• Gilly Cameron Cooper

TO DO LIST: NEW GREEK ISLAND HIKING TRAIL, NAXOS STRADA DAY 3 (virtual)

After two days of the coast-to-coast Naxos Strada, I’d probably sleepover in Zoe’s beautifully restored neo-Classical guesthouse in Filoti (ztzannini@gmail.com) before setting off on the 8.5 km to the next mountain village of Apiranthos. Doesn’t sound far, but there are some steep climbs, a towering monastery wrapped around a chapel, and many a panoramic meadow thick with spring wildflowers. First climb is to the apex of the village, a stepped pyramid of white houses impressed on the mountain-side. A stone monopati (single track path) curves around steep valley heads to Ag Marina chapel, plane tree and tiny courtyard beneath Mount Zas, highest point in the Cyclades. And another, former main line to Danakos, is a rocku cut between terraces violet blue with wild lupins, and on the sunny upslope, a kaleidoscope of pink campion, camomile, acid-green smyrnum, and blue and yellow extras. Danakos is a very small village wedged at the bottom of severe rock valley sides, with a large outdoor party area and plane tree by a crystal clear spring. Zig-zag up a marble route scented with sage to the towering Fotodotis Monastery high above a dizzying drop to the E coast, Aegean sea and the islands that float on it (or are they in the sky?) Pass over a col of rollercoaster meadows before dropping into the next valley and on to Apiranthos on the far side, at the foot of Mount Fanari. @ciceronepress.co.uk #greekislandwalking #europeanhikingtrails #Naxosisland @parosnaxoslife


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