Holomondas - Paleochora
This long walk starts almost at the summit of Mt. Holomondas above the village of axiarchis and then descends through remote terrain to the village of Paleochora, 1Okm to the northwest.
The route follows modem forest tracks as well as much older mu1e tracks in its gradual descent through beautiful forest, bush and fannland.
The start of the route is a forest track on the left hand side of the road from Taxiarchis to Arnea, approximately 3.3 km north of the junction of the road to Arnea with the road leading down into the village of Taxiarchis. Look for the waymarker sign which shou1d be prominently displayed.
Follow the forest track that descends to the northwest as it clings to the western slopes of Holomondas. If the weather is clear there is a fine view to the left, over the forest and across to Mount Olympus in the far background. In 600m, at a fork in the track, take the upper padl (waymarker). One hundred metres further on an open area is reached with fine views to the southwest. Here the path turns sharply to the north, passing to the right of a concrete water reservoir and entering thicker woodland. Follow the waymarkers for the next 400m, as 1he pa1h contours round the hillside through fairly dense woodland As an open area is reached the route leaves the path we are on and turns to the north (follow the waymarkers).In another 500m or so the route emerges from the woodland onto a wide forest track, which is joined for a few metres to a corner. The route now leaves the track, dropping down the hillside to the west and passing a fenced compound in which Christmas trees are grown. Most of the Christmas trees sold in Greece come from this area. Soon the road is reached again, but we continue on a quiet forest track to the right, ignoring a left fork into a field. In 150m or so locked gates block the track (another Christmas tree nursery). Turn left here and follow the fence round, through the trees for a further
300 m or so. Continue on a further 50m, along the left hand edge of a ploughed field, to arrive at an open top, giving fine views to the north. The route now follows a small, but beautiful, shrub and gorse covered ridge (see Photo), which descends gradually to the northwest. In 500m the ridge levels out, crosses a farm track and continues on through the bushes for a further 1OOm, when a field begins on the left. Cross over at the top end of the field (to avoid damage to crops) onto the main farm road. The route follows this road for the next 900m, through the com fields. At the end of the fields a little used track drops away to the right, away from the road (look for the waymarker). This is an old mule track to Paleochora, which we will join and leave several times during the remainder of the journey. The route continues westward for 500m before turning to the south and rejoining a farm road. Follow this fann road to the left for 200m, around the head of the valley and up the hill. Here the old track reappers on the right and we follow it for 400m to arrive at a goat shelter. The old route continues on down through a rocky gully. The original path has been mostly washed away over the years during wet weather, but in several places the old stone set surface of the road can be seen. After 800m of descent this ancient road meets up with a modem track, which we join.
200m further on is a water reservoir and in a further 1OOm we arrive at another church, dedicated to the Prophet Elias, situated just above the village of Paleochora. Follow the road to the right of the church, which leads down into the village, where there are several taverna's. Here you can explore or rest a while, before booking a taxi back to Holomondas.