Geraneia mountain, Loutraki, all-day 6 May

Here is an exciting idea for an all-day outing by members and supporters of the Athens Strollers. We visit Mount Geraneia, overlooking Loutraki town on Sunday 6 May. The outing is being organized and led by Tony and combines a 4.5/5 hours walk with a picnic at the end. If you need to call, Tony’s mobile is 6945380242.

Overview of the walk
This is an arduous walk with steep inclines and declines, which will take around 4 hours walking time. On the walk there are large goat farms/herds with their attending dogs. So if you plan to bring your dog, make sure you have a lead. We will climb up to the view point, where we can see over the canal and to the Gulf of Corinth and to the Aegean, and then back down. It is a circular walk and takes about 4.5/5 hours, with stops.

How to get to the meeting point
Take the Athens-Corinth national road. Just before the Isthmus (Corinth canal) take the Isthmus/Loutraki turn off to the right. Follow signs for Loutraki and Perachora. We will rendez vous opposite the entrance to Hotel Poseidon resort. The hotel is at the far side of Loutraki towards Perachora. To reach it, you have the option of driving through the centre of Loutraki or take the by-pass (sign to the right for Perachora just before Loutraki). The hotel is 9.7 km from the turn off from the Athens/Corinth national road if you go through Loutraki, or 9.9km km if you take the by pass.
We meet at the hotel at 10:00 am. From there we will drive to the walk start, on an unmade track, but 4 wheel drive car is not a necessity.

Times
It is very important that we stick to these times. Timetable as follows:
We set off from the meeting point (Hotel Poseidon resort), in our cars at 10:00 am.
Allow at least 75 minutes driving from Athens to the meeting point, if you are not using Attiki Odos. Allow at least 60 minutes if you take Attiki Odos.

Walk description
From the rendez vous at Hotel Poseidon Resort we will drive in convoy through Perachora and Pisia, and then take a dirt road onto Geraneia to the church at Panaghia Phaneromeni (760 m altitude). The distance on dirt road is about 4 km. Four wheel drive is not a necessity. The church is the site of the “hunters’ shelter”, and the junction of a number of routes and paths crossing the mountain. From here we will take the “red” path up. The “red” path is the most commonly used path on the mountain. The route is in places very steep. It runs through beautiful mature forest until about 800 metres altitude, when we encounter mountain meadows. We cross the meadows. For those that wish, we will then detour off track to the observation point (altitude 1030 m). Those that wish can rest here. We will traverse over rocky broken ground. It is worth the view, looking over the Gulf of Corinth to the North East, the Alkionides gulf to the North West, and the Aegean and Peloponnese to the south; you can also see the Corinth Canal.

We will then return to the meadow, and pick up those of us who chose to rest, and take the “green” route on a circuit back to the start point. The “green” route is far less used and follows through forest, and a ravine. It has suffered quite extensively from snow damage this winter in places. The route is blocked in a couple of places but can be circuited without any equipment, but with reasonable care. (The local Mountain Club have now started track clearing, so we may be lucky and find the path re-instated).

Picnic
This walk will not be followed by dinner at a taverna, as usually. Instead, we invite you to bring along your food and drink and we shall picnic at the end of  the walk. The area around the church is very attractive and suitable. This is an initiative well adjusted to the economic climate and very popular with children. Wondering what to bring along? Think of food you like and can easily be carried, such as sandwiches, boiled eggs, meat balls, cucumbers, fruits, packets of snacks.

N.B. In case of rain, we have a plan to have lunch at a taverna.

Clothing, footwear
Trekking/hiking shoes are a must, and trekking poles are recommended, if you have them. Surprisingly, the side of Geraneia we are visiting is very forested so a lot of the walk is in shade. But as always when high, there can be a wind, so a fleece/wind break is always a necessity. Whilst much of the walk is through forest, the top meadows are unshaded so a hat, sun cream, and sunglasses can be useful.

Water
As it says on the “Loutraki” bottles, this popular mineral water comes from the mountain of Geraneia. We pass some springs and streams on our route so there is no need to carry water for dogs. You also have the option to refill en route to avoid carrying too much weight.

The car trip
We take our cars. It is sensible to take full cars. This means that everybody who registers for the trip, please indicate how many free passenger places you have. Closer to the day, we will make contacts to agree who takes their car and who the passengers per car are.

I don’t have a car/ I don’t like driving alone
We are willing to help in these cases. To help us, it is important that everybody coming provides the requested info as outlined here.

I like it, what do I need to do now?
Please consult with your family members and reply to Tony or Xenophon. Please note that you are not obliged to reply, you may simply show up on the day. Nevertheless, it will help the organization if you can declare your intention at least a few days in advance.
In replying, please indicate a)your acceptance, b)if you have a car or need a lift, c)number of people you need a lift for, d)number of vacant seats in your car.

About Geraneia Mountain
Geraneia Mountain has an altitude of 1100 metres at Aetorachi peak. It overlooks Loutraki, a well-known seaside town resort, owing to its good mineral water and its casino. Loutraki water in fact comes out of Geraneia mountain. Pine trees and fir trees are the most popular trees. The name Geraneia derives from the name of the bird crane (in Greek geranos). In mythology cranes helped rescue Megaros, son of Zeus from drowning in a tempest (cataclysm) in the area.