Polygiros - Tsoukalas
Polygiros - Tsoukalas
This walk takes one up onto the mountain overlooking Polygiros from the south- east. The first part of the trip provides panoramic views of the city and terrain to the northwest, as it winds its way up to the church of the Prophet Elias. This church, with its large stone cross, is a prominent landmark that stands high above the town. The route then follows the mountain ridge leading east to the Telecommunications masts on the summit of Stavrou Tuba (942m).This is followed by a steep descent down a ridge back to Polygiros. The paths on this route have all been made through the scrubland in the last few years and should be in good condition, so stout shoes should suffice (2,5 hours)
This hillside, previously inaccessible, is well endowed with flowering shrubs, flowers and butterflies, according to the season.
Polygiros, standing at 600m above sea level, is the administrative centre of Halkidiki. Inhabited since prehistoric times, the citizens of Polygiros began the uprising in 1821 against the Turks. This eventually led to the ousting of the Turks from the area in 1912. Polygiros has an interesting archeological museum with artefacts from all over Halkidiki.
The walk begins at a small pavilion and garden situated about 200m west, along the road from the hospital in Polygiros. A red brick built Eklissaki stands nearby. The town council constructed the path from here to the church of the Prophet Elias, and on to the summit of Stavrou Tuba, some years ago. the route winds through the dense vegetation on the hillside, providing frequent panoramic views over the city and valley below, with Mount Olympus on the horizon beyond; more than 60km away. The path emerges onto the access road to the church about 200m from it. Spare time here to go up to the church and enjoy the fine view over the town from this elevated position. Retrace your steps to the junction below the church to continue the walk. Here another path leads eastwards, up onto the ridge towards the telecommunications masts. Wooden signposts in Greek indicate the distance as 1892m.The path is also marked with Poseidon signs. This track gradually climbs towards the ridge, meandering up and down as it follows the twists and turns in the hillside.
In 500m the path passes below a large rockface to arrive at a viewpoint with shelter and bench seat in a further 300m. From here the track soon reaches the top of the ridge and passes through open woodland with rocky promontories overlooking the valley below, to arrive at a fenced children's park and picnic area.
The large rectangular metal construction is a microwave mirror, relaying the signal from a transmitter somewhere in the valley below to a receiver at another location. The walk now continues eastwards along the ridge, which then swings to the south to pproach the transmitting masts, which are placed at the highest point on the hillside. Follow the Poseidon signs on this new route, cut through the dense vegetation. The path now descends down the steep ridge south of the summit to the east of Polygiros. Just above the asphalt road the track turns to travel parallel the road, giving fme views to the west, with Polygiros in the foreground. Eventually the road is crossed as it swings northwards to contour the hillside and the path zig zags down a wide fire break, cut along the line of the ridge leading back to Polygiros. A short walk through this developing area of the town will bring you back to the startpoint.