The Round of Rahes on Foot 👣


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Map of the hike: Livadi (Armenistis) – Agios Dimitrios – Christos Rahes – Kastanies (Tragostasi) – Mikro Fragma (Vathes) – Agios Polikarpos – Livadi (Armenistis)Specifications: Length: 14 kilometers, Duration: 7-8 hours, Terrain: all kinds, with certain rough parts, Difficulty: medium on average, Marking: adequate, Water and food available in the villages
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Dear readers
As our lockdown in Greece was about to end last week the boys were listening to the Greek Deputy Minister for Sports, Lefteris Avgenakis on TV. He was saying that due to the health crisis all major sports events (read, football) are cancelled. The boys were very sad over this so I turned and paid attention. The Minister of Great God Football concluded his announcement with these words: 

«It is certain that the crisis of the pandemic we are experiencing has created opportunities. This fact makes us very happy. We continue in the direction of promoting our health and I invite you to look for forms of alternative sports and to discover the joy of these activities and the endless beauty of our country».

I was really startled! I had never expected a Sports Minister of a Mediterranean country to suggest hiking instead of football!

Consequently, I see myself as perfectly complying with the government request as I am writing this article about hiking. It is, of course, about hiking in Ikaria and in particular, about hiking on one of the oldest and best hiking trails on my island, the «The Round of Rahes on Foot», a natural and cultural heritage trail created about 20 years ago which was just recently worked afresh by the members of the local hiking club OPS Ikarias.

This famed hike starts very near Armenistis. This village is the main tourist town of the island, therefore the Round, unlike the other distant hikes on the mountains, was designed as an easy self-guided sightseeing walk for plain tourists – not necessarily The plan of the Round of Rahes on Foot looks like a lassoexperienced hikers. The plan of the Round is like a lasso with the hiker walking first on the spoke to the honda and then following the loop rightwards back to the honda and on the spoke again to go back to Armenistis. The spoke streches along the ravine of the river Charakas for 2-3 km but after the honda the loop rises away from the river and cruises around Rahes properly speaking, through terraced fields, gardens, olive groves and pine woods, on narrow stony trails, village lanes and modern motor roads across village squares, until the peak of the hike (Point 12 on the map), the beautiful mountainous landscape at the two small lakes «Mikro Fragma» (alt. 500 m.) and the Monastery «Evangelistria Mounte», two perfect spots for resting and maybe deciding instead of going back on the Round to try one of the three long trails which start right in that area…

But what am I doing? You can read everything about Rahes and the Round of Rahes in the fact sheet attached to the digital map of the hike. Both of these very helpful documents are in English, with texts and captions based on the historical, printed edition of the Round issued in Greek nearly two decades ago. The new map, besides sights, important locations and countless photos, also includes the spots where the Round meets some very insteresting distant hikes, such as «The Trail in Chalares Canyon», «The Trail of Atheras Ridge», «The Trail in Myrsonas» and «The Trail of the Elves».

When in Ikaria, either you are a visitor or a resident, I advise you to follow this trail inside a mountain/island landscape, typical of the Mediterranean, yet carrying a peculiar tint which both estranges and befriends. It’s placid and in the same time it’s wild like… well, like m«Seven Power Spots in Ikaria» - an article in my blog about the work of Hiking Club of Ikaria in trail designing, sight spotting and mapmaking.e! So, I am naming today the Round of Rahes on Foot as The 8th Power Spot in Ikaria! Let these few photos below, taken by me in that area a long time ago, stand as enough evidence. Thanks!

😘
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Typical Ikarian rock houseIkaria blog 225: The boulders under the pines of RahesIkaria blog 238: Hills of Terraced fields with vines and cereals in RahesIkaria blog 226: the church and bell tower of Christos Rahes at duskIkaria blog 187: Cascades in Charakas river along the Round of Rahes on FootNana to agrimi's Blog: Φρυγανότοπος με Αγκάθια στην Ικαρία - Ikaria potamosIkaria blog 255: The little we see from the sea through the forests in RahesIkaria blog 114: Entering Agios Polikarpos village - Check point KKEIkaria blog 205: Rahes in spring time - View from the trailIkaria blog 158: Gates along the trail - Open, pass and close! Ikaria blog 029: Inside the Pinus brutia pine forestsIkaria blog 207: Agios Panteleimon, a chapel lost somewhere in the landscape
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The Round of Rahes Hiking Signs
NOTE 1: Large sustainable tourism projects like this don’t just happen by magic. At the end of their article about their work on this trail the makers express their gratitude to «Amikaria» and «Friends of Ikaria», two associations who have offered a lot to the project. Big thanks from me too!

