite, eat a good long lunch and afterwards walk slowly back to Paleochora. To get the Tropicana taverna from Olive Tree Cottages should take about one and a half hours.
Walk to Paleochora. Continue up High Street (Tin Polin Katharan), passing the very interesting church with a tall bell tower outside. Follow the steps up, passing a taverna on the left. Very soon you will be in the castle area. There is a WWII gun emplacement on the east of the plateau and also an electricity generating station. Little remains of the castle (1279) itself except some stretches of fairly well preserved walls. There are signs that a few archaeological digs seem to have taken place. The views of the town, the commercial harbour, and surrounding are excellent.
This walk is easiest described from the sandy beach side. Face sandy beach then turn left and walk up the road with the beach to your right. Follow this all round the peninsular. You will pass the town football pitch and the commercial docks. A little diversion over the path of waste ground at the end may be interesting. Once past the farthest point the road passes through pretty, tightly packed cottages and back to the town centre.