Léfkes - Pródromos and back (the byzantine road)

Evaluation: This is the classic walk par excellence in Páros, a walk known as "the Byzantine road"; this route follows an old path from the Middle Ages. The walk itself is very special because the paths are very well paved over a great length, but the two villages Léfkes and Pródromos are also very picturesque and pleasant. The trail itself is obvious and well marked with [1], but as is often the case, the starting point, both in Léfkes and Pródromos, is not so clear. This is one of the rare walks in the Cyclades where you might encounter large groups of walkers! Deserves as appreciation the maximum of ****.
[Update by Raymond on June the 1st, 2021.]
The translation of this walk was made with some help of Google translate - so, please, do not mind the mistakes...]

Estimated time: The actual walking time to Pródromos is a little over 1h10, for a distance of 3,94 km; the return takes a little longer. The actual time (AWT) therefore amounts to around 2h30, but the total time (TWT) can reach 5 hours: we walked from 11am to 4pm, with a long break to eat at the restaurant on the platía of Pródromos.

Route description[From Parikiá there are quite regular buses to Léfkes, Pródromos, Márpissa and Dryós. If you arrive by a rented car or motorbike, when approaching Léfkes, take the asphalt road down to the left, in the direction of the center. Near the bus stop, where the road continues to the left towards Márpissa, you can park your car ...]

(0h00) Near the bus stop, where the road turns left towards Márpissa, you continue straight on the paved street (sign Léfkes). You pass the dimarchío (town hall) and the school and after 4 minutes or 300 meters, where the street describes a left turn, you see on the left a pretty square with trees and the war memorial.
Three walks start here:
- at the start of the bend, just after the school, a paved street goes up to the right; this is the start of walk [4]. After 20 meters there is a staircase that goes straight up: there is a [4] and a hiking sign
- a few houses further to the left in the bend, a paved street climbs steeply to the right; this is the start of walk [2] and there is a hiking sign Langáda 1h15 / Dryós 2h40 / Aspro Chorió 2h25
- if you follow the street beyond the bend to the left ("dead end" sign and "Byzantine road" sign + [1] on a pole), this is the hike to Pródromos.

At a crossroads, you go straight [1], you pass an arc and you continue in a pretty shopping street. After another 3 minutes, you reach a nice square and take the cross street on the right ([1] + sign). You descend a staircase, you keep to the right at the bottom and after a paved section you come to a cement path that leaves the village [1]. Further on, you veer left and you get to an open space: in front of you, the real path starts here ([1] and sign).

The beginning of the Byzantine road from Léfkes to Pródromos.

(0h07) Already after a few minutes, a section with a beautiful pavement begins; you descend on the right side of a small grassy valley, which is located below the large church of Agia Triáda. After a few more minutes, there are still a few sections of this pavement, while behind you you have a beautiful view of Léfkes. Most of the time, you climb slowly on a dirt path and the valley on your left becomes deeper.

(0h21) A little less than a quarter of an hour since the beginning of your path, you reach the highest point of your route: you begin now a long and slow descent on a beautiful pavement - Náxos lies in front of you, in all its length.


The marvellous pavement of the byzantine road: a look behind you (left) and before you.

The monopáti remains very nice and you see it continuing up the slope in front of you. And indeed, you first descend in a side valley, and cross a bridge.

A nice bridge between Léfkes and Pródromos.

(0h33) You go up the opposite slope and after a wonderful 9 minutes stretch you almost reach the top - the path becomes narrower and rocky. You cross the crest of the hill, Léfkes disappears behind you and the plain appears in front of you: on the left, you see the hill of Galiós, on the right the height of Kéfalos with Agios Antónios: at the foot of this hill lies Mármara (to the left), Márpissa (higher on the right) and Pródromos (closer to you) - and you can see very well how the path descends towards this village. At sea, you can see Náxos, with Irakliá on the right and Ios to the far right.

(0h46) The pavement begins again for about 5 minutes, then the path becomes more rocky again.

