Please Note: the online map, for any reason, does not show the real structure of the landscape (contour lines, summits). Therefore please be sure to use a detailed map for your trip.
The first stage of the tour leads from Langada to the chapel of Stavros, passing the monastery of Ioannis Theologos. At the high plateau of Stavros the footpath abruptly ends on the south shoulder of Mt. Pramateftis – 720m. The burgundy red bauxite sand indicates former existing mining activities around Stavros and should be taken as a landmark for the point where rather comfortable hiking changes into serious mountaineering.
The terrain of the next leg is characterized by steep rugged rocks and fragile debris. The route circles Mt. Pramateftis alternately uphill and downhill towards the next distinctive point, Mt. Zonaridia – 685m east bound. Mt. Zonaridia is a vegetated high plateau, with a breathtaking view in all directions of the island. From there, the last section demands some climbing skills along a precipitous rugged ridge east bound towards Mt. Papas (keep heading on the right hand side); on which slopes the secret forest expands. On this trip you pass a number of breathtaking viewpoints, it really is worth the effort. As mentioned in Paul Delahunt-Rimmer’s book “this is not a route for the faint hearted”.
The typical mediterranean forest of sclerophyllous plants, spans about five hectares. The lush green of up to five meter tall holly oaks and scrubs, blended with the deep ocean blue is a feast for the eyes. See it for yourself, these pictures are worth more than a thousand words … take a look at the Facebook album and see more beautiful pictures!
Thanks to Michalis’ company and his local knowledge, the tour was a great experience, even for alpine mountain connoisseurs from Austria. 😉