We Last Visited Ikaria in 2001
A description of the walk around Northern Ikaria
Various maps are displayed around the walk (also in Atsahas Taverna and Dohicis Tours office) and there are many sign posts guiding you around the route as well as painted red feet on the floor. The start of the walk is at the elbow in the road just out of town going through the Pleiades club and up the valley to your right. This gets the most tiring but perhaps spectacular bit out of the way first. If you want to avoid the climb take the longer but less steep asphalt road to Polykarpos and join the route there and enjoy the first part last on your way back, if you know what I mean.
The route meanders through lush greenery studded with olive groves and cyprus trees with water available at the church of "Agios Dimitrios". A little further on will bring you to the outskirts of Christos Raches with an optional detour to a canyon and lunch break in the town proper. Thats always assuming (perhaps foolishly) that the village is awake, which isn`t that often. Continue the walk passing through the village and under the stoned (not chemically) gateways and o up the hill to an abandoned windmill amongst pines. A picturesque downhill stretch leads to the river with another detaour to the fascinating 18th century watermill and cistern. The path from here gets a little confusing so our advice is to stay high (have you got a thing about narcotics - ed) after the 2 churches once out of the river valley.
A dirt road replaces goat track for a while with more decisions to make after a km or so. Right for the detour to the very peaceful Moundes Monastery or left for the descent into Agios Polykarpos. Having crossed the main square and continued towards the coast you are presented with perhaps the best panorama of the walk. The view down the valley back to the start and the swim you may well be wanting at Armenistis. This last bit is the most treachorous so you will be glad you put on very sturdy shoes. Caution is also advised near a waterfall (when there is a river) as the path runs parallel to a 30ft drop at times.
At a reasonable pace and accounting for lunch this tour will take approx` 7 hours but is surprisingly comfortable due to shade for a good proportion of the 26km.