WALKING TOURISM IN MESSINIA - TERRABOOK : Both locals and visitors are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of exploring the beautiful countryside on foot, but to do so requires "... the visitor's attention and genuine and persistent desire to experience the real image of the place....." The area has a great weather advantage with 6 months (spring/autumn) favouring hikes. For those wanting to see the beauty and secrets of the land, WALKING TOURISM has details of Greek nature, ideal for all ages, including in Messinia, Mpiliova
Mpiliovo: This is a Taygetos stone path, 3 km in length, built in 1904 by local residents for the communication between the mountain villages. It has 83 turns (of which 78 are 180 degrees) that rises from Sotirianika (height 300 m) to Altomira (height 800 m), two of the villages of West Mani. The view of the Messinian Gulf is unobstructed and breathtaking. The hiking ascent to Mpiliovo is one of the most popular trails in Messinia. It takes about two to two and a half hours, if one is fit.
Gialova Nature Trail : A nature trail has been created in the lagoon of Gialova, by the Ornithological Society. It is a kilometer long and crosses the eight major ecosystems found in one of the most important wetlands in Greece. Each ecosystem along the route is fully signposted with information for the visitor. The total journey takes 45 minutes and is an easy, educational path for all ages. THARROS (November 2015)
IMPROVED SIGNAGE ON TAYGETOS ROUTE: Starting last summer, the Mountaineering Club of Kalamata has been marking one of the most beautiful routes from Ag Dimitrios in the Vassiliki Forest, up to the top of the highest Taygetos peak, Prophet Elias.The task was completed on July 9th 2015.
The route involves many changes of scenery in a spectacular setting. The first part passes through the beautiful woods of the Vasilica to reach the alpine zone. The trail continues to the col Patisto (MOUSGA), the most beautiful balcony of Taygetus. The rest of the route is even more impressive, as it now moves up to the main ridge of Taygetus, which forms the boundary of the prefectures of Messinia and Laconia. The last part goes on to the top of Prophet Elias, and the chapel at the peak.
The path until last year had major problems in signage. In many places there were branches and parallel paths, so it was confusing to newcomers and people were getting lost. Signs were made with the criterion of selection of the best and safer route, where possible, so it is possible for less experienced climbers to use the route. The group were delighted because the completion of the marking of the trail coincided with the restoration of the church and the surrounding area on top of Prophet Elias tharros and video (July 2015)
HIKING ROUTES AROUND KARDAMYLI: Hugo has sent us information about the walking routes shown on the excellent Anavasi walking map 8 .12/13. The routes have all been checked and in recent weeks the coloured markers identifying the routes have been repainted where needed.
For a list of the routes and the colour codes used, click on
KARDAMYLI ROUTES (April 2014)
PATH FROM PROSILIO TO KALIVES: Last week, Norwegian reader, Hugo Asphaug cleared and marked the footpath/kalderimi from Prosilio to Kalives. He has also produced PDFs with a map, pictures and details of the walk for PROSILO>KALIVES and KALIVES>PROSILIO . It is a very nice walk from Prosilio and a beautiful view. When you are coming down to Kalives you have several options where to go: - up to Pedino/Tseria, down to the gorge and to Sotiros monastery, or down to the gorge to Likaki monastery and from there up to Agia Sofia. Hugo also has a Facebook page, in Norwegian, about what is happening in and around Kardamyli Kardamyli - Hva skjer ? (March 2014)
PATH FROM ALTOMIRA TO SOTIRIANIKA: One of the most notable and best preserved traditional paths in Messinia, which was built in 1904, has been declared a monument by the Minister of Culture and Sport who said " Following this decision, any action on the footpath or any construction activities in the vicinity is prohibited, without the prior approval of the Ministry Culture and Sport . The old cobbled path «Μπίλιοβο» which is 2962m long, was built with great diligence and technical knowledge and is historically connected with the social and economic development of the region. ( For more on the walk see INSIDE MANI ) (23-10-13)
PATH FROM TRACHILA TO LAGADA BLOCKED: The path that goes up from the far end of Trachila to the old village of Smougha and on up to Ag Nikon, has been blocked. It is signed for walkers to LAGADA GORGE, but a barrier has been put across the path just before the path crosses the base of the gorge, and there is a steep drop on the right hand side . (2-4-2013) Route clear March 2014
SHORT, EASY WALK NEAR PLATSA: During 2012, the Cultural Assoc of Platsa, cleared the track and restored the area around "AVLI" springs. The 1.2km walk starts just below Platsa on the back road up from Ag Dimitrios to Platsa. The track is mainly on the level and roughly follows the contours round the base of the new amphitheatre, which is about half way, and then on to the springs. (Jan 2013)
PATH FROM THALAMES TO TRACHILA: Alex and friends have cleared the southern path. Starting from the Platanos in Thalames take the road behind the Morea olive oil mill, and follow it past the church, towards the cemetery. Just before you reach the cemetery there is a dirt road branching off to the left that you need to follow. It leads past some goat sheds and to a small new stone house. The dirt road continues past a gate, but the kalderimi itself begins on the left beside the gate to the house. This section is just under 1 km. Half a km down the kalderimi you find a small chapel on the left, and a further 600 meters down a small cypress grove with an old sterna. This is the only tricky point, as there are several paths leading away. The one you want is on the far right, closed off with a crossbar and fencing. From the sterna to the end of the kalderimi is another 1.4 km, and beyond that another 400 meters to the Trachila steps leading to the water.Total distance therefore just under 4 km. Anyone with some time and patience could certainly improve this section, however it is now fully passable, although shorts and Birkenstocks are not recommended! ( Sept 2012 )
KALDERIMI - NEOCHORI TO GHONATSA: Ed and Gunilla have now cleared the kalderimi from Neochori north to Ghonatsa. But walk carefully , as there are loose stones in some areas. (March 2012 )
THE PATH FROM ISNA TO PYRGOS is open. Andrea and friends from Ano Riglia have been clearing the path from Isna ( Eleochori ) to Pyrgos. Although it is not quite finished, it can now be walked easily without getting lost or wearing leather trousers, and they would like people to use the path. ( March 2012 )
MANI WALKS AUTUMN 2012
From September 4th Dave and Steve continue their weekly walks.from Stoupa. If you want to join them, just turn up at the Lefktron Hotel in Stoupa at 9.30 on a Tuesday morning. The walks usually end at a local kafenion for lunch, arriving back at Stoupa around 3pm. MANI WALKS For more information contact Dave (0030)6932 798 690
NEW WALKING MAPS
November 2010 : Following an enquiry from one of our members - A message from Ivy at Anavasi.gr
The map of Mani: Aghios Nikolaos Traxila has been out of stock for over 3 years now.
It will be in stock in Winter - Spring 2011, but in a totally different concept, look and format. As Mani: Kardhamili went out of stock too, we will merge these two maps and extend them to the wider area too (I can't tell how much yet, though) and make one superb walking map for Exo Mani (that is the Messinian part of Mani).
It will remain in the same scale 1:25 000 but that's about the only thing that will remain the same! We are now using a high (see high-end) resistant paper (actually paper only by name - it's plastic). Totally indestructable, totally water-proof, totally damage-proof and of course fold-proof. We will walk all the new footpaths in the area and record all changes in the road network.
Footpath descriptions will be enriched with photos and elevation diagrams. With a richer key to the map we will be able to show more on local culture and development. For eg. in our new 1:250 000 Macedonia map we pin-point the wineries, in our Peloponnese map the "Xenia" hotels/hostels part of our architectural inheritance.
Stay updated from our website! ANAVASI