Ormos Korthíou - Kochýlou - Paleókastro and back

Evaluation: This walk is a part of the long hike [3] which runs from Chóra to Ormos Korthíou, through Sinetí, the gorge of Dipotámata and Kochýlou. Because you now walk the marvelous part of de hike between Ormos Korthíou and Paleókastro in two directions, you can enjoy the magnificent views towards Kochýlou and the Paleókastro on the way out, while on the way back you have a view towards the bay of Kórthi .
This walk is well marked with the trail marker [3] and because of the quality of the paths and the views, it deserves a maximum rating of ****.
[Update by Raymond on May the 5th, 2015.]

Estimated time: It takes a little over 1 hour (actual walking time) to reach the clock tower of Kochýlou; then it will cost you 40 minutes to arrive at the summit of the Paleókastro. The descent from an altitude of 586 meter to the sea level requires a little less, about one and a half hour, still in actual walking time. The entire walk takes 3h15 in actual walking time, but the total walking time of this wonderful hike can run up to more than twice as long - we walked from 11.30am to 7pm, partly because we wanted to enjoy the views both at noon and in the evening sun.

Route description: (0h00) At the bus stop and the roundabout with the ship’s mast, on the edge of Ormos Korthíou you take the pedestrian street, the street between the Centro café-bar and the information office with the taxi rank. Further on, you see a first square, with the war memorial, the school and a sign giving more information about the hikes; a little bit further, there is the picturesque square Alíki Psálti with the cafe Diporto and a nice outdoor terrace under the mulberry trees - to your right there is a store where you can buy your drinking supply.
You go straight, you pass many shops and at the end of the pedestrian street, next to a bridge, you take a left, before or after the bed of the river - there is a signpost to the beach of Tis Griás to Pídima.

(0h05) After 1 minute there is a little concrete road on the right (again signposted to Tis Griás to Pídima), but you go straight, always following the little road on the right of the bed (signpost to Stíva Rogoú). In front of you, you have a beautiful view over the villages of Rogó and Gianniséo.
Approximately 1-2 minutes later you take the beautiful path off the right, which runs between walls – on the right of a gate (first trail marker [3]). Over the next 3 minutes the nicely paved path runs between high walls - the monopáti is sometimes covered by uneven stones.

The beginning of path [3] to Kochýlou.

At first, tha path runs between nice, high walls...

... and further on, there are beautiful, uneven stones on the path. 

(0h10) After a little over 3 minutes you cross an asphalt road (leading to the beach of Tis Griás to Pídima) and on the opposite side you take the little concrete road that replaces the old path [3]. Fortunately, the beautiful paving recommences rather soon and you get a nice view over the whole bay. You climb steadily, but then you reach a concrete road – to the right there is another sign post to Tis Griás to Pídima. You follow the concrete road going up straight across, on the right of a large villa [3]. But after a little more than 3 minutes you find, in a curve to the left, a beautiful path, under a mulberry tree and a Mediterranean maple [3].

(0h18) You will now be walking for more than 40 minutes on a beautiful and really varied (ok) path, which is sometimes shaded.
After 3 minutes you continue straight ahead, of course, on concrete stairs [3] and then you get to a nice climb again. Almost 4 minutes later you arrive at a junction - there is no trail marker here. You go straight up, but first you should have a look at the beautiful landscape:
- behind you, you have a wonderful view of Ormos Korthíou, with the high ridge of the Ráchi behind, and with the villages of Aïdónia (to the left) and Kórthi.
- to the left, you see the ascending row of the villages of Rogó, Gianniséo and Mésa Vouni  (this is the route of the beautiful walk Ormos Korthíou - Exo Vouní).

(0h25) You go straight now, on a beautiful staircase.

A marvellous path!

A few minutes further you see Kochýlou before you, and very soon also the flat hilltop of the Paleókastro to the right of it. The climb is getting less steep and it continues between beautiful walls.
You follow again some concrete and then rocky steps, and after 10 beautiful minutes the path bends a little bit to the left, with a magnificent view on Kochýlou and the Paleókastro.

(0h35) The following stretch (ok) of the path is really superb – the monopáti is often paved with large flat stones.

   

The path is paved wit large flat stones!

(0h41) Some 6 minutes later, you bend to the right [3] and soon after that you get an exceptional view again of the village and the flat rock, your goal of today. 

You get an splendid view on Kochýlou and the Paleókastro.

A little bit further there is a junction where you keep to the left ([3] on the stairs). You continue to climb and after 6 minutes the views on Kochýlou, on the terraces below and higher up on the Paleókastro are again beautiful.

(0h51) Three minutes later you go down a little; the shaded path still curves to the left, it crosses a small creek and it climbs again until the first houses of Kochýlou. You descend and you climb again on a beautiful staircase, painted in white – at the top, you keep right (2 times [3]) and then you walk beneath  the church.

(1h03) A little bit further the street passes at the foot of the clock tower of the second church – to the right of the church, there is a beautiful courtyard with a tree and a beautiful view. This is a wonderful picnic spot, especially when there would be too much wind on top of the Paleókastro.

You pass under the clock tower...

After a break you return to the tower and you follow the street to the left of the church. You climb many steps and you finally reach the asphalt road, just past the parking lot. You follow the road for a few moments and you then take the other concrete road in front of you; 10 meters further you take the first concrete staircase on the left ( a [3] a little bit further).

(1h09) You first climb some steps, then you follow a concrete or paved path with to the right a very impressive sight on the flat rock. After 5-6 minutes there is a trail to the right.

[The nice path [3] continues straight ahead, towards the valley of Dipotámata, Sinetí and Chóra.]

