Visited in 2012, 2013, 2014
and 2015

Walking on METHANA

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MAP METHANA

WALKS

(last update on May 29th, 2015)

*** = very nice

**** = exceptionnal

N = new in 2012
NNN = new in 2013
NNN = new in 2015

1. Walk [1]: Méthana (Agios Charálambos) - Stavrólongos - Agios Athanásios - Profítis Ilías and back ***

2. Walk [1b]: Méthana (Agios Charálambos) - Stavrólogos - Agios Athanásios - Profítis Ilías - crater of Makrýlongos - Stérna Gambroú - Kaïméni Chóra ***  NNN

3. Walk [2]: Kypséli - Stavrólongos - Agios Athanásios - Profítis Ilías and back N

4. Walk [3]: Megalochóri - Panagítsa - Loutsés - Chionéssa - Stavrólongos - Profítis Ilías and back ***  N

5. Walk [3b]: Dritséïka - Agios Panteleímonas - Loutsés - Chionéssa - Stavrólongos - Profítis Ilías and back  N

6. Walk [4]: Megalochóri - Panagítsa - crater of Makrýlongos - Profítis Ilías and back ***  N

7. Walk [4b]: Megalochóri - Panagítsa - Makrýlongos - Megalochóri  N

8. Walk [5]: Megalopotámi - Agios Ioánnis - Stérna Gambroú - crater of Makrýlongos - Profítis Ilías and back *** N

9. Walk [5b]: Megalopotámi - Agios Ioánnis - Stérna Gambroú - crater of Makrýlongos - Profítis Ilías - Makrýlongos - Paleá Loutrá and back ****  N

10. Circular walk [5] + [4]: Megalochóri - Megalopotámi - Agios Ioánnis - Stérna Gambroú - crater of Makrýlongos -  Panagítsa - Megalochóri ****  NN

11. Circular walk [3] + [5]: Megalochóri - Panagítsa - Loutsés - Chionéssa - Stavrólongos - Profítis Ilías - crater of Makrýlongos - Stérna Gambroú - Agios Ioánnis - Megalopotámi - Megalochóri ****  NN

12. Walk [6]: Vathý - Megalochóri and back NN

13. Walk [7]: Vathý - Megalopotámi and back NN

14. Walk  [8]: Kaïméni Chóra - volcano and back

15. Walk [9]: Megalochóri - Acrópolis - Agios Nikólaos - Profítis Ilías - Almýra

16. Walk [10]: Kypséli - Oga and back  NN

 

 

 

 

Méthana is a small peninsula on the north-east coast of the Peloponnese; this area measures 50.16 km² and it had  some 1150 inhabitants in 2001. The peninsula is only connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus.
Méthana is part of the municipality of Trizinía, of which Galatás is the main city, located on the Peloponnesian coast opposite the island of Póros.

Geologically speaking, Méthana is a very interesting region: a long time ago, it was very volcanic and nowadays, it counts  no less than 32 ancient craters. One can also see some ancient lava flows, but it is the volcano located in the north-west, not far from the village of Kaïméni Chóra (= burned village), that is the most spectacular witness of this volcanic past – over here, one can really imagine oneself in a  true landscape of volcanoes. The last eruption  happened in the year 230 BC:  a volcanic flow of more than one kilometer
shifted the coast over a length of 500 meters. Writers such as Pausanias, Strabo and Ovid testified about it in their writings.
The Méthana volcano is located on the volcanic arc that crosses the Aegean Sea and on which also the islands of Mílos, Santoríni and Nísyros are situated.
For more details on the Méthana Volcano, see http://www.volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=212020 and http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/methana_saronic_gulf/methana_volcanoes.html

Hot springs can be seen in many places and the city of Méthana still has sulfur baths
which are said to possess beneficial qualities against rheumatism and skin diseases.
The peninsula is very mountainous, with the Chelóna as the highest peak – it measures 740 meters. Another mountain range of 3 km  is located in the northwestern part of the peninsula.

