‘The Hiking Trails of Ikaria’ – illustrated interview by OPS Ikarias


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In life it's not where you go but who you you travel withHello readers!  ❤ 😀

You know that my blog likes interviews and this one… well, it’s a good one because it’s like a documentary! I mean that you can just stare at the photos (loads of them) streaming over the questions and answers, only that I thought that the context was interesting too, so I got into the trouble to translate the whole thing in English and then I sent it over to be added as subtitles to the video on youtube. Which video is an illustrated version of an interview to my good Ikarian friend, Angelos K., founding member and representative of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association of Ikaria (OPS Ikarias), by Babis Kokosis for «The Hiking Trails of Greece» a regular radio show on «The Voice of Greece», the international Greek state Radio (ERA 5). Unlike what you might have expected, the pictures do not show landscapes and trails and maps and stuff like that but people!
As the introduction goes:

«The photos showing in this video made by OPS Ikarias were taken along our various hiking trips and many other activities in the nature of Ikaria from 2008 to 2016. They are a tribute to our older and newer friends and members of the Club who walk and enjoy the island’s fascinating landscapes and take part in the club’s projects and activities. They are our inspiration and our one and only support. This video is dedicated to them!»

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***Find button to turn on "subtitles". Seen best in full screen mode!
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You can read my translation of Angelos’s radio interview by opening this link to OPS Ikarias Google docs. The interviewer introduces the show like this:

«Today we will visit Ikaria, an island that has managed, in spite of the growing tourist development, to maintain a big part of its cultural traditions.
The natural particularities of Ikaria are many. They are shaped by the geographical features and the position of the island in the Aegean Sea. Ikaria consists of a long mountainous mass stretching from east to west forming a ridge with heights over 1000 m. and separating the island in two sides: the northern side with mild slopes, forestlands and abundant waters, and the southern side with stony grounds and steep slopes. Therefore, it displays an impressive variety of landscapes and natural sights which the visitor can discover by following its numerous trails while getting in touch with its history and the legendary particular way of life of its inhabitants.
Let’s find out a bit more about the hiking routes of the island as well as what a hiker may encounter in them through our talk with Mr. Angelos Kalokairinos, representative of the local Hiking Club.»

read more...

And if you are a Greek reader you can check out the original transcript in this link.

The video, seen best in full screen mode, it goes without saying, includes a selection of pictures from the Flickr Album: «Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria».  I have exercised my influence 🙂 and gotten a specially coded link so you can see all the pictures -not only the public ones. So take advantage of this privilege and enjoy an amazing slideshow! But if you just like a quick view, here is the album straight out of Flickr:

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Mountain Climbing & Hiking Club of Ikaria, a set on Flickr

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Eleni Ik

https://www.561media.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/heart.png 

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Ikaria, May 14 2016
[BIG DAY!]

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Mushrooms!



Hello friends! 🙂 🙂 🙂
This is a reblog from the OPS Ikarias blog about their recent
 
Parasol mushroom (Lepiota proсеrа)a guided group hike inside a wooded mountain ravine, looking for mushrooms and learning their names, getting to know their qualities and the big part they play in the eco-system. I am sharing this post because, like many Ikarians, I love mushrooms. I like to look for them, I like to pick them, to eat them, to talk about them, to take pictures of them -like for example, that unforgettable x-large «Parasol mushroom» (lat. «Lepiota proсеrа») from 2005 which I have picked as an introductory image. My dear readers, through the following set of pictures I hope that you will get a bit of the taste, if not of mushrooms themselves, of the magical places where mushrooms like to grow, a bit of the taste of the well-known, yet always unexplored, natural places of my island. Enjoy! ^^’
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All pictures open in the source. Move over your mouse to read titles and descrpitions.
Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria
© all rights reserved

 

Amanita vaginata The woods and the river inside the ravine of Myrsonas in Ikaria Large old terraces as we go deeper and deeper in the ravine It's a fine sunny morning in Vathes, Rahes Ikaria

 

