Walks around the village
The best way to discover the village and appreciate the flora and fauna is by walking around it. You’ll find a wealth of little lanes amongst the stone houses, some leading back into the village and some away into the surrounding countryside. Along the way you’ll meet local people who will greet you and say ‘kopiaste’ – come and join us for a coffee and something to eat – so you may not get very far! If you do venture out, don’t forget your bottle of water and sun screen and to wear suitable shoes and a hat. The following is a selection of walks you may want to try:
The church of the Virgin of Chrysospiliotissa. Go out of the village with the Co-op on your left and cross over the main Kathikas-Latchi road. You can keep walking along here until the road stops, turn round and come back again, which will take you about an hour. The village you can see in the valley below where the road ends is Akourdalia.
If you don’t want to walk so far, you can explore the little church and the catacomb, sit on one of the benches and listen to the sounds.
Just after the turning to the church, on the left is another junction with a square metal box on the corner. If you turn left here and follow the road all the way, turning left when you come to a junction, this will bring you back to the main road a little further along, opposite a house. You can cross straight over to another track which brings you back to the corner where the Co-op is.
Round trip to Droushia. Another walk which will take you just over an hour is to follow the road out of the village with the church on your left and into Kato Arodes, along to Inia. After the little church on your left and before the second coffee shop on your right, turn right, go straight across the little crossroads and into Droushia. In Droushia, go past a shop on your left, follow the bend round to the right and then, instead of going right into the village, turn sharp right past another shop and the village school. Eventually the tarmac peters out; follow the dirt track, turn right at the water tower and back into the village.
Walk out of the village with the Co-op on your left. Before the main road, turn right where there’s a new house on the corner. Walk past the houses till you come to a right turn and you can see some outbuildings and a couple of horses. Take the right turn and you can come back to the village by any number of roads, just take your pick. If you take the first right turn, you’ll go down into the valley by way of the Holy well of St Kalandion and back up the other side, passing by some pistachio trees.
Again the choice of roads back to the village is yours – one leads past the cemetery, another by the local spring which may or may not have any water in it, depending on the state of the drought.
If you fancy a long walk and you have a friend who’ll join you and another to pick you up at the other end or meet you for lunch (and it’s not too hot!), walk out of the village heading north-west, towards the sea, the little kafeneio on your left, the church and big kafeneio on your right, head downhill and just keep going.
At the very bottom of the valley you can leave the road to the right and find the entrance to the Avakas Gorge.
It’s a bit of a scramble but very beautiful. You’ll need stout shoes and a fit body. Alternatively, keep going up the hill (you’ll still need the stout shoes etc), through the goat farm and down the other side. It becomes very chalky and dusty here.
Eventually you come to a junction with extremely old olive trees. You can either walk ahead through a beautiful citrus grove and out the other side to the sea at Toxeftra Beach and have a welcome paddle, or turn right up a steep hill, then right again to the Viklari restaurant where you’ll have booked a table for a delicious barbecued lunch with salad, big chips or baked potato and a cold beer or two, with a wonderful view across banana plantations to the sea. This will take about 2 and a half hours with photographic stops.
Instead of heading up to the goat farm you can turn right at the bottom of the valley and walk back up to the village. Uphill all the way. One and a half hours.
Variation to Walk 4
This is just a small selection of possibilities. Any time of year is lovely, but especially early spring when there’s a wealth of flowers to admire and the temperature is comfortable.