Karyes Pafsanias

Walk the Caryatides Trails


Karyes has a modern and marked network of hiking trails, through the maintenance and promotion of the old paths of the village.With the marked hiking and cycling routes created by the specialized in Greece TERRAIN Maps & Travel guides, in the western part of the mountain and around Karyes, the beautiful and green Parnonas is one of the top destinations for sports tourism in Greece.

 

Trail 1 - The village Trail

An enjoyable and relaxed marked hiking route for recreation and acquaintance with one of the most beautiful villages of Parnonas. It has no significant elevation differences and its length, 4.8 km, is as much as needed for a complete and satisfying hike, during which you will get to know the neighborhoods of the village with its beautiful stone houses and flowered courtyards, the monument of Caryatids, the old clock, the stone primary school, the old church of Agia Paraskevi, the old stone fountain of the village in Sakali, the chapel of Agios Konstantinos at the top of the pine-covered hill, you will pass by estates with walnuts and cherries, and in the end you will end up in the beautiful paved square of the village with the wonderful taverns and cafes.

Map and Images of Trail 1 - The village Trail
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Trail 2 - The Shepherd's Trail

A very beautiful and relaxing hiking route 7.4 km long, with a total elevation difference (ascent) of only 227 meters. Following the old paths between the stone terraces of the estates that were once all cultivated fields and are now pastures, the Trail of Shepherds crosses a hilly landscape covered with oaks and beautiful white gorse apricots in the spring (wild pear trees) among the millions of colorful wildflowers that cover the old meadows. At the western end of the route you will find the Skafidia fountain with its crystal clear water and the walnuts that are loaded with delicious walnuts every autumn. From the fountain to the western outskirts of the village, the Trail of the Shepherds follows the bed of the river Deiros with the plane trees and the dense vegetation, and just before the village climbs the hill again and ends in the upper neighborhood where you have the opportunity to visit monument of the Caryatids and enjoy the view from above.

Map and Images of Trail 2 - The Shepherd's Trail
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Trail 3 - The Ancient Trail

It is the oldest "road" that the elders of the village remember, here in Karyes, Laconia, in Parnonas. It starts at the western end of the village and ends in the Agora area, where tradition says it has been a major trade fair since antiquity. The route continues to the north on a rural road, enters the fir forest, and from there continues to the south, next to the old fields. Then the path that crosses the mountain pasture and brings you to the Kakari Trees, an impressive cluster of large old oaks. At the end of the hike you will pass by the church of Panagia (1900) where there is a spring with cool water and three centuries-old plane trees, the Menelaos' Planes, which are over 2500 years old. In this area it is assumed that the open-air sanctuary of the goddess Artemis was located, where the ritual dance of the Caryatids, the wicked girls of the ancient settlement who inspired the sculptors of ancient Greece to create the famous statues of the Acropolis Erechtheum.

Map and Images of Trail 3 - The Ancient Trail
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Trail 4 - The Water Trail

The 4.4 km long Water Path with 1 hour and 45 minutes walk is a wonderful choice for a walk in nature, in one of the coolest corners of Karyes, in the beautiful Parnonas. The path starts from the Cemetery of Agios Nikolaos and for 1,400 meters follows the old concrete ditch that brought water to the fields north of the village. From the water reservoir, which the locals know as Lake, you can return to the village following the same path, or complete the circular route by following the forest road with the signage 4 to the east and then to the south.

Map and Images of Trail 4 - The Water Trail
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Trail 5 - The Forest Trail

This trail is 9.5 km long and the total ascent of 465 meters, is a relatively relaxed route and without difficult points, in the shade of the forest. Hiking takes place mainly on forest roads, but also on a section of an old path that passes through abandoned estates and ruined farmhouses. Early in the morning or late in the afternoon, you have a good chance of seeing wild boars, foxes, hares or a beautiful deer.

Map and Images of Trail 5 - The Forest Trail
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Trail 6 - The Chestnut Trail

The Chestnut Trail offers the powerful hikers 9.7 km of exploration in the dense forest with chestnuts, oaks, plane trees, firs and black pines on the slopes of Parnonas east of the village. It has a total altitude difference of 650 meters, but it compensates with its amazing landscapes, untouched ravines with old fountains and waterfalls, and of course the beautiful chestnut trees that exist everywhere.

Map and Images of Trail 6 - The Chestnut Trail
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Trail 7 - The Oak Trail

The seventh and final hiking route of the Caryatides Trails network has a length of 5.8 km and is in the most beautiful and dense oak forest. With just 350 m altitude difference (climb), this route will not tire you and you will be able to complete it comfortably in less than 3 hours. You will also see many chestnuts, walnuts, firs and other trees, among them the queen of the forest, the famous oak of Ai Thanasis, which is according to tradition the mother of all the oaks that cover Parnonas today.

Map and Images of Trail 7 - The Oak Trail
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Credits:
Stefanos Psimenos