Lepista nuda Scleroderma polyrhizum Amanita sp. Hard to identify. Probably Lycoperdon (L. pyriforme) Mother and daughter examining the harvest The teacher is waiting for the students with a mushroom in his hand Laccaria laccata Amanita phalloides - Deadly! Laccaria laccata Marianna, one of the two photographers of the group Rotten and unidentifiable The pine forest on the banks of Myrsonas Crossing the stream of the river Detail of the stonewall inside an old house inside a 'lost village' the teacher is giving a lecture about mushroomsthe inside of an old house inside the 'lost village'Maya, the youngest member of the Club
Tricholoma acerbum - not edible Mushrooms inside the basket: Lepista nuda, Lepista flacida, Lactarius sanguifluus, L. deliciosus, Tricholoma caligatum. Leccnellum lepidum, Suillus collinitus, Suillus bellinii, Cantharellus cibarius, Agaricus sp. Russula delica the 'square' of the 'lost village' in the mountains tiny barn to keep a goat

 

Our baskets, bags and gear on the old stone where the people of the 'lost village' used to crush olives for their oil The teacher and the group talking about old things, nature and... mushrooms! one more of the houses of the 'lost village' in the mountains the place inside the old house where they grinded grain to make bread
One more of the old houses under ancient holm oaks ruins of ancient beehives made of clay The dogs are looking for mushrooms too! The teacher explains something about a mushroom

 

Difficult to identify Russula sp. Amanita Pantherina - Toxic, deadly! Gymnopilus junonius The teacher is taking down notes about a mushroom Teacher and children happy on the way back

Now watch the photos in slideshow!
That’s all from me!

Note: If you like to get in touch with the OPS Ikarians, besides  their blog,
you may join the following facebook groups
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animated mushroom


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food, pebbles and headstands


Delicious simple food cooked by a Greek Mum all home made the cheese , bread , herb pie and very very tasty peas and broad beans cooked in a fabulous way slowly with fennel and extra virgin olive oil. I'm even loving the table cloth. It's all good learning lots and being well looked after. The pebbles found at Therma beach here in Ikaria, are a stone collectors dream! The small bay collects and holds these wonderful little gems, so that they can be found when beach combing.

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Dear readers,
it was my name day and I was planning a relaxed, unambitious post about the wonderful things an English couple who live in Ikaria do with pebbles from the beach, when all of a sudden the famous Jamie Oliver, after his visit to the Chiapas last month, landed on the island to look into our cooking and shoot scenes for his next show!!! I am still and always a bad cook (my only improvement has been towards safety but unfortunately not towards taste) so don’t be afraid, I am not going to go crazy about recipes. I do think, however, that the island has a wealth of natural, healthy foods and natural and healthy ways of cooking. But I am not going to go crazy about that either. This was planned to be a relaxed, unambitious post, and a relaxed, unambitious post it is going to be. I’ll just push Nik and Stef’s stones a bit to the side and make room for a few pictures of Ikarian food from Jamie Oliver’s instagram, plus a few shots with heavier stuff taken in Ikarian restaurants by adamansel52, a ‘food tourist’ who toured the island last month. Move your mouse over the photos to read the descriptions. Scroll down to find a surprise. Nothing to do with food! It’s just another Ikarian summer drawing near!!!

🙄 ^^’

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Learning how to make Trahana from this loverly lady Maria. It's a very historical healthy whole grain cracked wheat cooked with goats milk soured and dried in the sun it's something very special and central to there diet. Delicious! A massive thank you to all the wonderful people of Ikaria that I met and worked with. this island has really touched my heart it's so natural and such a special place I can't wait to go back. The colours and textures are something to behold, and the variety of stones found I have not seen anywhere else. Quartz, banded agates, granite, jasper, and many more are found here.

A beautifully simple Greek salad the classic way with juicy tomatoes, olives and crumbly feta! Proper bold flavours and super fresh ingredients. The stones come from the sea of course, and also they get washed down from the mountain range on the island, if you go and look at the cliff faces near the beach you can see these very stones jutting out from the mud and rock; fascinating!

Cooking delicious wild herbs greens and pumpkin to be rolled in filo. Yum! Since I started beachcombing for colourful pebbles, sea glass, terracotta pottery and other surf tumbled delights, I learnt a few techniques that might help a beginner to this wonderful past time; and thought I would share them with you.