(1h15) You take a right here ([3b] on a little wall): you immediately pass through a little gate in reinforcing steel and proceed on a narrow trail that sometimes is flooded (5th of May 2015). You keep to the right at a bifurcation [3b] and ascend a long staircase with about 215 concrete steps – and you pass in this way along 2 chapels and through another gate in reinforcing steel. This path obviously has been cleared recently.

(1h22) At the end of the staircase, you pass through a larger gate, and then through a breach in a wall [3b]; you continue to go up, while keeping to the right, on a mowed “path”. Soon, you pass through a cross-wall ([3b] on a sharp stone) and continue on the steep trail. Another 2 minutes later, the grassy “path” passes again through a little wall [3b] and you now keep to the left on a somewhat stony path: it zigzags to the right and to the left and arrives at some concrete steps, where it again crosses a wall [3b]. You begin a last climb and again you meander through a fifth wall - and finally, you get to the concrete road.

(1h29) Here you go to the right for a while, but then begins a white staircase with a blue railing: 140 steps and a short path lead you to the church of the Panagía Faneroméni, on the first rounded summit.

The staircase to the summit of the Paleókastro.

The Panagía Faneroméni on the summit of the Paleókastro.

From this point you have a wonderful view over the bay of Kórthi , on the valleys and also on Kochýlou that lies quite deep below you.
Behind the church, there is a path that continues amidst the remnants of other buildings, and in 4-5 minutes, you can arrive on the highest summit. This was the "Apáno Kástro" (the upper Kástro); in the Venetian period this was the counterpart of the "Káto Kástro" (the low Kastro), situated in Chóra. Both castles were probably built by the Venetian Marco Dandolo in 1207. You are now at an altitude of 586 meters and can enjoy a splendid view!

Panoramic view from the Paleókastro.

(1h38) For the way back, you go down between the ruins, and at the front of the church, you take the path that leads to the staircase; 32 old steps and 109 concrete steps bring you below to the concrete road.
You take a right and will now continue to follow the road – the grassy path is really steep, it could be slippery…

[If you prefer to follow the same way as on the way out, you will arrive at point (2h09) below…]

(1h47) You thus proceed on the concrete road, that describes a few turns and later large bends to the right and left – an easy descent.
Have a look at the marble plaques that are attached here and there on the cliff face: they mention the generous donors of 35, 50 or 150 meters of concrete, who, in this way paid, funded the construction of the concrete road in 2006.

"The 105 meters of concrete happened with the support and to the memory of ..." 

After 11 minutes you keep to the left on the gravel road and after another 4 minutes, you should look out carefully, in order not to miss path [3] that crosses the road.

The road to the Paleókastro.

(2h02) The right path – that continues to the valley of Dipotámata -  is very clearly visible (there is a striking [3] on the beautiful wall), but on the left there is only a little cairn - the large, flat stone with [3] on it, which formerly stood here, has disappeared…
At first the left path veers to the right for a while: it gets to an old staircase that bends to the left along a wall. Later on, you veer right again [3] and you arrive between 2 wall. This path was mowed recently, so the old pavement is still visible.
After a descent of 7-8 minutes, you arrive between some ruins – it is here that you toke a left on path [3b].

(2h09) You continue straight ahead between narrow walls and the nice pavement begins. Later on, the path is covered with concrete, with next to it a little gutter that has now been replaced by a water pipe. After a few minutes, you arrive at the concrete road, which you follow up and to the right for a moment. You reach the asphalt road, which you also follow down for a few moments, because almost immediately - and before you get to the parking lot - you take the concrete street to the right [3].
 
(2h14) You now follow the main street: a little later, you do NOT go obliquely to the right, but you continue straight [3] and soon, you descend the staircase to the left. You now continue to go down straight through the entire village [3]: you pass in this way to the right of the first church, Agios Georgios, and underneath the tower.
The nameless café on the left is often open after 5pm – do not miss it, this typical old village pub is really worth it and no one knows for how long it will still exist!

The typical old village café...

(2h19) You continue on the main street, passing on the left of the second church. Immediately past this church, a staircase goes down to the left (it is the Odós Vasiléoos Konstantínou) ([3] and blue mark). After 1 minute, you keep to the right (blue dot and [3] on the wall), you climb a little and you descend then slowly on a stony path; you keep going straight ahead - with a beautiful view on Kochýlou and on the Paleókastro in the evening sun. 

Kochýlou and the Paleókastro in the evening sun.

A few minutes later you get an equally stunning view over the bay of Kórthi and the entire valley! The path is very nicely paved, sometimes with large flat stones, sometimes with small stones placed vertically.

(2h40) After another 9 minutes there is a junction where you take a left (blue dot and [3]). 

A long time ago, somebody left the date 1933, carved in the stone...

For several minutes now, the path is narrower because of the abundant greenery and some disturbing shrubs, but soon the monopáti gets better again as it is paved with large flat stones.
Suddenly, Ormos Korthíou seems quite close; you descend many minutes on a beautiful staircase, and later on by taking many concrete steps. In this way, you reach the concrete road after 17 beautiful minutes, under the mulberry tree and the Mediterranean maple.

(2h57) You take a left and you go down, after 3-4 minutes you cross the road to Tis Griás to Pídima and on the opposite side you find a very nice path again (blue and red dots). After several minutes the concrete stretch begins and so you reach the asphalt road. On the opposite side you find a very unevenly paved path, but later on the pavement gets better and the walls become very high.

(3h08)
Finally, you end up in the valley, on a little concrete road. You go left and 2 minutes later you reach the bridge, where you go right into the pedestrian street. Five minutes later you reach our departure point at the end of the street, at the roundabout with the ship's mast. (3h15)

 

To get the printer-friendly version,
with only the text
in one column,
click here.