(0h59) After a very last stretch of pavement, the path becomes a gravel road, which passes next to a wall and a house. A little later, you get to a small concrete road, where you take a left - but you keep immediately to the right. After another 2-3 minutes, you reach a fork, near a wall of a house [1] and you continue to the left.
A little further on, you come to another crossroads ([1] on a pole): you go to the right [1], then you take the left street (signpost “Pródromos village”); you continue straight ahead and you come to a passage under the church tower.

You pass under the tower...

Further on, you go again to the left, then to the right; you veer again to the right and to the left, you pass under a kamára (arched passage) under small bells, and you thus arrive to the square. (1h10)

On the square there is the very pleasant restaurant "O Tsitsínis", with a nice garden at the back. If you cross the square, you get to the asphalt road: the bus stop is on the left, next to the bakery. (1h13)

[In Spring of 2021, there were buses returning to Léfkes and Parikiá at 3.20 pm and 5.20 pm.]

(1h13) If you return to Léfkes on foot, then you start from the asphalt road, near the bus stop and the bakery - you go to the right, in front of the road that goes left towards Mármara and Mólos, and you arrive again on the platía. At the back, there is a nice arch, where you can pass under the small bells, to the left of a small church. You go immediately to the right, then you veer to the left, and then you do NOT go to the right, but you continue straight ahead. A little further on, you turn left, then right after 10 meters, and you pass through the passage under the tower. You then leave the village, while keeping twice to the right. You thus arrive, after a little less than 5 minutes, to the concrete road (with a [1] to the right), where you go to the left.

(1h19) A minute later, you keep a little to the right [1] and, almost at the end of the road, you veer left with the wall - and the path begins to the right, at first it is a small gravel road ( there is a small sign "Byzantine path" + Léfkes 1 hour / Parikiá 3h30).
From here onwards, the road is very clear! You come quite soon to the right of the wall near the house and you start to climb, first on a beautiful pavement, further on a stony or rocky path. The climb becomes steeper, sometimes on a paved path, sometimes on more rocky sections, and you thus arrive almost at the top.

Looking behind you towards Pródromos.

The kalderími in the direction of Léfkes.

(1h46) You cross the gentle slope of the ridge [1] and the path becomes narrower again: Pródromos disappears behind you, you arrive next to a high wall and, while starting the descent, Léfkes already appears in front of you. You get again to a beautiful end and you see the winding kalderími continue in front of you. You descend into a side valley and cross the bridge, located in a valley full of olive trees and flowers.

In Spring, you continue midst olive trees and flowers...

(1h56) You get now to the most beautiful part of the wide kalderími, which continues between olive trees and an abundant vegetation. After an ascent of a little over 14 minutes, which is at first quite steep, then more gradual, you arrive on the next ridge of the hill and Léfkes lies already much closer.

The nice byzantine path to Léfkes.

(2h10) The nice pavement ends, after 18 very beautiful minutes. You come to a dirt section with a few bits of pavement - further on you have a very nice view over the eastern part of Léfkes and over many cypress trees.

Panoramic view on Léfkes.

You descend slightly, then you go up again, you arrive at the level of the large church and you end in the western part of Léfkes, on the left side of the valley.

(2h27) You arrive at the spot where the concrete road ends: you continue here straight ahead, then you cross the valley to the right on a cemented path.
You go up the second staircase to the left and at the top you come to the picturesque square. Here you go left on a few steps, cross an archway and continue down the shopping street. You cross a kamára and follow the main street which veers slightly to the right, and you reach the small square. (2h33)

If you want to go to the bus stop, you follow the street which turns right next to the school and after 3 minutes you reach the main road, where the bus stops. (2h36)
If you wait for the bus to Parikiá, you can have something to drink in the café "Nóstima" or "To kafenío tis Syntrofiás". In Spring of 2021, there were buses returning to Parikia at 3.30pm and 5.30pm.






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