The history of Méthana experienced the same turbulence as the rest of the Peloponnese region: there was, for example, a golden age in the Mycenaean period - the Paleókastro, an acropolis built between 1500 and 1300 BC, can still be seen near the small village of Vathý.
During the Peloponnesian War (431 - 404 BC)
the Athenians built a long wall to cut the peninsula off from the main land, an accomplishment described by the historian Thycidides.
During the Hellenistic period, after the reign of Alexander the Great, Méthana fell under the rule of the Ptolemaei, the kings of Egypt: the peninsula was then given the name of Arsínoë (that was also the name of the daughter
or the sister of various kings of the Ptolemaic dynasty).

The small capital of the peninsula bears the same name: Méthana
; there is a small harbor, a pretty nice promenade and quite well known medicinal baths, located in a large neo-classical building.
The village of Vathý also has a small marina, a favorite anchorage for many sailors.
A number of other villages are noteworthy, such as the villages of  Megalochóri, Megalopotámi, Kaïméni Chóra or Makrýlongos - they are 13 in total.

Because of its
relative isolation, the peninsula is not very touristic, although it takes only 2h30 by road from Athens and 2 hours by sea from the Piraeus.
If you want to go by car, you should first follow the highway E94 from Athens; after passing the Isthmus of Corinth one follows the winding but very scenic road that follows the coastline of the Saronic Gulf and passes not far from Epídavros.
By sea, there are quite frequent connections with the port of Piraeus and the islands of Aegina, Póros and Hýdra - see www.gtp.gr

There are almost no detailed maps of the area – there is only the geological map of the Swiss "Institute for Cartography", carried out with the help of Tobias Schorr, but it dates back from the years 1991-1994, so from before the construction of the new road from Kaïméni Chóra to Makrýlongos and Kypséli. Although this map is difficult to find, it is this map I used to make an adapted version with the new road and the walks - see on this page to the left.

The Méthana region can offer you a lot of hiking options.

About ten years ago some of these trails were marked with wooden hiking signs and colored symbols. Nowadays, these symbols are often only half visible and some trails have become impassable because of the vegetation.
At the initiative of some residents, one started to clear some of the paths, sometimes with the help of Belgian scouts: for instance, in summer 2011 they cleared  the path from Megalochóri to Panagítsa. In the summer of 2012 they worked in the area of the small Profítis Ilías and during the summer of 2013 they cleared the path that leads from Megalopotámi to the chapel of Agios Ioánnis. In July 2014, a few other sections were also cleared.

This site aims to contribute to the discovery of these walks. The final goal is to reconstruct a network of trails, in which the most important paths (numbered from [1] to [9]) intersect in a knot that was once located on the trajectory of the roads to Kaiméni Chóra, the village of Makrýlongos (or Apáno Moúska) and Kypséli. But now, I consider this knot to be situated at the foot of the Profítis Ilías - this allows you to change to another walk at exactly that spot and thus  follow an itinerary on measure. But you can also make the most important walks back and forth, with starting points in Méthana, Kypséli, Thróni (near Dritséïka) Megalopotámi or Megalochóri.

The trajectory of the trails was disrupted in the years 2003-2005 due to the construction of the paved road from Kaïméni Chóra to Makrýlongos and Kypséli; this road almost destroyed the gravel road or the trails over a distance of about 5 km. To join the itineraries of these walks, it is unfortunately necessary to follow this road for some distance. So if you want, for example, to continue the walk [1] that comes from Méthana to the Profítis Ilías, you should follow the paved road over a distance of 500 meters; walks [2] from Kypséli and [3b] from Dritséïka also follow the road for some time...

The ultimate goal is to clear as many paths as possible, and realize a true trail network that allows the walker to follow all walks without long stretches on the asphalt road.
For the moment,  
five hikes back and forth are available, with starting points in Méthana, Kypséli, Dritséïka, Megalochóri and Megalopotámi, each time until the Profítis Ilías - they are numbered from [1] to [5], with some variants [1b], [3b], [4b] and [5b].
In addition, there are two beautiful circular walks, combinations of walks [5] and [4] and walks [3] and [5].
Finally, there are a few smaller walks, numbered from [6] to [10]: there is of course the short walk to the volcano, but also two short trips that leave from Vathý and allow you to start the other hikes down at the coast.


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General view of the peninsula of Méthana

 

Panoramic view on the city of Méthana

Panoramic view on the Saronic Gulf

On the volcano...


Kaïméni Chóra, almost covered by a lava flow

 

The old little church of Panagítsa

 

The monopáti from Megalochóri to Panagítsa