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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pool drained ツ nymph revealed


Selini pool Ikaria Greece

Selini pool Ikaria Greece by Zdenek Senkyrik on Flickr

Zdenek Senkyrik© Zdenek Senkyrik
Seen this one as I visited the group pool today.
Nothing else to say. I have written too much, edited too much,
layed out and formated too much. Let's just look at pictures for a while.

Ikaria - Ικαρία - View this group's most interesting photos on Flickriver


Blog Review Ikaria 2008-2011 # 6


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Can anybody of you count for me the blog entries about Ikaria that I have reviewed so far? I think they are about 16 and getting more every year. The harvest of 2011 was very rich as you may have noticed. A lot of travellers scheduled to visit Ikaria and as a lot of those travellers are bloggers as well, they wrote one thing or two about the island. Most of them seemed to have known beforehand what to expect. I was glad not to read again anything like «guys it’s all but a mountain!» or «there is no nightlife!». Instead, their reports talk about the rains, the weather, the waves, the gardens, the people, the way of life, the difficulties and the pleasures… In one word, the core of the experience.

Today’s review is dedicated to only one blog and blogger. I think you will agree that Jim Lesses, the multi-talented Ikarian/Australian from Adelaide, deserves all the space in my humble blogging room.

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In between several outstanding entries about many places of the world The Compleat Traveller has blogged about Ikaria since 2009. Going through his blog it’s a funny feeling for me to see my island feature amongst famous spots in Paris and Manhattan! But Jim has a way to put everything together. Does this ability come from his Ikarian or from his Australian side? Neither, in my opinion. Speaking of experience from my own days of travelling, there is no big place and small place, famous place, obscure place, but only special, significant places where we feel good; places that make us we want to tell our friends about them.

Dear readers, this is Jim’s Ikaria. I am recommending to you to read all his entries!

* Move your mouse over the titles and the photos to get a glimpse of some paragraphs

© 2009-2011 Jim Lesses All Rights Reserved.

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1) My Big Fat Greek Wedding

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2) Friday Photo #7: My Island Home, Ikaria, Greece

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3) Friday Photo #11: The Longing

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4) Friday Photo #14: Storage Containers

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5) Who Pays The Ferryman?

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6) The [Greek] Gods Are Angry

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7) Therma, Ikaria

 

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7) Images Of Ikaria #1

* I am reblogging only one picture. You should see this in the original!

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8) Kampos, Ikaria

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9) Turbulence

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10) Grecian Blues

* I am reblogging only one picture. You should see this in the original!

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11) Friday Fotos: Nap Time

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This is all from Jim Lesses’ blog about Ikaria for now. A learned, comprehensive approach with an unofficially professional touch, won’t you agree? For his sake I have coloured this entry in his favorite shade of  *Grecian Blue*. It’s very near the general shade of my gravatar icon so I hope I have succeeded to get the code right. Check out his Blue Set  in Flickr and tell me your opinion.

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Recycled Blues by jimlesses Washing Blues by jimlesses Container Blues by jimlesses Storm Blues by jimlesses

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All Texts & Photos © 2009-2011 Jim Lesses.
  • Eleni
See you next month!
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Blog Review Ikaria 2008-2011 # 5


The last of the series of reviews of blog entries about my island was rather dramatic, or if you prefer, heroic. Let’s not forget, it was dedicated to the modern Greek for strength and inspiration in our difficult times. But I am now getting back to course to again review entries written by visitors of today; not ‘forced tourists‘ like the exiles but people who came to Ikaria of their own will.

As I said in the forenote of the first part, my ambition was to review, not just blogroll, so I wrote a few words about each blog entry and I picked out pictures and quotes. These quotes I usually hid “behind the pictures”.  Move your mouse over to read them.

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The first selected entry in this part is by the very interesting Mr Swampert2000 who travels a lot with his family. He follows the suggestions of Lonely Planet but in his blog he adds so much more to the guide book. As he says in the beginning of his blog, ‘there sure is a lot of computer stuff u need to do when u r traveling these days.  Thankfully the water is blue, the sky is blue and i am not.’

In September 2010 the family were on their way to Turkey. They stopped in Ikaria and…

(the photos open to the related blog entries)

That’s all from me on ‘swampert2000’. You can go on by yourselves if you like. I can’t do more without getting  jealous and that would be so unfair. Parents who travel and educate their children on the way deserve every praise and Ikaria seemed to have been a good part of this family educating trip in Southeastern Europe.
Thank you, Swampert & fam. Let always the water and the sky be blue for you,  but you not.’
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My next selection is… late. It’s a blog entry of September 2007 which I hesitated to review in due time because I was worried that Stavros wouldn’t agree. Fishermen don’t like their secrets to be shared in public. But today as I visited scuba diver Snikolas’ page to admire his underwater photos from Ikaria I didn’t see much fish but other wonderful sea creatures that I doubt if anybody can catch and cook! Therefore I don’t have to keep it a secret. The blog is in Greek and I like a lot what he writes about my island. He calls it «Island of Peace», thank you very much.
Let’s enjoy the photos now.