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Ikaria 288 At Therma Nik and Stef from England have a business beach combing for anything that can be used to make jewellery, selling it online then shipping it all over the world.

Ikaria 200 Here I will be talking about all the wonderful stones, minerals, sea glass and other oddities that I find where I live on the Greek island of Ikaria.

Ikaria 175 Beach combing here is unlike anywhere else in the world, and is a stone collectors paradise! There are many beaches here full to the brim with all different types, colours, and textures of stones; the only limit is how many you can carry!

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Taverna in Therma. The fish in sauce with salad and with bread was 8 Euros. I could have eaten spaghetti Bolognese for 5 Euros! The half litre of wine was 3 Euros. But at payment time she only wanted 10 Euros. All fresh, all local produce. With a fantastic sea view. I found these beautiful mustard colour beach pebbles whilst out beach combing on the north coast of Ikaria yesterday. But what type of rock are they...any ideas??

Ikaria 229 A lovely selection of substantial sized beach stones I found whilst out beach combing on the north coast of Ikaria a couple of days ago. The colours are amazing.

Ikaria produce on my kitchen floor. Wine, honey, olive oil, mountain tea, herbs, soaps, cosmetics. About half of it unlabeled, given to me as presents. A mix of wonderful beach finds from Therma beach in Ikaria, sea glass, pebble candy; and a sea shell! If you look along the tidelines, this is what you can find.

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Αρέθουσα #here #forever #ikariamylove #daysinikaria #gipsylife by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram Seychelles Ikarias. I believe in the good things coming ☀ #daydreaming #behappy #headstand #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram

Seychelles Ikarias ☀ #happy #grateful #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram Κυπαρίσσι #headstand #islandlife #daysinikaria by Sofia Pavlides (@so_soso7) on instagram

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Sofia’s headstands in her: «Days in Ikaria» on instagram ^^’ ^^’ ^^’
Nik and Stef’s etsy shop: etsy.com/shop/thermalstonedesign ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ


Kanga : a group of friends sticking together, like one body·
(ancient Ikarian word from a story in Nana’s «Ήμεσσαν τρεις ψυχεροί ελόου μας»)
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Hello readers! 😀

I haven’t blogged for long because I waited. I waited because it seems something good always comes up at this time of the year. In 2014 it was «The Day we took over the mountains». This year it was… KANGA! My friends Angelos, Xenia, Lefteris, Lina and Giorgos, all of them well-educated and experienced local guides, joined their forces and formed a collective. They are opening an agency of mountain tour guiding in Ikaria very soon. Hurray! 😀

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Kanga : Ikarian Tour Leaders Collective's Page on Google Plus

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Here they are! Do they look familiar to you? 🙂 When they establish the agency and set headquarters in Armenistis, the main tourist town of the island, there will be a joined e-mail address and phone number. But for the time being, as I am an enthousiastic fan of every one of them, let my blog be their promoter and contact sheet. Everything you need to know is in my comments under each photo. Feel free to add yours if you wish. Until KANGA has a proper website, I will be delighted to put you in touch with these beautiful boys and girls. ^^’
Their e-mail address is [kangaikaria@gmail.com].
Click to be directed to their page in Google Plus ^^’