Ikarian Sweetheart by nuktimedusa on instagramNOTE 2: Although the Round is 14 km long, we are talking about an easy to medium hike never running too far away from inhabited areas. Even if so, however, the lovers of adventure in the complicated landscape of Rahes will surely find several secret spots to enjoy nature in private.

Believe me, we know! 😉 😋

 

 

Armenistis – Agios Dimitrios – Christos Rahes – Kastanies – Mikro Fragma – Moni Mounte – Agios Polikarpos – Armenistis

 

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Friday, May 8, 2020
 

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9 Σχόλια on “The Round of Rahes on Foot 👣”

  1. Ο/Η girl of the last chance λέει:
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    Heureusement, ce lasso n’est pas trop serré 🙂 Ce lasso laisse une grande liberté de mouvement 😉 😋 😉 😋 😉 😋

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    Look deep into nature,and then you 'll understand everything better• by maria_chatzikanellou on instagram

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    😉 🙂

    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  2. Ο/Η Θεοδώριχος λέει:
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    Admirable blogging skills, as usual. If not for anything else, your beautiful article is packed with useful material. But what I appreciated most was the introductory note I saw in my feed of this post. It won’t happen but it was great someone has spoken out!
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    «I dare say: could the world health crisis turn into something good for our island? Could the radical changes in social behavior be a good opportunity for Ikaria to finally and clearly focus on its assets as a destination for mild outdoor activities like hiking rather than mass tourism climaxes? This is the time, I think, to make the best of our countless mapped and marked trails spreading in all directions across most scenic and varied mountain landscapes still untouched by «progress». In this article I am presenting one of the oldest and best of these trails, «The Round of Rahes on Foot», recently renovated by the local hiking club «OPS Ikarias».

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    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  3. Ο/Η egotoagrimi λέει:
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    No hanging around in bars
    and no village festivals in Ikaria this summer…

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    panigiri fever

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    This season will be for…

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    hikers

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    and swimmers in secret beaches!

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    😉 🙂

    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  4. Ο/Η elinalafina λέει:
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    There has been a lot of hiking on the trails during the lockdown in Ikaria already be residents.

    Let me add that by some miracle the river pools of Charakas are not dirty anymore!

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    I believe they look again as they should look.

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    Charakas

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    The best ones are located in the lower part of the river, a bit below the course of the hike.

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    But of course there is good water there not later than May.

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    Great post, Eleni!!!
    Let’s hope something good for Ikaria
    will come out of the evil…

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    ^^’

    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  5. Ο/Η Ορειβατικός Πεζοπορικός Σύλλογος Ικαρίας λέει:
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    Though it could be just for impressions only to add something for comfort, cheers for Mr Avgenakis’s wrods! Thank you Eleni! Your blog is so much more powerful than ours…
    As for the introductory note in the feed, it should be food for thought for some people. But mostly it should be food for action! A call for action!

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  6. Ο/Η angelosk λέει:
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    May I add how much children and all the young ones love the Round? We are both parents and you know what fun it is to look for 👣 and follow orange dots in the wild heading for unknown destinations 🙂

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    Greek Scouts in Ikaria Greek Scouts in Ikaria

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    For the rest, you know that I couldn’t agree more with your introduction. It’s perfectly to the point. But I think perhaps it’s too radical for Ikaria. Fortunately of unfortunately, we always let things come as they come. You have given us a good push though, I think, to the right direction.

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    🙂

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  7. Ο/Η Esti Val λέει:
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    I am more than willing to forget about football. I’ll walk this hike. Just wear red and I will follow you anywhere in Ikaria 😉

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    Ikaria 015 des

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    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα


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