Orange Valley Trek
Greek tradition and the joys of the Greek sea
Trek subject: Greek tradition and the joys of the Greek sea
Overall trek time: Around 8 hours
Additional activities: Aerobic exercises or yoga-based exercises, visit to a monastery, swim in the sea, orientation game on the beach
Comments: The route is suitable even on days with high temperatures
Length: 8.3 kilometres
Altitude: 150 m
Estimated time spent trekking: 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours
Degree of difficulty: 1 (easy) but can be increased to 2 (average) for anyone who wants.
The route starts at the entry of a gorge on the banks of a tributary of Gadouras River. Before setting out we start with aerobic warm-up exercises. There are pine and cypress trees along the entire length of the route and as the trek advances the gorge opens up creating hillsides planted with crops. Watch the river frogs and crabs that love to hide under rocks or shaded pools.
The river is also home to the microscopic gizani fish (Ladigesocypris ghigii) that manages to survive the winter’s torrential waters by swimming upstream, and the summer’s drought by taking refuge in pools with very little water. It’s rightly known as the island’s survival champion.
Along the way, the tour passes by olive groves where you’re given the chance to smell local herbs. Crossing low banks and dry stone walls we come to the reservoir where behind us are the ruins of a small village with old farmers’ houses.
The trek continues on to its highest point offering an uninterrupted view of the valley with its pine forest and cypress trees, olive groves and the immense Kalathos Bay and the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. The hill is home to Kammiri Monastery. From there we start our descent to the monastery through the pine forest. On reaching the monastery and its grounds, we do some more aerobic stretches and yoga-inspired exercises.
It’s now time for our meal of delicious Greek salad made with the abundant produce of Greece’s soil.
Visit the interior of the chapel dedicated to the Archangel Michael and enjoy the magnificent outer view.
After a while we take the trail through the pine / cypress trees and olive groves once again and we head down to our finishing point.
There we board the mini bus and after a 10-minute drive reach Kalathos Beach where we do some gentle aerobics and yoga-based exercises to relax and unwind at the quiet beach bar.