Written by ALEXIS AVERBUCK
Greece's mountainous terrain makes it a hiker's paradise. The most popular routes are well maintained, while others are barely more than an overgrown sheep’s path.
From kalderimia (cobbled or flagstone paths dating back to Byzantine times) to monopatia (shepherd's or monks' trails) connecting to remote settlements, hiking in Greece offers stunning vista views.
Keen walkers can explore the paths that thread through the monastery-topped spires of Meteora in central Greece. Before roads were built, this was the way the monks travelled from outpost to outpost.
The lanes remain to this day, connecting breathtakingly situated monasteries such as Moni Megalou Meteorou, Moni Agias Triados or Moni Agiou Stefanou. You can reach monasteries via rock-hewn steps.
The lushly forested Pelion Peninsula is a hiking mecca. A centuries-old network of kalderimia weave through the trees and connects quaint mountain hamlets to seaside villages.
In the north, two relatively simple hikes begin near Tsagarada (Tsangarada). In the south, a wonderful downhill trek goes from Promiri to Platanias.
Here too, Lafkos to Milina is a classic hike, on which you can see both sides of the peninsula.
The rural Peloponnese offers many excellent walks and longer hikes. The Mani, a rugged and remote peninsula, is a popular place to walk, with mountains tumbling down to gorgeous coastal views.
The coastal village of Kardamyli, with the Messinian Gulf and the Taÿgetos Mountains as a backdrop, is among the most popular hiking destinations in Greece.
The hills behind the village are criss-crossed with an extensive network of color-coded walking trails. Most of these hikes are strenuous, and the ground often relentlessly rough.
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