8 day walking tour southern lesvos

A unique trekking holiday is now being offered by Poliana in the South of Lesvos, with overnight stay in traditional mountain villages.
Climbing to an altitude of 600 metres, we will walk on footpaths and lost country roads, through the greenery of forests and olive groves, and over mountain ridges, taking in the views of the island's highest peak and the neighboring islands across the bay. 

Accompanied by Els Maes, four days will be spent walking( 4 to 6 hours a day),with two days of rest in addition to the arrival and departure day.

DAY 1

Upon arriving to Mytilene Airport, transfer by taxi will take you to a small hotel in town, where you may relax after your journey.
In the afternoon an optional walk in the town led by Anique Schirris will be offered, ending with a meal in one of the local taverns.

DAY 2

Transfer by taxi or mini-bus to the village of Lambou Mili, where our walk begins. Our first day of walking will cover about 15 km. There are no steep climbs, so we have an easy start as we pass the ruins of a Roman aqueduct, and follow well-trodden paths to Karini, where a simple tavern sits under the ancient plane trees, with road-side stalls and their local products. 
We then continue along a river-valley from Nichtada to Asomatos, an unspoilt village in the foothills of the Olympos range. Here, as we are refreshed in the local tavern, we experience the timeless beauty of the surroundings.
The rest of the day will be spent on beautiful mountain trails ending at the village of Agiassos, where we will spend the  night.
Agiassos has its own unique character.  Surrounded by lush vegetation, including orchards and chestnut trees, and situated under nearby Mt Olympos (967m),this village is famous for its basilica church of the Virgin Mary. On the 15th of August, countless pilgrims visit it each year, and the village is well known also for its traditional ceramics, woodcarving, and hand-woven textiles. 
There ¬†are several taverns and coffee houses in the village where you can enjoy your evening. 

DAY 3

Today we will walk about 16km, starting with a steep climb out of Agiassos on a beautiful path passing by several small churches. After briefly encountering the asphalt road high above the village (729m), we continue on narrow dirt roads where we are rewarded with stunning views over the bay of Gera towards Mytilene, and later over the south of Lesvos towards the island of Chios.We will also be walking over volcanic rock, where the glinting quartz crystals can be picked up as pebbles along the road. 
Our destination today is Toumba (www.toumba.gr), an agro-tourism project near the village of Milies, on a mountain top (501m). From the terrace of the cafe-tavern there are views of the southern coast and across to Chios.  Five lodges , each accomodating 2 people, are perfect for a peaceful, comfortable stay of two nights.

DAY 4

At Toumba one may relax in the tranquil atmosphere, enjoy horseback riding and mountain-biking or, if you wish, there are several short to medium- distance trails around the farm.


DAY 5

Today we will walk on mostly deserted roads for about 14 km to the mountain village of Megalochori (600m).On the way we will pass through the almost deserted hamlet of Mesouna (370m). Megalochori is only 100 metres higher than Toumba, but the climb is steep during the last few kilometres, because earlier in the day our route took us 223 metres lower! We will be rewarded with panoramic views over the mountains back towards our starting point.
Megalochori, the highest village on Lesvos, is like a gem in the mountains. The temperature can get much lower than the surrounding area, so it is a good idea to bring a sweater in your back-pack.

DAY 6

This is the last hiking day! Today we will cover 10 km, mostly downhill on winding paths, with some dirt roads, and with the possibility of meeting a farmer cultivating the land, or a shepherd with his flock. We will stop for a rest at the little church of the Virgin Mary, in a beautiful shaded area of oaks and tall cypress trees. Our final destination is the coastal resort of Melinda, with its crystal clear sea. Since we will most likely be here very late or very early in the season, accommodations will probably not be available. However, we can have a dip in the sea before taking a 9 km taxi ride to the town of Plomari, where we will stay two nights.

DAY 7

In Plomari you will spend the last day of your walking holiday by relaxing in the town, renowned for its ouzo production for which Lesvos is famous. The Barbayinnis distillery on the outskirts of the town offers guided tours. There are museums to visit, and last minute shopping can be done in the many shops.  Also you may want to hire a car for the day to explore even further. A stroll along the Sedountas river is also highly recommended. Sitting under a plane tree in the central square while enjoying a local ouzo and mezes may be another choice for the end of your walking holiday.

DAY 8

Taxi or mini-bus transfer for your homeward flight.

Accomodation
Mytilene:
Hotel Fontana in the centre of the town offers rooms with one, two or three beds and refrigerator. Single rooms are available upon request.

The hotel does not serve breakfast. You must have provisions for the next day since we will have an early start on our first day's walk. We will stop at Karini for a coffee-break, about an hour into our walk from Lambou Mili.

Agiassos:
We will stay in the simple, clean rooms of the traditional pilgrim's hostel next to the Basilica which is managed by the local women's co-operative.
Again,breakfast is not served, so you should provide for yourselves. There is a bakery nearby.

Toumba:(www.toumba.gr)
The farm consists of five lodges each suited for two persons, each with its own shower and toilet, kitchenette ,fireplace (supplied with logs on chilly evenings), and terrace with a magnificent view of the mountains, coastline ,and across to Chios.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed at the tavern.
(Your luggage will be brought here from Mytilene.)

Megalochori:
Because of the difficulty in finding overnight accomodation in Megalochori, we may have to divide ourselves between two guesthouses:
'Minas', in the centre of the village, offers two rooms: one with two beds, and one with four beds (including refrigerators and cooking plates). If needed, two double rooms are availble from the Ipiotis family on the outskirts of the village.
There is a good bakery in the village centre for breakfast provisions.

Plomari:
At Maria's Apartments (www.mariaplomari.gr) we will spend our two last nights in the spacious and comfortable apartments and studios. You have a choice of shared or single occupancy , each room having their own private bathroom, view of sea and mountains, and are close (800m) to the town centre.

Conditions for Participants

  • It is required to be physically fit for the demands of walking, since we will be covering 10-16km a day for over four days, with many steep and/or long climbs and descents, and uneven surfaces.  For those unfamiliar to these kind of walks, it can be more tiring than the actual distance travelled.
  • Your travel and accident insurance must cover you for this type of activity. We do not follow dangerous trails, but should an accident or illness require you to cancel part or all of your holiday, or should you need medical attention, we, as Poliana cannot be held liable. 
  • Your travel bags will be transported from your hotel in Mytilene to Toumba for nights 3 & 4, and from Toumba to Plomari for nights 6 & 7. Your overnight bags must be carried with you for night 2 (Agiassos), and night 5 (Meglochori). Please travel light since space in our luggage vehicle may be limited depending on the participants.
  • Ensure that you have good trekking shoes, as well as a hat, sunscreen, spare socks and shirt, wet weather gear, a bottle of drinking water(this may be refilled at stopping points and at springs we will be passing),and a warm sweater for evenings and chilly mornings. A basic first aid kit is wise to pack as well.  We also recommend to carry a flashlight since the paths are unlit and the short walk between lodges and the main buildings after nightfall may be necessary. 

Dates:
Weeks starting

Friday 3 october to Friday 10 October 2014 and Friday 24 october to Friday 31 october 2014.

With 16 participants and over ,we will organise a second week for end October/beginning of November.
In this case direct charterflights will no longer be at your disposal, however flights via Athens or Thessaloniki are easily made.

Poliana will be offering walkingtreks during early Spring 2015.

For further information:
Els Maes: e-mail elsa81109@yahoo.gr / tel: 0030 2253041937 or mobile: 6986568439.
Poliana  : info@polianalesvos.gr