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Kythera Trails: M31 Pirate Invasion

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Photo ofKythera Trails: M31 Pirate Invasion Photo ofKythera Trails: M31 Pirate Invasion Photo ofKythera Trails: M31 Pirate Invasion

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Trail stats

Distance
5.77 mi
Elevation gain
725 ft
Technical difficulty
Moderate
Elevation loss
725 ft
Max elevation
1,126 ft
TrailRank 
61
Min elevation
537 ft
Trail type
Loop
Moving time
2 hours 10 minutes
Time
2 hours 55 minutes
Coordinates
1595
Uploaded
September 5, 2023
Recorded
September 2023
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1,126 ft
537 ft
5.77 mi

near Potamós, Attica (Greece)

Viewed 49 times, downloaded 3 times

Trail photos

Photo ofKythera Trails: M31 Pirate Invasion Photo ofKythera Trails: M31 Pirate Invasion Photo ofKythera Trails: M31 Pirate Invasion

Itinerary description

Kythera Trails: M31 Pirate Invasion

In September 1537, a devastating event marked Kythera forever. The fabled capital of the island, Agios Dimitrios, which is also known as Paliochora, was besieged and looted by the admiral of the ottoman fleet, the corsair Hayreddin Barbarossa. The surviving inhabitants were sold as slaves at the slave markets of Algiers and Tunis. Ever since, Paliochora is abandoned and, according to locals, it is still haunted as the “fousata”, the pirates’ shadows, patrol the area and the women’s cries echo from the time of the disaster. Today, the ruined citadel still stands in a unique location, between sheer gorges, well-hidden by the surrounding hills.

The best way to discover Paliochora is by walking the trails of route M31, which were probably also used by the pirates in order to invade the city. Starting from the square of Potamos, with the open market every Sunday and the distinctive British stone bridge, one leg of the route follows the old trail, which connects the fertile meadows of Trifillianika to Paliochora, while passing through ravines, hills and abandoned olive groves. Until recently, at Vrochantarika, the verdant ravine with the ever-flowing stream, a big feast was taking place for the celebration of Panagia of Phoros after the liturgy. Further on, one can see Agia Varvara, an exceptional monument of Monemvasian architecture, as well as the rock of Paliochora, just as how people were beholding it for centuries.

A long part of the other leg of the route follows a fordable ravine, covered with evergreen Cretan maple trees in a mystical landscape with rock shelters and dry-stone constructions, such as walls and ramps, which reveal past human presence in that space. The ravine ends at the Fountain of Trifillianika, among gardens and fields, and then ascends to a forest with pine, eucalyptus and strawberry trees, where the theatre of Potamos lies.
Nearby, the “Tree of Joy and Sorrow” stands, a place where families said farewell with tears of sorrow
to those emigrating or welcomed back with tears of joy those who were returning. Coming back to Potamos, the trail passes by “Astikon”, one of the schools built by the British.

More info: www.kytheratrails.gr

Waypoints

PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,194 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,101 ft
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PictographIntersection Altitude 1,108 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,039 ft
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PictographIntersection Altitude 1,026 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,019 ft
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PictographIntersection Altitude 986 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 937 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 914 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 861 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 638 ft
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PictographIntersection Altitude 628 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 674 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 674 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 618 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 562 ft
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PictographCave Altitude 598 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 638 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 713 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 845 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 881 ft
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PictographIntersection Altitude 881 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 990 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,045 ft
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PictographIntersection Altitude 1,029 ft
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PictographInformation point Altitude 1,069 ft
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PictographIntersection Altitude 1,085 ft
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PictographWaypoint Altitude 1,098 ft
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