Ormos Korthíou - Rogó - Lardiá - Gianniséo - Mésa Vouní - Exo Vouní

Evaluation: This hike explores the region between Ormos Korthíou and the hill ridge that separates the deep valley of Dipotámata from the large valley of the Megálos Potamós - this is a hill crest with summits such as the Gerakónas (719 m) and the Tsirovlidhi (722 m). The hike then also goes up via an endless number of steps and with a great panoramic view on the bay of Kórthi, all the way till Mésa Vouní, situated at an altitude of 600 metres. This hike is fairly well indicated with the trail marker [5], except on a number of critical spots. This hike deserves an evaluation of ***.  
[Updated by Raymond on May the 13th 2011.]

Estimated time: According to the sign at your point of departure in Ormos Korthíou it takes 40 minutes to Lardiá, one hour and a half till Mésa Vouní and 2h05 to Exo Vouní. This corresponds remarkably well with our actual walking times. Taking into account the pauses and a picnic, we hiked from 11.30am to 3.45pm, so a little over four hours (AWT).
In May 2005 there was a bus from Chóra at 10.30am, and it takes this bus one hour to reach Ormos Korthíou. To return from Exo Vouní you have to call a taxi – except if you make a circular hike by walking back to the point of departure via the same route (so an additional 2 hours of hiking) or by walking via the Dipotámata-valley (25 minutes of asphalt road and then marvellous trails via Kochílou, another 1h45).

Route description: (0h00) At the bus stop in Ormos Korthíou you follow the pedestrian street, the main street between the bar Centro and the information and taxi office. Slightly further you get to a first little square with an information sign on the hikes. It is better, though, to continue straight ahead to the picturesque little square called Alíki Psálti, with the café Sea Satin and a nice outdoor terrace under the mulberry trees – on your right-hand side there is a shop where you can buy some supply of drinks.
You go left here, next to the church you take the first street on the right and then the first street on the left again, at the pharmacy. At the following crossing you can see the post office on the corner; there is also another hiking sign with the following information: Mésa Rogó 15' - Lardiá 40' - Gianniséo 1.05' - Mésa Vouní 1.35' - Exo Vouní 2.05'.

The sign in Ormos Korthíou.

You proceed straight ahead, on a concrete street. At the T-junction, about 1 minute further down, you take a right, you go down and there you can find the first trail marker [5]. You follow the narrow concrete path for about 5 minutes -  and already after 3 minutes, you can see on the green slopes before you the little village of Rogó. You then cross a grassy, almost dry bed of a river (there was still water on the 13the of May 2011) and you go left immediately on a larger concrete road [5]. According to the side stones this road clearly follows the trajectory of the ancient trail. You pass a small stream and you continue straight ahead; on your left-hand side you can see some pigeon towers. After about 9 minutes, just past a coloured bench, you arrive at a junction. Over there, the real paved trail continues to the left, running alongside the stream all the time – there are no trail markers at this point.

The path runs alongside a little stream...

(0h18) A little further you get to a bridge. You go up the bridge by means of a staircase on the right and on top you can see some steps continuing on the right, indicated with [5]. You pass a couple of houses of the village of Rogó and after another 2 minutes - and 110 steps - you go up another staircase on the left [5] – a wooden sign tells you that the trail straight ahead leads to Exo Rogó.

The beautiful - sometimes overgrown - monopátia between Rogó and Lardiá.

Yet another 3 minutes later you go of course straight ahead [5], because you can already see Lardiá in front of you. Slightly further, at a rocky three-forked junction, you go up on the right (there is a little further a [5]). The following climb of almost 10 minutes is rather strenuous; first you walk on a rocky trail, later on on a concrete staircase with a marvellous view on the bay of Kórthi behind you.

Just before the village you take a left on a staircase [5] and you thus arrive at Lardiá. At a corner with white houses you go left (there is a painted over [5]) and you then walk on a flat concrete path + balustrade, with a great view on the valley on your left-hand side. You then get to a staircase with many, many steps leading to the higher part of the village. You follow this staircase until you reach a beautiful spot – have a look at house no.16 with the terrace full of flowers.

Panoramic view on Ormos Korthíou, from the village of Lardiá.

You take a left and immediately thereafter you go left again – there are no trail markers at all. You keep right after 44 steps, you pass a little church and at a beautiful living tower you keep to the left (no trail markers). You go down a little and after 2 minutes you go up a staircase on the right [5].  

The living tower in Lardiá.

(0h47) You leave the village via a number of staircases, leading to a narrow earth path. Watch out: after walking on this earth path for 1 minute you note an ambiguous [5] on a boulder. In our case the arrow was pointing down, but you have to continue to the right – you first climb up for a short while and you then get to an asphalt road. You go to the left for about 10-15 metres and then you go up the staircase on the right. A wooden hiking sign tells you that it will take another 1h20 to your final destination. 

Is it down...?

... or to the right?

You keep on climbing concrete or stone steps and after about 8 minutes you cross a concrete road and you continue straight ahead. 