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38 y.old Lina Tsingerlioti, resident of Ikaria, qualified mountain guide, specialist in environmental issues, keen hiker and mountain climber, founding member of the local Hiking and Mountain Climbing Association (OPS Ikarias), has helped a lot in the opening and marking of the island's hiking trail network. She has been guiding individuals and groups in the mountains, the nature, the villages and the towns of Ikaria since 2008. Lina has also completed various seminars and training programs on herbs, environmental education, beekeeping, rural tourism and processing of agricultural products. 55-year-old Angelos Kalokairinos has lived in Ikaria since 1992 when he moved from Athens where he was born to discover the island of his Ikarian ancestors. Since then he has been the soul of Ikaria's vast hiking project, guiding groups, publishing maps and books and taking and sharing photographs. He was the head of OPS Ikarias from 2008 to 2014. Deep knower of the history of the Aegean islands and a lover of the complicated natural and architectural environment of Ikaria, Angelos likes to share his knowledge both sitting under a tree and while walking. 40-year-old Lefteris Trikiriotis is Kanga's herborist and expert in the island's fauna and flora. Besides farming according to the principles of permaculture. Lefteris is a keen mountain climber and long-distance hiker. He has been leading individuals and groups in Ikaria, sharing his knowledge of plants and local herblore since 2006. Like the other four, 52-year-old Giorgos Vitsaras was also a founding member of the local Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association (OPS Ikarias). One of the oldest members of the Greek Green Party, Giorgos is a journalist in the national and local media, writing and speaking always with an edge on environmental issues. He started leading tourists as a hobby out of love for the environment of his island but later this turned to a profession. Besides nature, he is very interested in social and political issues. A genuine peripatetic he likes to talk and share opinions while walking through the stimulating landscapes of his home-island.

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Eleni

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 I wish them all the luck with all my heart!

     

 

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Xenia, the ikarian mountain guide


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Xenia smiles summer IkariaHello my readers!

In this entry I am going to speak about a friend who lives in Ikaria and I am going to tell you about her work.

Those of you who are interested in our small island world can’t but have noticed a young woman who appears in many pictures from Ikaria on the internet, all of which taken in wild natural settings in both summer and winter. This is Xenia Apostolopoulou and it’s about time for you to know who she is and what she does in our island.

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Back in 2008 like many young people at that time, Xenia escaped from the chaotic and depressive urban frame of Athens and she moved to Ikaria. She wanted to try to grow roots in a place that seemed unspoilt, a natural place where she could feel at home. We know it, not all of those young people were lucky. After the last tourist is gone the island folds up to itself in autumn and this can be tough for strangers. But Xenia had three big advantages. Those were her love for nature, her patience against odds and her understanding for people. So she has made it! Now she is a full resident and she is very happy about her new life. Everybody who knows her is very happy about it too! ^^’

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Xenia and her bees in IkariaIkaria also proved good for Xenia in another way. She has found a job, two jobs to be precise, in the two fields that the island boasts of plentiness: bees and mountains. So our friend became a beekeeper and a mountain tour guide. But if almost anybody can learn and keep bees, so to speak, even on the roof of a house, to get to know the secrets of a rough mountainous island, to walk and learn all the footpaths, to catch the spirit of the land, to know the history, understand the traditions, and above everything, to be able to communicate all this to visitors so that they see and feel a portion of what she sees and feels in Ikaria, is not an easy thing that anybody can do. But Xenia has done it, she does it and she does it well. Here is how everything started.

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The most important thing is to knock at the right door. 😉 Weeks only after her arrival Xenia joined the newly-founded Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association of Ikaria and because of her love for nature and her experience in hiking, she was elected among the members of the board. Days later their first hike was to the mountain tops on the route we call ‘ridge walk’ or ‘transikarian trail». See the relevant entry in their blog (in Greek) and look at some pictures of her out there, On these rough but spectacular landscapes Xenia proved no green horn! 🙂

ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 001 ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 006 ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 007 ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 008 ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 015 ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 005 ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 017

Many group hikes followed like the Mushroom Hunt in Myrsonas river and the first OPSikarian hike on my beloved Trail of the Elves where Xenia not only hiked hard with team spirit but showed a talent in photography of nature as well. Until finally, the following spring we discovered her inclination. During the first group hike of the OPS Ikarians in the upper part of Chalares canyon Xenia jumped and swam in the icy-cold river pools like a water nymph all in smiles!

Posing at the Waterfall (2) Talking to the looker-ons Fun above Cold Getting beaten-up Hard to be a river fairy

Exploring is part of the job and Xenia, being a learner of Ikaria, was always a volunteer, like for instance in the quest for the forgotten Trail of the Lighthouse Guards at the island’s western end.

