Click to open the map in your smart phone
and start hiking!

In the project Ikaria pathways, we try to clean, mark and map the old foot paths of the island of Ikaria, especially the ones of the region of Arethousa. In this way,  visitors as well as locals can go hiking in Ikaria and enjoy the beauty of Ikarian nature and landscape. Some kilometers of the footpaths are already cleaned and mapped, with the help of volunteers. Download the map of Ikaria’s footpaths you can find in this page and start hiking Ikaria safely.

Project Ikaria Pathways

Project Ikaria pathways is an  initiative of Dialogos, on the island of Ikaria, based on volunteers from all over the world. Paths are scattered across the length of Ikaria and connect taverns, churches, historical sites, beaches and villages. In the past, these paths were used for communication, travel and the grazing of animals. Although some of the paths are still in use today, many kilometers are abandoned and blocked by vegetation.  Obviously because today people prefer to drive than to walk… This life style devalues the wild life around our villages. Project Pathways aims to promote another use for these  paths.  A use that becomes useful for the locals: hiking. As hiking attracts tourists, and tourists leave some money in the local communities, these abandoned footpaths can suddenly become valuable for the locals. In other words, there is a chance to keep some parts of our mountain in more primitive and wild conditions, with fewer paved streets and more trees…

You can start from the coastal village Karavostamo, go up to “Pera Arethousa” and return to Karavostamo via a different route. A nice journey for a day. If you feel that you want to swim, you can walk up to Aris Potamos, 8the beach next to Karavostamo. The footpath goes by the sea.

Each pathway offers a different view of an impressive landscape. From sheer ocean cliff-faces to grassy hills and lush forest, Ikaria’s paths offer a special opportunity for exploration in a socially-conscious and environmentally-friendly way. Many of the routes pass through social and economic hubs, allowing visitors to experience a slice of Ikarian life that might have otherwise remained hidden.

Walks

Ikaria Pathways, Beach to Beach: Karavostamo > Aris Potamos

Duration 20′
Distance: 0.5 miles

Minimum Elevation: -1 feet
Maximum Elevation: 77 feet
Total climb: 36 feet
Total descent: 114 feet

Be sure not to be afraid of heights, since the pathway is quite narrow. In some parts you will have the steep cliff on your left side with the sea right below and the steep mountain slope on your right.

BE CAREFUL TO STAY CLEAR OF THE CLIFF RIDGE AND NEVER TRESPASS THE WHITE SAFETY LINE!
This is our “Don’t cross the line” route – if you want to find out what happens if you do, rather listen to Johnny Cash’s song than finding out yourself! In some parts you will have overhanging parts with hollow sections underneath. So just don’t do it. Also, never try to walk down to the sea until you finally reach the beach of Aris Potamos.

Start from Taverna “To Steki tou Tsiniaou” which you will find to your far right looking down to the sea from the main square.

Start of the pathway to Aris Potamos beach
Start of the pathway to Aris Potamos beach

Take the alley to the right from here and walk down until the second street branching off to the left.
Go left, and at the next junction turn right to follow the blue arrow.
From now on, whenever you come to a junction in the village, always take the upper right path, otherwise you will end up in people’s houses.
After having passed the last house of the village you will see the footpath that will lead you all along the coastline.

Caution: Approx. 200 metres after the last house you will come to a kind of creek sloping down from your right. This is debris from the excavations made to build Karavostamo’s school, which then was used by the school children for sliding down the hill to the sea. Nowadays, this is the most dangerous part of the pathway since there are hollow sections underneath the path. You will find the first white lines clearly marking the pathways’ borderline towards the cliff. Be careful to stay on the right side of the pathway, and do not cross the white line.

Continue on your safe path and enjoy the rich vegetation and the wonderful views of the sea.

On your way you will find fig trees, blackberries, myrtle berries, fennels, edible wild artichokes and thistles, uncultivated vine, lupines and all sorts of endemic species.

During the war, people here collected lupines which served as food for the starving population. Lupines have to be soaked for a week so that they will lose their bitter taste, after which you can prepare and eat them like beans. Also, they can be ground and used as flour.

Enjoy your stay in Aris Potamos!

Ikaria Pathways. <br> Arethousa - Pera Arethousa

Distance: 30 min.
The route goes down to a valley and crosses a little creek. A secondary route leads us to a small chapel. At the end of the route you can find “taverna i Plaka” with home-made wine and food.

Ikaria Pathways. <br> Mountains to Beach: Arethousa > Karavostamo

Length: 4 km, approx. 45 minutes.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_dnA5CJ1VzQXBw747pa3A8aO7X8&usp=sharing

This route starts from the beautiful church in the peaceful village of Arethousa. On your tour to the beach in Karavostamo you will witness some wonderful views of the valley of the river, the mountains of the area and the sea below.

Looking downhill from the church you will find a minimarket on the left side of the main road and the Kafeneion stou Tsarou, the “Tzar’s Café”, on your right. Get yourself a bottle of water for the way or have your first coffee break here in the shade of this beautiful spot which will also give you a glimpse of the sea.

Down the hill you will find the main village square to your right next to the café. After this you will come to a first junction from where Route 2 to Pera Arethousa starts to your right.

Continue to go straight downhill on the main road until you reach the former school square on your left.  Here the view opens up to the sea and your final destination of Karavostamo by the water. The pathway to Karavostamo starts opposite from the former school and takes you all along the river valley. Follow the red arrow and red dots for stunning views of the sea and the landscape.

The first section of this pathway will lead you on a paved road which will become a footpath after passing the last house on your left.

After about five minutes you will reach a fenced private property with olive trees on the right side of the footpath. Following the fence, you will have the pathway in front of you and the valley to the right.

After another five minutes the path hits a dirt road. Take the steps that lead you down to the dirt road and turn left.

Continue on the dirt road and leave it after its first bend to the right, stepping down some more stairs to reach the footpath again.

From here you will have a lovely 10 minutes walk until the pathway opens to become a dirt road again.

At this point do not continue straight on the dirt road, but take a right turn and step down the stairs into the shade of some trees to continue on our pathway which now takes you straight towards the valley.

The path will now become more shady, bordered by slade plates all along its way through trees and bushes.

It is worth taking a rest to enjoy the silence and fragrances of nature, or have a picnic.

Continue to follow the red dots until the pathway ends on a junction before a stone wall, where you take a right turn.

After another three minutes on a dirt road you will reach the main road, where you turn left to Karavostamo.

Follow the main traffic road until you reach the next junction. Turn right into a smaller paved road that will lead you in the shade along people’s backyards and serves as a shortcut, which will eventually lead you back on the main road. Walking under oleander and mulberry trees you will finally reach the main square of Karavostamo, and the beach.
Enjoy!

More than hiking

Arethousa is a picturesque village in the north of Ikaria, a short taxi ride from Evdilos. In the hills tucked away from tourists, it is the perfect village for visitors wanting an authentic Greek experience.

Enjoy:

Your meals at “Taverna i Plaka”

plaka @facebook


Your coffee and simple meals in the “kafenio tou Tsarou”

Kafenio in the centre of Arethousa village, next to the church
http://cafestoutsarou.blogspot.gr/