(1h05) In the village of Gianniséo you keep to the right first and then to the left (twice there is the trail marker [5]), after some 30 steps you continue on a short stretch of concrete and then there are again some 145 steps… After another 3 minutes you get to a T-junction underneath a house; there are no trail markers and you take a right. A little later you reach a small asphalt parking lot, where you proceed straight ahead on the steps. You thus walk through the hamlet of Paleokástro, past the municipal office. We ask somebody whether we are still on the right track and, indeed, this is still trail no.[5]. In this way you continue straight ahead, leaving the village already. There are again some concrete steps and after a total of 170 steps, you arrive at a gravel road – there are no indications anymore. 

(1h15) You have to follow this road to the left - mind the flowers on the verge of the road.

The flowered verge...

First you walk toward a prominent hill with a flat top, but then you veer a little to the right to a cross road - you see Mésa Vouní already before you.
Opposite there is a path, and a little further it goes to the left of a metal gate: it descends between walls in a green, flowered valley. You cross a fast-flowing stream in a green river bed (May 13, 2011) and then you climb again on concrete steps (a little further there is a [5]), between many flowers. The following stretch is flat and really beautiful, sometimes shaded by beautiful Mediterranean maples, and after four minutes, you keep to the left [5].

Beautiful paths between a lot of flowers...

Another minute further down you take a left, although it seems as if some one has tampered with the trail marker. The trail straight ahead seems to lead more in the direction of Vouní, but it runs to a dead end after 6 minutes! You should also have a look at the beautiful valley with the cultivated terraces on your right-hand side. You thus have to go left, which means that you walk again in the direction of the flat rock. Later on, the trail curves to the right and after some 3 minutes you get to a modest church with a stone roof – the church is open, so maybe it offers you a cool picnic spot?  

The nice path towards Mésa Vouní.

The trail splits up and you have to go right [5]; slightly further you take a right again and the following stretch is flat – you should remember that the monastery of Panachrántou is not very far from here, only at the other side of the hill in front of you (with an aerial and electricity poles).
After 5 minutes you go right (no trail markers); you walk through a small valley with a well on the left and you thus get to the village of Mésa Vouní.

[If you would go a little higher up in the village and to the left, you would arrive at a large house with a wonderful tree. Over there you would find the concrete road which leads over the hill to the left till the monastery of Panachrántou – if you are really adventurous this could be a way to return to Chóra on foot via hike no.[1] ...]

Today, though, you have to keep to the right in the village. A little further, at a junction and next to a rounded corner of a wall, you go left ([5] a little further) and so you walk in a northeasterly direction on a concrete little lane. This nice alley gets to a concrete road, but it goes further on the left of a bunch of oak trees. You arrive at the left of the church and then you keep to the right [5] in order to descend into the valley via a concrete staircase, in spring next to running water. You go up again and halfway the staircase you take a right. A little further you go left (twice there is a trail marker [5]) and in this way you get outside of the village where you arrive at a nice concrete trail between walls.

About 1,5 minutes later you reach some concrete and you go down on the right via a couple of steps and then immediately left on a path with the trail marker [5]. After 1,5 minutes you get to asphalt again - there is a (fallen) sign to Exo Vouní.

(1h50) You thus continue to the right on the asphalt road for about 2 minutes and then a wooden sign post points to a narrow path on the left – you can spot Exo Vouní already. On the narrow path between low bushes you keep to the left and two minutes further down you get to a trail marker [5]. This marker indicates a rocky trail descending steeply into the fairly deep valley. On the bottom of the valley you arrive at a small gravel road, which you follow to the left. Slightly further you do not go left, but you keep following the main road. You have to deviate from the path slightly, because it is too much overgrown. After 5 minutes of gravel road you go to the right to reach the old trail again. This trail goes down, it passes the church and then it leads through the village. You follow the trail markers [5], you go down on the right and then left again. Finally you take a right again till you get to the asphalt road. This is the end of hike no.[5] – the sign indicating the beginning of this hike has fallen down already. (2h08)

The hike comes to an end a little abruptly on a deserted spot – you could call a taxi from here and tell the taxi driver that you are at the asphalt road underneath the village of Exo Vouní.

[You can also follow the asphalt road to the right until you get to the bridge over the Dipotámata-valley: you can then see a lot of water mills on your left and right. A sign points to the right, to water mill no.5: this one is restored and it gives a good idea of the way old water mills looked like. If you continue on the asphalt road, you will get above the village of Kochílou after 1,7 km. You can then proceed in the direction of the church with the red roof and in this way you will get to hike no. [3]; from there onwards it will take you about another 55 minutes to Ormos Korthíou.]

A restored water mill.

[If you would prefer to follow an even longer route to return to Ormos Korthíou, via the beautiful valley of Dipotámata, you have to follow the asphalt road at the end of hike no.[5] underneath Exo Vouní to the left. You then have to walk on the main road for about 2,5 km, but this monotonous walk of about 26 minutes is compensated for by the panoramic view on the desolate Dipotámata-valley with the blooming broom and the Apáno Kástro beyond.
After these 26 minutes you can find a gravel road on the right, but slightly before this road you can also see the beginning of a trail. This trail runs between walls and parallel to the gravel road. Over here you find the trail markers of the beautiful hike no.[3], which you still have to follow for about 1h45 of actual hiking time. See hike Chóra - Ormos Korthíou.]


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