The Ithaca Trail Network is constantly expanding, continuing a beautiful story that goes back a long way, at least thirty years ago, when some people – who at the time might have been considered graphic – began an almost solitary effort to clean and revive old paths, which took time and nature had disappeared. Slowly, it was not too late to be recognized by official bodies such as the Municipality of Ithaca, the multiple value and utility of the paths being opened. So, for several years now, the municipality of Ithaca has commissioned private companies to open, shape, clean and sign some of these old trails, while placing special signs at their entrance. In the process, there were no shortcomings.
For example, one of the first paths that “underwent” this process might not even need it. It was the path that connects Anogi with Kion, a five-kilometer path that was already open, clean and easy to cross. The authorities considered that this path had to be paved. Not only was the trail paved, but it was done in a completely transcendental way that affected both its aesthetics and its safety. Subsequent efforts, on other paths, have turned out to be better and less invasive.
The point is, however, that we can now talk about a network of tens of kilometers of trails covering all tastes and requirements. However, what is to be understood is that one-way trips are not enough for the trails, as they require constant monitoring, cleaning and checking of the signage in order to be constantly accessible and safe. We believe that instead of occasionally outsourcing to private companies, it would be ideal to create, on the initiative of the Municipality of Ithaca, a permanent workshop by islanders responsible for this work. And the reasons are many. And jobs will open on the island and the money will go back to the local community and there will be permanent footpath care
The most extensive network of trails is the one that runs through Exogi Mountain – the most beautiful and greenest mountain in Ithaca – and we will briefly share our experience with some of the paths it takes. In later posts we will go into more detail on each route separately, with many photos and directions
For better reading of the map, we note the following: The red path leads from the Exodus to the Cross via Roussan, crossing the mountain ridge. The Blue Route is the eastern path that leads from Rusano back to Exogi at a lower altitude. The orange path shows the western trail that starts from Rousseau moving north and which we have not yet been able to complete and map. The green lanes are the sections of lanes on an asphalt road
a) Exodus – Mills – Virgin Mary in Perarnakia – Roussano – Cross
This route has a total length of about 6 kilometers. It starts from the church of Agios Nikolaos in the village of Exogi. It is a steep climb as we ascend from a height of 370 meters to a height of 520 meters through a 1.2 km route. After reaching the north mill, we head south and then to the Church of Our Lady. It is an almost horizontal path on the Exog mountain ridge, 1.5 km long, with unlimited views. Then follows the descent to the Roussan Plateau. From the altitude of 500 meters we descend to the 200 meters through a 2.5 km long route. Finally, we follow the path to Stavros, a light 1.5km downhill that leads us to the village square.
Another alternative is, as soon as we reach Roussano, instead of continuing to the Cross, to return to the Exodus from the 2.5 km long trail to the eastern part of the mountain (depicted in blue). This path meets the end of the asphalt road that leads to Exogi and after a 500m route on the asphalt road (depicted in green) we reach the first houses of the village. We pass through the village and after another 500 meters we reach the point where we started. The overall length of the alternate route is a little longer – about 8 kilometers – but it has the advantage of leading us to where we started.
Comments: The route as a whole is easy to navigate and well marked.
b) Platrathias – Exterior – Reed – Orchard – Platrathias
This roundabout has a total length of about 3.5 kilometers. It may be relatively small, but it has large elevation differences that make it quite tedious with its length. We start from Platrithia Bridge, at an altitude of 100 meters, and climb, after a 1.2 km route, to the lowest point of Exogia at an altitude of 300 meters. Just before we reach the asphalt road leading to the village of Exogi, we follow the path to Kalamos, a 1km downhill that ends at the source of Kalamos. From there we continue to Perivoli Beach, through a 500m descending route. After swimming in the lonely beach, we turn back, cross the path we had followed and continue onto the large dirt road we meet.
Remarks: From Platrithias Bridge to Exogi the route is clean, clear and easy to cross. From Exodus to Kalamos, there are several points that need cleansing to prevent us – as we did – from stepping forward to move on. From Kalamos to Perivoli, things are better, but there needs to be some cleaning. From Perivoli to Plattrithia there is no issue, as it is a wide road, initially dirt road and towards the end asphalt road
source – ithacanews.gr