Off the Beaten Track: Aradena Gorge

The virtually abandoned stone hamlet of Aradena, about 2km west of Anopoli, is famous for the Vardinogiannis bridge, named for the wealthy local businessman who endowed it, which crosses over the Aradena Gorge. Look down into the depths in fascinated horror as the structure rattles under your wheels. At weekends you may see people jumping into the gorge from this bridge – at 138m, the highest bungee jumping bridge in Greece. Contact Liquid Bungy to join in.

At the kantina (small kiosk) next to the bridge you can get directions for the remote Church of Agios Ioannis, a whitewashed early-Byzantine structure. It’s only about a 15-minute walk (roughly 800m), but the church is rarely open. From it, however, begins a forking path down to the sea: the western fork leads to Agia Roumeli via the Byzantine Church of Agios Pavlos, the eastern, to Marmara Beach with its brilliant teal waters.

The more-often-used Aradena Gorge hiking route to Marmara Beach goes through the gorge and is a 1½-hour (3.5km) trek of moderate difficulty. The trailhead is signposted before the bridge (when coming from Anopoli). From the beach, you can walk to the glittering nearby port of Loutro, with its creature comforts, and catch a ferry to get out.