  

 


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The last review of this part is also late not because of Stavros or anybody else but because of me. I wanted to keep designer and photographer Hellopanos’ Ikaria for myself. They have been an inspiration for my photos in Flickr. But now that I don’t post photos there anymore, I will let you see these magical square frames. Don’t they have a special quality?

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Thank you bloggers. Thank you viewers.
See you next month or sooner.

phew


Blog Review Ikaria 2008-2011 # 3


I am very interested in reading personal accounts about my island. To keep in touch with the place, media is good but there’s nothing like reading actual people’s impressions and looking at their photos.

This is the second part of the list of blog entries about Ikaria that I like. As I said in the forenote of the first part, my ambition was to review, not just blogroll, so I wrote a few words about each blog entry and I picked out pictures and quotes. These quotes I sometimes hid “behind the pictures”.  Move your mouse over to read them.

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The first selected entry of this part is by an American again, Lauren Carpenter (aka «Carpe Diem» in WordPress or «Magnis Libris» in Flickr) from San Francisco, a Pilgrim & Raconteur to her own words, who in 2007  embarked on grand adventure which was inspired by reading the Great Books. She began with an attempt to learn Greek on a little island in the Aegean Sea…

I like Lauren because she focuses on language as well as photography, also because she has a great sense of humor, not that «tourist sense of humor» which is so often ironic but a genuine traveller’s wit, so necessary when someone hits the road for knowledge. Many people think that Greek is a gate to it, so Lauren headed to Ikaria and followed a four-week course of Greek at the Ikarian Centre in the village of Arethousa.

The photos above are from  her Flickr stream. They also appear in her blog illustrating several Ikaria related entries of which I select:

A Brief History of Ikaria (read about the old Ikarian sense of habitation)

Hiking Raches  (read the story of the hiking accident!)

The Hijinx & Hilarity of Learning Greek (Good morning. Yadda yadda yadda yadda! )

Perilous Pronunciations (This is my favourite. Very hilarious! Must read. I can tell you, gaffes like these happen to Greek language beginners all the time!)

Thank you Lauren. Come again!  Hi

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How could I go past blog entries about Ikaria in German? After all it was the Germans who first discovered Ikaria in the 1970s. There must be something of romanticism of Goethe  in the island, it can’t be explained otherwise. I can read German but if you can’t you may still admire the photos.

  Among hundreds of pages about Greece Theo dedicates three blog entries to Ikaria. He writes about roads, landscape, politics, dogs, goats, development, under-developement, dancing, music… to leave out the numerous subjects discussed in the comments! It’s Theopedia alright.
So lesen sie,
 

Auf wiedersehen Theo und viel dank. Hi May the spirit of Inselreisender Ludvig Ross -with his hat, glasses and long pipe- guide you to travel and share.

dscn3582-ludwig-ross-450.jpg

(By the way, readers, Ross was the imminent acheologist and traveller who, if luck had helped when he visited Ikaria in 1842, he might have saved the Temple of Artemis in Nas from being demolished.)

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For final of this part of reviews I chose a subject that some would say it doesn’t fit. But I am the reviewer and I think it does. After all my best friend likes it. That subject is surfing!

http://waterwalls.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/header11.jpg

Waterwalls magazine dedicates several entries to Ikaria.

Dedalos would be proud!

ikaria2  ikaria6  ikaria5

Good vibes, good times.

ikariasurf9  ikariasurf7  ikariasurf3

“I stood up man!!” about the local watersport school «Nalu Boys« (why only boys?..)

lesson0125  lesson0150

I couldn’t help copying a few photos from that  local site. They are so good!..

http://thenaluboysen.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/picture-097.jpg  http://thenaluboysen.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/finn1.jpg

http://thenaluboysen.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/lesson0188.jpg

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Have a safe rest of winter. They told me it was snowing on my island today…
Thank you
See you next month or sooner.

phew


Blog Review Ikaria 2008-2011 # 2


I am very interested in reading personal accounts about my island. To keep in touch with the place, media is good but there’s nothing like reading actual people’s impressions and looking at their photos.

This is the second part of the list of blog entries about Ikaria that I like. As I said in the forenote of the first part, my ambition was to review, not just blogroll, so I wrote a few words about each blog entry and I picked out pictures and quotes. These quotes I sometimes hid “behind the pictures”.  Move your mouse over to read them.

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The first selected entry of this part is by Evan from Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

who is Just Riding His Bike, and this is not a figure of speech. During the three spring months of 2009 Evan was really riding his bike around Turkey. Then he crossed to the Greek islands and found a Paradise on Ikaria.

