Here is an exciting idea for the final outing concluding the season September 2010 – June 2011 of the Athens Strollers. We climb to the top of Mount Dirfy in Evia on Sunday 12 June. The walk starts at 10:00 am. Andrew and Polli are the walk leaders. If you need to, call Andrew on 6946286998.
This is a strenuous walk taking 6 – 6.5 hours and is suitable only for fit walkers. The starting point is 7km further up from the village of Steni (east of Steni), on the road to the east (Aegean) coast of Evia.
We start on a well made track that ascends gently to the refuge (Katafygio Mihalis Nikolaou) and on to the start of the climb to the top of the mountain. This will take about 1 hour. From there on to the summit there is a steep well marked rough path. The terrain includes some loose scree and exposed rock with a small amount of mild scrambling. The climbing is relentless, but taken at a steady pace it will take a further 2 to 2.5 hours to reach the top.
There are two peaks on the summit plateau about 500m apart. We will go to the first peak followed by the second which is 7m higher, where we will have our picnic lunch.
Depending on the weather, there will be magnificent views in all directions. After lunch we will descend slowly down to the track and back to the cars.
Steni is a picturesque village in Central Evia. Steni is on Mount Dirfys and on the side of a beautiful river. The excursion involves driving to the venue in our cars.
How to get to Steni
Steni is ~85 km from the 1st toll station out of Athens, on the Athens-Lamia National Road (Ethniki Odos). Get on the Athens-Lamia National Road. When you reach the 1st toll station (at Afidnes), zero your odometer as you pay. Drive along. After 31.7 km, you pass a toll station, which does not require payment. Take the right lane after this. At 33.1 km, leave the National Road, take the right exit, towards Halkida (the capital of Evia). Drive along the principal road. At 44.7 km you reach an imposing modern bridge. This is the new bridge of Halkida. Get on the bridge and drive on. At 47.8 km you reach traffic lights. Go straight ahead. At 48.3 km you pass under an old aquaduct. At 49.4 km you reach traffic lights. The coast is in front. Turn right here and drive along the coast. At ~54 km you enter the village of Artaki. The road is lined with shops on both sides. Drive carefully. At 55.0 km you turn right. The blue road sign indicating Steni has faded colours. Zero your odometer here. Drive along the main road. At 13.7 km you are at a junction, approaching the village of Katheni. A sign marked Steni is asking you to go left. It involves a new by-pass road, very recently completed. Equally, you may go straight, and drive through the village of Katheni. At ~23 km you enter the village of Ano Steni (Upper Steni), which is our destination. Soon after, you see a row of tavernas on your right hand side (also overlooking the river). Drive past and continue climbing for a few km, until you see a yellow sign on your right hand side, as described below. Park your car here.
The meeting point is a clear area on the left hand side of the road 7km east of Steni, shortly before the top of the hill, which then descends down towards the coast. There is a telephone mast immediately in front of you and two tracks leading off to the left. There is a small rectangular yellow sign on the right before the transmission mast, bearing a black arrow pointing left and reading “Ορειβατικό καταφύγιο Δίρφυς Μιχ. Νικολάου, υψόμετρο 1120μ” (Dirfy mountain refuge Mich. Nicolaou, altitude 1120m) and a black arrow pointing upwards and reading “Ξηροβούνι” (Xirovouni).
Clothing and Footwear
The following items are essential for the walk:
Walking boots (not gym shoes; the ascent and descent path is uneven)
Windproof/waterproof jacket (it can be windy and weather conditions on the mountain can change rapidly)
1 – 2 litres water
Food for picnic lunch
Walking poles (optional but recommended)
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.
Sunday 12 June 2011
It is very important that we stick to these times. Timetable as follows:
Allow at least 90 minutes driving from Athens to the walk start
Walk starts 10:00
We expect to have concluded the walk by 16:30
Optional overnight stay
If you want a leisurely start to the day, stay overnight on Saturday at the Steni Hotel. Andrew and Polli will be staying overnight and suggest if anyone else does this, to get in touch for a taverna meal on Saturday evening. To book a room at the Steni Hotel telephone Peter who speaks good English on 6934813888.
I don’t have a car/ I don’t like driving alone
Andrew is willing to help. To help him, it is important that everybody coming telephones Andrew by end of Thursday.
There is no charge for participating.
Drivers will have to accept the cost for the petrol, for the trip. It is up to the passengers per car, to arrange to share petrol costs or not.
There will be no taverna meal. Instead, a picnic will take place on the summit of Mount Dirfy, during the hike.
I like it, what do I need to do now?
Please consult with your family members and reply to Andrew by telephone. 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.