Walking in Karkinagri On a clear path Cave house 3 Is it time to go? It is time to go. We have to find a pass in these cliffs. No more land. No more walking. Entertainement on the way. Lunch in Karakas

But what am I doing? 😮 This entry is badly planned!  It will take me ages and pages to deploy Xenia’s story in the mountains of Ikaria! So let the pictures speak. I found them in this gallery at her profile in Flickr. One sees there nearly 100 photos of this amazing woman in rivers, on mountain tops, inside forests, taken while she is hiking, climbing, marking the paths (sometimes with her baby on her back!), laughing with friends, dancing in activist performances, leading groups, taking part in everything that goes on, sharing, making things better. 😀

Meanwhile, a friend ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 053 x14 x4 x6 x8 x19 x21 x6 ΟΠΣ Ικαρίας 064 1st Trail Run Ikaria - A doctor and a volunteer x16.5 x3 x2 Sharing Radi (B XIX) Sharing Radi (B XXII) wild canyon ride 1 x35 a x35 b x35 c x35 d x37 Karavostamo - Arethousa. 2nd part of the hike (7) Karavostamo - Arethousa. 3rd part of the hike (5) Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 13 Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 14 Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 19 Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 20 Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 24 Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 25 wild canyon ride 18 wild canyon ride 21 wild canyon ride 23 S43_6051 S43_6079 S43_6086 S43_6087 S43_6090 S43_6110 S43_6101 S43_9814 S43_9839 S43_9840 S43_9842 S43_9895 Ryakas Ikaria Sept 2013 014 Ryakas Ikaria Sept 2013 043 Ryakas Ikaria Sept 2013 044 EGRf026 (girl of the 2nd team) EGRf035 (canyoning involves swimming) EGRf036 (the 5th large pool & the deepest) EGRf043 (attempt for a performance) Ryakas Ikaria Sept 2013 001 06 Winter Hiking circle in Messaria 21 Winter Hiking circle in Messaria Sharing Radi (B XXV) 06 The Making of TMAFD#1 - The cast posing as obedient woodchucks These Mountains Are For Dancing 02 These Mountains Are For Dancing 03 These Mountains Are For Dancing 05 These Mountains Are For Dancing 06 These Mountains Are For Dancing 08 These Mountains Are For Dancing 09 These Mountains Are For Dancing 10 These Mountains Are For Dancing 11 These Mountains Are For Dancing 12 These Mountains Are For Dancing 13 These Mountains Are For Dancing 14 These Mountains Are For Dancing 16 These Mountains Are For Dancing 17 These Mountains Are For Dancing 18 These Mountains Are For Dancing 19 These Mountains Are For Dancing 20 These Mountains Are For Dancing 21 These Mountains Are For Dancing 22 Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 01 Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 02 Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 03 Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 04 Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 06 Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 09 Two Ladies in Droutsoulas

As I said, today, after the first years of learning and exploring, Xenia works as a mountain guide. Some of you may have heard of her from the hikes and botanical course she does for the dancing and hiking groups of Ursula every spring and autumn. But most probably you have seen her at work in the photos of the hiking tour with the Czech photographer Zdenek Senkyrik last year. Currently, as her son Orfeas has grown up, she takes up more guided hikes as well as other activities in the nature of Ikaria in partnership with KANGA.

Ikarian hiking guides collective

Unfortunately there is no space left for me to post their schedule in this entry so you’d better contact her directly at larosadejerico573@gmail.com or through facebook and ask her to send you a copy. One thing I will say as a conclusion. At last somebody is doing in Ikaria what I have been asked to do so many times by friends and strangers since I started taking photos and writing about my island. I always felt awkard about denying for one more reason. Though it’s true that the island needs guides, I knew nobody who was reliable and professional enough to recommend. But now there is and it’s a very good one! A burden has gone off my back and I am relieved! ^^’

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Xenia in the Trail of the ElvesXenia Apostolopoulou was born in 1975. Her father is Greek and her mother is Austrian. She spent her childhood in Austria, Germany and Greece. She was involved in homeopathy, botanical study and therapy, she worked as receptionist in hotels as well as guide in several Greek islands. She also worked for various NGOs in projects related to animal welfare and helping disabled persons. She has travelled a lot and she has lived in many places of Greece. Once in Ikaria she got various temporary jobs, until she decided to dedicate herself to apiculture and mountain guiding. Founding member and partner of KANGA, besides Greek, she speaks German, English and Spanish.