This wouldn’t be news if Evan (or his friend Isa) wasn’t a cool photographer! I had seen his photos in Flickr but as the ones from Turkey and Ikaria were the earliest, when he reached the 200 pic limit, they disappeared from his photostream. Fortunately, a few of them were saved as favorites by other Flickr members, friends of mine. Anyway, to cut it short, here they are:

 
 
That was all from biking Milwaukee Evan. Hi Thanks heavens, we saved that much and it wasn’t bad at all.
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If you found Evan’s Ikarian entry and photos unnoteworthy, what will you think about the next one which is lo o o o ng, plentiful and Greek!?
unfair
Κυριες και κυριοι σας παρουσιαζω το μπλογκ του Ροβιθε
και τις πληθωρικες καταχωρησεις του με label «Ικαρια« που ειναι αφηγηματα και δοκιμια και πλακες και ποιηματα και πολιτικα και εχουν attitude και τα λατρευω, μονο που δεν εχω παντα τον χρονο να τα διαβαζω… Στις καταχωρησεις εχει ενα σωρο ωραιες φωτογραφιες. Διαλεξα αυτη…
… και φευγω γρηγορα απ’ το καριωτικο κολλημα του Ροβιθε γιατι πρεπει να συνεχισω. Να’ναι καλα και καλη πατριδα!
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The next selected blog entry is also by a Greek in Greek.

unfair

(But there are a lot of photos!)

Ειναι το «Φωτογραφιες απο την Ικαρια« (2009) απο το πολυ γνωστο μπλογκ aformi.gr. Η καταχωρηση υπογραφεται απο τον Αγγελο Κ. και εχει ως προθυρο αυτη τη φωτογραφια

Εχω φυλαξει και επελεξα αυτη τη καταχωρηση γιατι μου αρεσε το εισαγωγικο σημειωμα. Ο φωτογραφος δεν κανει τουριστικες ληψεις, ουτε φωτογραφιζει τοπια, αλλα κανει κατι που φαινεται πως ξερει καλα. Κανει  «φωτογραφια δρομου» αλλα φωτογραφια δρομου στις διακοπες του στην εξοχη, δηλαδη εδω, στην Ικαρια.

Εξηγει:

«Κοιτάζοντας τις φωτογραφίες διακοπών μου πάντοτε είχα (και έχω) την εντύπωση ότι πολλές από αυτές μοιάζουν πολύ με καρτ ποστάλ, τους λείπει η αυθεντική συγκίνηση, η ανεπιτήδευτη προσέγγιση της ομορφιάς της φύσης. Γιατί;

Γιατί σαν άνθρωπος της πόλης η σχέση μου με τη φύση είναι εξωτερική, αποστασιοποιημένη, χωρίς βάθος. Όλα εκκινούν και τελειώνουν στην απλή (και εντελώς επιφανειακή) διαπίστωση της «ομορφιάς» της (και πάλι σε εισαγωγικά!). Πέραν τούτου ουδέν: δεν υπάρχει τίποτα άλλο για να κινητοποιήσει το νου, να υπάρξει ένας συνειρμός που να βαθαίνει στον εσωτερικό κόσμο ή στη θεώρηση του «εξωτερικού κόσμου».

Ακόμα και όταν εμφανίζονται τέτοιες σκέψεις γρήγορα βυθίζονται στην κοινοτοπία. Τα «γαρούφαλλα του δειλινού» μπορούν να σε χαλαρώσουν μέχρι βαθμού αποχαύνωσης, όχι όμως να σε κινητοποιήσουν, να σε συνεγείρουν, να σε αλλάξουν (τίποτα, φυσικά, κακό στο χαλάρωμα!).

Το αντίθετο συμβαίνει με το αστικό τοπίο: η θέα της ασχήμιας των πολυκατοικιών, ο ζητιάνος στο δρόμο, το πλήθος που κινείται σιωπηλά στις πολύβουες λεωφόρους, τα μποτιλιαρισμένα αυτοκίνητα, οι άστεγοι στα παγκάκια, όλα σε αναγκάζουν να σκεφτείς, να στοχαστείς, να αντιδράσεις, να συζητήσεις, να διαφωνήσεις.

Καθόλου τυχαία λοιπόν, οι περισσότερες φωτογραφίες που θα δείτε μοιάζουν με φωτογραφίες δρόμου! Είναι ενσταντανέ άγνωστων σε μένα ανθρώπων στην παραλία.»

Βρισκω τη προσεγγιση του πολυ ειλικρινη και αμεση και την επικροτω. Ο Μεγαλος Ανθρωπινος Δρομος το καλοκαιρι περναει και απο παραλιες και βουνα. Ζητω ο δρομος! Ζητω οι ανθρωποι! Ζητω κι οι διακοπες! Μακαρι να ηταν για παντα.

Σας δειχνω μια επιλογη απο φωτογραφιες:

(πηγη: picasaweb © Angel kkakmisa)

     
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Thank you bloggers!
Thank you readers!
See you next month or sooner.

phew