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Walking in western Ikaría

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Although bulldozers and forest fires have reduced the number of attractive possibilities, walking between Ráhes and both coasts on old paths is a favourite visitor activity. A locally produced, accurate map-guide, The Round of Ráhes on Foot, shows most asphalt roads, tracks and trails in the west of the island, as well as a loop-hike taking in the best of the Ráhes villages. The well-marked route sticks partly to surviving paths; the authors suggest a full day for the circuit, with ample rests, though total walking time won’t exceed six hours. The highlight is the section from Khristós to Kastaniés, which takes in the Hárakos ravine with its Spanédhon watermill.

Those wishing to traverse across Ikaría are best advised to keep on a “Round of Ráhes” sub-route from Khristós to Karydhiés, from where a historic path crosses the lunar Ammoudhiá uplands before dropping spectacularly southeast to Managanítis on the south coast, a generous half-day’s outing from Armenistís.

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