Rodopolis razor back challenge 26 Nov.


Due to a 20 minute uphill section towards the end of the walk we rate this one difficult and suitable for seasoned Athens Strollers enthusiasts, with good shoes and ready for an uphill scramble or two.

Dorothy (6937470875) will lead this walk on Saturday 26 November, to be held in the mountains just above Rodopolis, on dirt roads winding around quaint farms, mature brush lands and deep valleys. We will gather at the forest chapel at 14.00 before starting off. The duration is 2.5-3 hours and the walk will go ahead, even in light rain.

The walk is to begin at an isolated forest church of Agios Ioannis and will wind through the foothills and around olive groves and grapevines. We slowly leave civilization behind as we venture into green quiet valleys with low colorful shrubs and many wild birds. At about the 2/3 point we venture off road and after a hike up through a wild Christmas tree forest we take our challenging scramble up the ridge to another unpaved road and finally the cemetery of Rodopolis, where we descend briefly down the mountain to our cars on a paved road.

At the chapel there is a spring to fill your bottles before and after the hike.

We stress the need for good shoes and strong legs, because this final section is up a 45-60% slope along goat trails for approximately 20 minutes.

By Car, coming from Athens Center:

Go up Kifissias Avenue and through Kifissia

Continue 3km or so and pass though  Nea Erithrea

Continue for another 5km or so

You will see signs directing you right to Dionysos and Nea Makri

Take this road (Dionysou street) as if going to Nea Makri

After a few km you will pass some basketball courts on your left

Turn left after these courts

The Anthropos taverna and a kiosk are on the corner (Mitropolitou Kydonion Grigoriou street)

Follow this road for 3-4km and you will be directed to turn right

Follow Agiou Ioannou street, till you pass the convent on your left and Agios Ioannis chapel is a few meters after that on the left.

We park at the Chapel. 

See a map by clicking below: https://tinyurl.com/bw6pkq8

Alternate route by car from theNational Road:

Alternatively take theNational Roadand exit at Varimbobi

Turn right and follow the traffic up the hill (Ag.Saranda Street)

At the traffic lights turn left and follow the directions above. 

By Bus

From Plateia Kifissias on Kiffisias Blvd. take bus 507. Get off after 24 stops at ΣΧΟΛΕΙΑstop on Kolokotroni street. You can reach our starting point after a 1 km walk.

See a map by clicking below: https://tinyurl.com/cmmwd7k

Taverna: A meal at a taverna nearby will follow. We will go to the taverna by caravan.

More detailed driving instructions, if you are new to Athens:

Coming via Nea Erythrea: Take Leoforos (avenue) Kifissias and get to the principal square in Kifissia, on Kifissias avenue. This is the place with Alsos (park) Kifissias on your left hand, and the bus terminal in front of it; old Athenians refer to this point as ‘trohonomos’. There are traffic lights here. Zero your odometer and drive north, along Kifissias avenue. At 0.4 km you pass traffic lights with an Aegean petrol station on your left; at 0.6 km you drive past an EKO petrol station on your right; at 1.0 km you drive past a Shell petrol station on your left; at 1.6 km you drive past an AB Vassilopoulos super market on your right; at 1.8 km you reach the principal junction in Nea Erythrea suburb, with traffic lights. At this junction you find Alpha bank, National (Ethniki) bank, Millennium bank and a Shell petrol station. On your right is Charilaou Trikoupi street, leading towards Kefalari and Melissia. (On your left is the road which comes from the National Athens-Lamia road- Ethniki Odos, for those who have turned right at Promot Lainopoulos Smart cars show rooms). Zero your odometer at this junction and drive straight ahead. The road will take you via the suburbs of Nea Erythrea, Kastri and Ekali. At 1.2 km you ignore a left turn for the National road and Varibombi; drive straight ahead at the traffic lights. You are now on Leoforos (avenue) Thisseos. At 4.1 km a blue road sign shows the way to ‘Marathon and Agios Stefanos’ if you go straight, ‘Schinias, Nea Makri and Dionysos’ if you bend to the right. At 4.2 km you take the road that bends to the right. You are now in ‘Odos (road) Dionysou’, driving uphill, through the suburb of Dionysos. At 6.1 km you drive past an Avin petrol station on your right. About 1 km later, watch out for the basketball courts on your left. Turn left after these courts.

The Anthropos taverna and a kiosk are on the corner (Mitropolitou Kydonion Grigoriou street).

Follow this road for 3-4km and you will be directed to turn right. Follow Agiou Ioannou street, till you pass the convent on your left and Agios Ioannis chapel is a few meters after that on the left.

We park at the Chapel.

Photo at top of page indicative of the steep incline