Nikiti - Ag.Nikolaos
This walk is a circular route that uses mainly forest tracks to cross over the hill behind Nikiti to visit the small town of Ag. Nikolaus (Santa Claus). The start of the walk is beside the school in Nikiti. When coming from the north turn left at the traffic lights and find a parking place along the roadside.
The school is on the left side of this road not far from the lights Walk from here northwards up the street, past a pharmacy to crossroads. Here there is a sign to the Old Village pointing straight ahead Continue on in the same direction to reach a road junction. Bear left here as the road narrows and continues to gain height, passing through the older quarter of Nikiti. Eventually the road becomes paved and quite steep as it climbs up past the fine church and the graveyard. At the crossroads beyond the church carry straight on up the hill on the unmade road. As one climbs it is worth looking back occasionally for a view over the village. The road climbs up through trees and more open ground to reach the ridge in a further 500m or so. Turn left along the ridge track that climbs to the north, eventually passing a goat shelter in a field on the right. The route now enters an olive grove in much more open ground and continues to the north to arrive at a junction, with a concrete triangulation point over to the left. Keep straight on at the junction. The track continues north through open woodland and fields, with beehives lining part of the route. After 500m of walking a junction is reached with a road to the right, signposted Agios Nicolaus. Follow this track as it sweeps round to the east giving fine sea and mountain views ahead. to the right is a deep valley, which is contained by the ridge that we have just walked. Three hundred metres from the junction a small church is reached; perched on the top of the ridge with a fine view of the valley below. Here there are also picnic tables if a rest stop is in mind. Leaving the church the track crosses a small plateau and then begins to descend quite steeply towards olive groves ahead. From here our goal, the village of St. Nikolaus, can be seen over to the right, as the descent continues, on a shady woodland track, to emerge at more olive groves on both sides of the path.
Eventually the track levels out at a junction where there are beehives and a small blue Eklissaki. Turn right at the junction to arrive at a spring and water trough, fed from the hillside behind. The track now continues in a southerly direction towards the ridge ahead, before swinging left and climbing up to the outskirts of the village, which can be seen on the left. The return route to Nikiti starts at this comer. If you are not going into Ag.Nikolaus look for a waymarker sign to the right, just on the bend of the road. This takes you into and across a mature olive grove, with a chicken hut on the left. Follow the rough chalk track past the buildings and round to the left. A narrow track now climbs up the slope to the left to meet another track. This now contours south, following the ridge above you to climb into the wood. The reason for the lack of trees in this small valley is that it was the scene of a bad forest fire a few years ago and the vegetation has yet to fully recover. A large tortoise shell, bleached white, was lying near the track when I passed, possibly a victim of the fire. On entering the wood and climbing to a flat grassy area the way ahead is blocked by dense vegetation. Here the Path swings round through almost 180 degrees to climb out of the valley. The track climbs east for 120m or so, and then swings west to climb up to ploughed fields on the plateau above. Depending on the season there may be crops in the ground, so follow the north eastern edge of the field round to meet a farm access track leading due west. In 1OOm this track joins another good sandy track leading south to arrive at another junction with the concrete triangulation post, seen earlier, nearby. From here retrace your steps to Nikiti.