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Two big hikes Google mapped!


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airship Ikaria

One’s own country is the country where one does not need a map, even less a Google map with coordinates, to go around. But Ikaria is not your country so maybe you do. As a matter of fact, I think you do. Our little island is very complicated and if you have a doubt just go and browse through my «landscapes of others» set of illustrated entries. I’d rather see people walking these landscapes, instead of those disastrous goats, therefore, besides my explorers, I hold in great esteem the people who make maps and share them with the world, evenmore, when these people go for originality, have good taste and stay away from clichés. ^^’

As you have assumed, since my last entry about the «Ikaria Guidebook», I have changed course, and have taken on to the practical side of things. Let’s say, how about hiking safely in the famous but little known, ancient Forest of Radi? How about going in the depths of the upper part of Chalares canyon to find waterfalls and pools to swim naked?  😉

Don’t worry about crowds, ’cause the articles that I will suggest speak  about places only for the few. And I would be surprised if you met even few. Take my word, I have been in both these places several times and in spite their breathtaking wild beauty, I never met a living soul!

Although Ikaria has all the assets to become an AAA mountain and outdoor destination, nobody on the island seems to care to know what to do about it so things are left to chance. Taking everything into account, it doesn’t matter. With the exception of the short tourist boom of August, we are and, as it seems, we will always be an island for the few – the few hunters of adventure in a wild and exciting unknown! 😎

But even hunters of adventure need help sometimes…

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 The first Google mapped hiking route I would like to present to you today was created by the local Mountain Climbing &’ Hiking Association (OPS Ikarias) and it is about a circular hike in the Forest of Radi which lies between the village of Petropouli in Messaria and the village of Frantato in Perameria. Their blog can be easily translated through Google translate, so here is what they say in the announcement of the completion of this hiking route:

«Hello Readers! After many hiking trips and searches which ended in defining a circular route in Radi Forest, our Hiking Club proudly presents the digital map: «The Round of Radi Forest»!»

They have indeed made many trips and searches and their Google map the best evidence. This document contains 70 pins with coordinates along an intricate trail of more than 12 kilometers, most of them inside a thick forest, as well as 145 photos! If not for anything but only to appreciate the ammount of their work I think it’s worthwhile to zoom in to make a virtual walk from pin to pin and browse through the pictures. What a feat! But as they said when I asked, that magical forest was worth it!

 
If you click on the image below you will be transported to the OPS Ikarias website where you can read/translate their entry. At the end there is a list of advice and instructions which you may find useful before you do this hike.

 

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And now, after thick mysterious woods, let’s speak about rocks, sun and river water. Do you remember our friend Zdeněk Šenkyřík, the Czech photographer who I praised in my blog last July? Well, Zdeněk recently revisited his material from Ikaria as well as other islands and reorganized everything into something that I would call «Do it like Zdeněk

Hello to all friends of Greece and to all travelers who like this beautiful country and have not visited us just by chance or entered out of curiosity. My name is Zdeněk and together with my partner Petra  we go on holiday to the Greek islands every year! I first visited Greece in 2003...

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Introducing his chapter about Ikaria Zdeněk says:


«In 2014 while we were planning our trip to Samos, we made a small change to visit Ikaria as well. We wanted to get to know this paradise for lovers of wild nature – canyons, waterfalls, mountain hikes – awesome!»

Xenia, the OPS Ikarian guide, checks the water level in the first poolIndeed, once on the island last June he and his partner Petra were guided by the members of OPS Ikarias and they discovered several places of the kind they were looking for.  A list of these spots which are so well shown in Zdeněk’s photos appears in a Google map inside the general page about Ikaria. But the best map and the best photos are included in the subchapter «Chalares Ikaria – swimming in waterfalls». Click on the image below to be transported to that page. We ❤ Zdeněk and Petra!

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Chalares Ikaria - swimming in waterfalls

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Still, before closing this, I have to advise everybody who found these hikes appealing to read again my forenote about the situation in Ikaria about hiking. To find and explore safely and succesfully the amazing forest of Radi or the wild and secluded upper part of Chalares canyon the best thing to do is to contact the members of OPS Ikarias, either at their blog which is open to comments or at their facebook page. Like they did with the Czech friends, not only they will be willing to help but they will also have other interesting suggestions according to your likes and the time of the year.

