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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Seven Power Spots in Ikaria


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The Ikarian Hiking & Mountain Climbing Association (OPS Ikarias) official page on Google+

Hello readers!
The Sturmvogel 💗
said
«Soul Powered Works»!
And I say now «Seven Power Spots»!!!
It’s wintertime and summer is a long way ahead, so let’s forget «narcinstagram» 🙂 for a while and get down to serious business. Because here I am going to catch the pending threads from Nana’s
glorious old article «Hiking routes…» and weave some more cloth on the loom.
Maps and hiking routes by OPS Ikarias on Google maps - a presentation of places and trails to hike in Ikaria by Nana to agrimi in her blog. Click on image to view all maps in this entry.Skip the metaphors…
This article is actually about the work of
Hiking Club of Ikaria in mapmaking! Let me quote Nana’s words about these people…

OPS Ikarias: the blog of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association of Ikaria. Non-Greek speakers use the 'traslate button' on top of the page.«In spite the lack of support by government and privates, OPS Ikarias are doing more than their best to promote hiking in Ikaria. In the course of time they have literally built with their hands a large network of very popular hiking routes in the island’s varied landscapes and since 2014 when they owned a page in Google they started making Google maps of some of these hikes. Though I have helped several times, it is never enough. There is and there will always be plenty more to do.»

«This entry stands as a due tribute, promotion and encouragement to their effort. As I said and as surprising as this can be, the OPS Ikarias are not funded by anybody. On the other hand, as far as marking and mapping the paths are concerned, given that they are very few and that the terrain of the island is very rough and complicated, they haven’t done badly at all!»

«However, their task is far from being concluded. The maps that I am presenting below to do not correspond to organized, marked and clearly secure trails of the kind we see in other parts of the world. So very often advise and guidance in needed in advance. But the good thing is that the OPS Ikarias are residents who live on the island all year long. So, before you take up any of these hikes, I am asking you to get in contact with them either through their Google page, blog, photo gallery on Flickr and group on facebook.»

Nice spots Ikaria map by Eleni, in Nana to agrimi's blog article: «Limani», «Potami», «Chorio», «Panigiri», «Paralia»

And I, how am I involved? Well, I was the naive and ignorant newcomer who put a few red marks on this map of Ikaria and posted it on my blog back in 2006. It became so popular so fast on the net that I felt awkard and had to take it down (Nana, our good archiver, stored it though). You see, although I have done a lot in this direction, I wouldn’t take it on me to draw maps of my island, thus offering reliable guidance across its exciting but rough, exhausting and sometimes dangerous landscapes.
All trails Ikaria Google map by OPS Ikarias These times are over! Since that old red marker stained sheet of paper, we have had fine quality digital mapmaking on the net, interactive, with a signature, and for free, created by OPS Ikarias for the sake of hiking, nature, tradition, pleasure and sport. There is so much love into this things that I have decided to call the places included in these maps -places where they have dedicated so much time and work (Soul Powered Work!)– I have decided to call them «Power Spots»!
How many are they until now? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 !!!
So here they are, dear readers, nature lovers and possible future hikers of Ikaria, the Seven Power Spots of the island, checked, signed, branded and… blogged!

«Penelope set up a great loom in her palace, and set to weaving a web of threads long and fine. Then she said...» Love
Eleni
your faithful weaver

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1) The Lighthouse of Kavo Papas
Check the OPS Ikarias review of the location

About the trail, check the OPS Ikarias map:
«Karkinagri – Kavo Papas»
and the amazing photos included in my article:
«A Day at an Exhibition»

2) «Σπιτάκι της Μαμής»
Check the OPS Ikarias review of the location
and my article: «The little house in the desert»

3) Δάσος Ράντη
See also my richly illustrated article:
«Legends about Ikaria: The Forest of Radi»

4) ΛΑΓΚΑΔΑ
[♦] See the location on the map and read
the OPS Ikarias review
loaded with many recent photos.

[♦] See the map & description of the 1st hiking route in the area:
«HINTERLAND»
A hiking round in the wild mountains of western Ikaria

Also in the OPSI blog: «HINTERLAND»,
γύρος στην ορεινή ενδοχώρα της δυτικής Ικαρίας.

[♦] See the map & description of the 2nd hiking route in the area:
«On the old dry stone built trails of Northwestern Ikaria»
Mavrianou – Vrakades – Langada – Amalou

5) Crossing Mt Atheras from north to south
With a stop for a meal in Taverna Plaka».
[Read the OPS Ikarias review of this place]

Map of the hike:
«Karavostamo – Dokimi – Arethousa – Chrysostomo»
Photos:
«Karavostamo – Dokimi – Arethousa – Chrysostomo»
The Pictures!!!

6) Chalares Canyon
[♦] The beautiful area and the old chapel of «Ai Giannis»,
also the epicenter of the «Musical Yards» events in July.

[♦] Read the OPS Ikarias review
about the trail in the Canyon.

[♦] Finally, for the experienced, the bold and the demanding:
«The Round of Upper Chalares Canyon»

7) Μονοπάτι του Αθέρα
[♦] This amazing long trail running on Ikaria’s high mountain ridge starts from the Tower of Drakano. Read the OPS Ikarias review of the place and check out the location on the map.

[♦] About the trail read the OPS Ikarias review
and check out the starting point.

[♦] Finally, the map of the first part of this hike. It’s one of the best I’ve seen on Google maps! I so hope OPS Ikarias will continue with this project!
«THE TRAIL OF ATHERAS RIDGE»

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Related articles in my blog:

What I have written in a 1000 e-mails For Reasons of Honour Κλείνει προς τα έξω, ανοίγει προς τα μέσα These Mountains Are For Dancing! The day we took over the mountains! When I am tired of the world Two big hikes Google mapped! Legends about Ikaria : The Forest of Radi The little house in the desert OASIFICATION! 🌳 🌳 🌳 Mushrooms! ‘The Hiking Trails of Ikaria’ – illustrated interview by OPS Ikarias

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Ikaria, Greece
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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