“What about our village ?” complained several Anidri residents after reading about two walks around Azogires (see ‘Explore !’ – August 2019 & June 2020.) “There are several paths around Anidri, and many interesting things here that you could write about .” So here we go, and as with Azogires, this is a c. 2-hour circular walk from the village centre, with a lot of history, although not as many legends or tall-stories.
Start from ‘Sto Scolio’, the former village school which opened in 1933, and with usually around 12-15 pupils aged 6-12 years and just one teacher, functioned until its closure in 1971.
Now it’s a popular summer taverna, offering shade, refreshments and a wide range of excellent evening meals. The tap opposite has safe cold water to take with you, before setting off up the road towards Prodromi.
Soon you’ll pass taps of the rather complicated Anidri water system…
Then turn left up the track signed to Caminada. Rising between villas, this soon levels out, with views across to the hill-top church of Profitis Ilias, which we’ll reach later.
Views change to the SW and W on reaching Caminada, down the valley towards Paleochora, and across to the road leading to Azogires. There’s a little church here, Aghii Theodorii, built in 2020. Just a few metres further on, the path to Azogires branches off right, but continue along the track, downhill to a junction. The Anidri Archery Centre is right from here, an interesting way to spend an afternoon, with equipment and instruction provided, booking advisable (Mobile 30-694-981417 – Kirsten and Susanne)
We turn left, and follow the track easily to where it meets the main road up from Paleochora.
Decision time here, whether to walk 500m back into Anidri, or to extend the walk, rather more strenuous but amply rewarding. Let’s assume the latter, and leave the cafenion for later. Turn right, and almost immediately go left ; follow this track through olive groves for 400m to a fork, and take the left branch through a gate, heading steeply uphill. Ahead was the original route from Anidri into Paleochora, used until the late 1950s when the road down through the valley and gorge was constructed.
At the highest point, a path left (marked with orange paint, part of the annual Trail Race from Sougia to Paleochora) leads up to Profitis Ilias church. This seems daunting, but will only take twenty minutes, longer if, advisably, you pause to enjoy the views down into the lower reaches of Anidri Gorge, and Ianniscari beach. The church, dedicated to the Prophet Elijah, was built in 1971 on the site of religious ruins from centuries before, and given a makeover in 2020. From here, at 280m, views extend to the western fringes of the White Mountains, with Psilafi, 1984m, Gingilos, 1964m and Volakias, 2116m the highest peaks you can see. If it’s clear out to sea, look for the islands of Gavdopoula and Gavdos, Europe’s most southerly point, some 45km offshore.
Leave the church in the opposite direction, with Anidri village, considerably developed in recent years, below you. The path winds down, eventually through a wired gate, and over to meet the track leading down to Anidri Gorge. On the way, look out for the mystical Mandrake plant (Mandragora autumnalis), which has medicinal properties known since antiquity, with ‘cures’ ranging from asthma to hay-fever and ulcers, as well as having aphrodisiac properties. And if pulled up by the roots, it will scream ….. its cry being fatal to anyone who hears it. Look on ‘You Tube’ for a clip – Mandrake Potting – from the film ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’.
Turn uphill on the track, then almost immediately right, along a white-fronted terrace, and climb to the 14th century Agios Giorgos, the church of the Vardoulakis family. Inside are many frescoes by Ioannis Pagamenos, one of Saint George especially well preserved.
On again, round a corner, and so back to Sto Scolio, which hopefully, after the trials and tribulations of the past year, will soon be open again for a relaxing lunch, or an enjoyable evening school dinner.
Christmas Puzzle Result
Congratulations to Joan Stephens. Joan will receive a Cretan Puzzle Book and a €10 gift voucher to spend at the Delfini Book Store & Gift Shop the next time she visits Paleochora.