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Eleni Ik ❤

Saturday February 28, 2015


Ikaria Guidebook !!!


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This Guidebook serves as a companion for anyone who wants to truly experience why Ikaria Island (Greece) is being praised around the world. Off the beaten path, Ikaria preserved a rich natural environment, crystal blue waters, hidden mountainous folds and a distinct local culture. Why do Ikarians tend to live so long? Come and explore why.
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Hello readers


I am not sorry to interrupt the series of landscapes of others because this seems to be a good guidebook for Ikaria. Our friend Alexia’s work (1) is out of print and anyway it was only in Greek. On the other hand, the A.K.K. Editions hiking map is out of sale and I know from Angelos himself that it’s not likely to publish anything as good as that about Ikaria in the near future (2). During a visit at his house and having insisted that he should, he showed me a confidential copy of the recent e-book by Charlene Caprio and Lefteris Tsouris on his computer and I liked it. I didn’t have time to read it thoroughly and I couldn’t take it home with me because the copy was code-protected but I trust Angelo’s word. It’s an honest, careful and responsible piece of work based on long field research and that was also my impression after having read the one hundred PDF pages diagonally. The texts are to the point without unneeded literature and the maps are bold, nicely colored, clear and helpful. But the best thing about this Guidebook is the emphasis on hiking. I took a note of how the authors put it:

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«We believe that the best way to understand Ikaria is by exploring the island’s footpaths called ‘monopatia‘. Spanning over 150 km in a configuration akin to a giant spider’s web over the island, Ikaria’s footpaths evolved over hundreds of years. Many of them connect remote villages with rivers, watermills, forests, mountain peaks, sea areas, more natural elements and other villages. The footpaths also reach areas inaccessible by vehicles and traverse the mountain’s inner folds. By exploring the footpaths, you will start to discover Ikaria’s unique environment and culture…»

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As I couldn’t agree more, I also took note of the titles of the ten hiking routes recommended, mapped and described by the two authors in the last and longest part of the edition. The photos of Peter Wan who contributed in the edition are stunning and you can see some in the webpage of the e-book, however to introduce these hikes I prefered to use photos either from our blogs or the ones taken in the course of time by the members of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria. Those people are, after all, the volunteers who explore and discover, design, walk and maintain the mentionned footpaths. The authors duly acknowledge their contribution and by the way, so am I on a more personal level. If not for them and their endless discoveries, perhaps my passion for Ikaria wouldn’t be so strong. ^^’
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Posing at the Waterfall (2)

  • Chalares River Canyon (Christos – Nas) walk.

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Enchanted Watermill

  • The Spanaioi Watermill with additional walk to a Reservoirs and the Monastery of Mounte.

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Boys must be brave

  • Pezi, Ryakas Waterfall and Selini pond walk.

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Sharing Radi (B X)

  • Ranti Forest Walk, Herbal and Cave Walk.

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Sharing Radi (B VII)

  • Koskinas Castle and Mt. Atheras Cliff Walk.

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Ikarian Ridge Walk Oct 30 22

  • Mt. Atheras Ridgeline Hike (reaching Ikaria’s highest peak).

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The Lighthouse and the Channel.

  • Ikaria’s Western Edge, Remote Seaside Villages and «Kavo Papas» Lighthouse Walk.

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Thyme and Tower Hike

  • Ikaria’s Eastern Edge – Drakano Tower, Agios Georgios and the WWII Bunker Walk.

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OFF THE RECORD #3

  • Ikaria’s Eastern Edge – Agia Kyriaki Hot Spring / Iero Beach.

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The day we took over the mountains!

  • Ksylosirtis (Papas) Watermill and Lefkada Hot Spring.

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Visit their webpage

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(1) Alexia and her «Unexplored Ikaria & Fournoi»Proud Alexia and her Guidebook about Ikaria

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Trail Network Shutdown

(2) Trail Network Shutdown

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