near Áno Zarós, Crete (Greece)
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A walk that is very easy to follow with plenty of red marks on rocks, along with many parts of the trail wooden and mesh fence along the route.
There is a bit of everything on this walk.
Climbing up steep steps cut into the rock, easy walking under shady trees, negotiating largish boulders and rocks, keeping your balance on slippery shale stones and walking over several wooden bridges.
The walk is the same way down as it is up and not a circular, however there are several alternative routes that emanate from the top if you do not wish to repeat the same route.
I have not walked them so I cannot advise on there suitability or length, or even where they end up.
I did not see any road leading away from the top, but there were some 4x4 vehicles parked by the church, so their must be some sort of trail up and down.
I did see some very young children with their parents going up this trail, I however would not recommend this as it is not a very easy trail which offers no alternative exit if the going gets too hard or tiring and they will have to return to the start.
An enjoyable albeit fairly tough walk. (For me anyway)
To start the walk you walk through the nice scenic lake setting and through the small cafe where you will see some steps with a wooden rail to your right.
The actual start.
Pass through the cafe, where the artifical grass stops and start up the steps
Pass this sign
At the end of the steps, turn left with the wire fence on your left and just follow the well worn path.
Along the path you will see the large blue domed church, however the trail bypasses this as you walk around the right hand side perimeter.
Small river bed
Along a small dried up river bed acrooss to the other side and follow the path up to the right.
Keep right by the sign
The path is easy to negotiate with loads of markers all the way to the top.
Another fenced path
Just follow the fence
Up the cut steps, fairly steep
Small part of the trail that goes down
Follow the red marks going around to your left. A bit of rocks and boulders to negotiate around
same rock area
Up a few larger boulders, no handholds though
Shaded tree area
Once you have got near here it is fairly level and well shaded
well worn pathway
Easy to follow trail
Agou Nikolaou Gorge
Small gorge of the same name above goes to the right. Admire but go left to continue the trail
Another shot of the gorge
Follow the red markers on
keep going up slight slope
Follow pathway going up again
At the sign post go right and follow the footpath which continues up. The pathway is ongoing up with the wooden rail missing and broken in many places. A few small landslides over the winter create small areas of loose gravel
View looking down
View looking down while following trail. This is defintely a single line part of the trail
More steps, still going up
View of path below
Looking down on the pathway you have already done to give you an idea of the height that you have climbed
Seating area built around a tree with good views and a good water drinking / snack point
Loose small rocks
Fairly slippery area of small loose pepples where you go down before picking up the track again
Continue over stony area a few larger boulders to get over, some shade from trees always welcome
Still a rocky area, but plenty of red markers to follow
More steps going up
Continue on, be aware fence is not always there and the path is fairly narrow with a fairly high drop
Another large boulder area
More larger boulders to climb over
Second wooden bridge
Very secure wooden bridge to pass over to continue the trek
Low rock, watch your head
You have already walked a longish but fairly flat and scattered shaded area, but watch your head with some of the low branches and rocks
Path continues with a decent hand rail
A few areas where it narrows, stunning walk with plenty of birds of prey circulating and great rock formations. There is normally a few patches of water puddles around this area throughout the year.
After going through the small narrow area it opens out onto large tree lined area with plenty of tabele and seats. There is a low small brick enclove that has fresh water available from a tap. Beware of greedy goats wanting to pinch your food, lol. They are very persistant.
The walk not finished until you touch the church door.