On foot in North Lesvos by author Mike Maunder
The Greek guide about walking / hiking in Molivos, Petra and Anaxos areas of Lesbos, Island of Greece.
Here you will find information about the book including of course wher to buy it.
and a latest update at the bottum of this page of changes since publication of the latest edition.
Want to explore the countryside & villages around Molivos & Petra?
Whether you feel like a short stroll or an all-day hike, the 26 walks in the book:
ON FOOT IN NORTH LESVOS
It will guide you step by step along the local tracks and paths through some of the best scenery and to some of the most interesting places in the area.
Visit traditional villages, olive groves, orchards, pastures, forests, and cliff tops; also ruined water mills, abandoned Turkish villages, Roman baths, a battlefield and a mountain-top.
Extracts & Reviews
"...To reach the summit take this track, and follow it back round the side of
the mountain as it climbs high above Petri and the plain of Petra..." (Walk 16)
"We are looking forward to returning to Lesvos next summer
and tackling more of your walks!" MEJ 2008
"...After fifteen minutes the track arrives at a
whitewashed stone circle on the left housing
an open-air chapel. Behind it is a new chapel....
At about 460m (1500ft) this is the highest point
of the walk; from here it is downhill all the way
to Stipsi..... Behind the chapel is a walnut tree where
you can celebrate with a drink in the shade."(Walk 11)
"After 2 -3 days without exercise I was becoming extremely irritable...My wife discovered
your book, and prescribed 'let's try some walking.'
Great stuff!! - we completed several of the routes you described; most enjoyable -
our marriage was back in business!" JB, Lancashire, 2002
"The cliff path climbs between walls, passes through
a gate, and continues along a short steep rocky stretch.
It levels out and then begins to descend round the head
of a tiny cove with an isolated chapel built above
the beach. After about fifteen minutes drop down
to the beach" (Walk 25)
"...the best guide I have read to this area of the island. Written by someone
who loves the place as much as I do and the directions are clear
and the walks well-timed. Maunder also has an easy style of writing
and it is very straight forward." SM, Cheshire, 2002
I am Mike Maunder, the book's author publisher and I first me to Molivos, like most people, on a two-week package holiday in the spring of 1996, decided that this was 'my' Island, returned again and again; eventually found a house in an olive grove to rent, and now spend almost half the year here.
From my first visit I have spent much of my time walking, gradually exploring the surrounding countryside on the principle of 'I wonder where that track goes?', and going to find out (the answer, as often as not, turns out to be 'to a dead-end in impenetrable undergrowth halfway up a mountain' - but that's part of the fun).
This led seven years ago to a 14-walk booklet which has since grown into:
ON FOOT IN NORTH LESVOS
Comments, criticisms, suggestions, complaints, questions, suggestions?
E-mail me at
Or write to:
R6 Marine Gate
On Foot in North Lesvos
This leaflet covers changes on the ground between October 2002 and October 2008, plus a few corrections and clarificationsto the original text. It replaces the printed leaflet 'Update 2008' and 'Stop Press 2008'.
General:New greenfingerposts,apparently intended for walkers, have appeared at track junctions throughout Lesvos. As well as the obvious places, Eftalou, Argenos, etc., a number point down tracks I know to be dead ends, and to places (probably shrines or farms) unfamiliar to me and others I have spoken to.
Walk 1, page 3, para 3:The main drain across theDapiais being replaced as part of major works to improve Mithimna's drainage system. The contractors seem to be taking reasonable care not to obstruct the paths, but inevitably there may be some temporary disruption.Much of the area between the cemetery road and the mill has been leveled, revealing an old circular threshing floor to the right of the mill and the remains of an old house to the left. The latterhas been encapsulated for protection and re-buried.
The path down to the ruined mill has been blocked by a fence. To reach the fields, cliffs, and archaeological remains beyond it is now necessary to go sharp left at the electricity pole and follow a small path across to a gate down into the street. Turn right into the street, follow it round to the left, and then turn right into the car-park. At the far end of the car-park a path leads across to the mill.
Walk 3, page 8: There are new signs to the horse track (ΠΡΟΣ ΙΠΠΟΔΡΟΜΟ),with white lettering on a blue background, at the beginning of the walk by the farmers' co-operative olive factory, and atjunctions along the way.
Walk 4, page 10, para 2:I found this gate locked in October 2008. There is no apparent reason (thoughthere is a largewood-pile at the farm which the owner may be afraid of losing if there is vehicle access). There is a low fence to the right of the gate that is easily scaled.
para 4:This farmyard is now fenced along the top of the bank. There is a small path leading to a gate in the right-hand corner.
Walk 5, page 11, para 4:The track has now been extended into the valley. Follow it downhill from the beginning until it levels out (about 2 mins). Two paths fork off left at this point; take the right-hand one.
page 12, para 4: There may be a brushwood barrier at the olive grove boundary with the river bank.
last para:Both the RestaurantTsipourisigns have been removed. (The restaurant is still open during the holiday season; its entrance is now on the tarmac road going left from the fork). After the fork, the fields are gradually being replaced by new houses and a large group of polytonal greenhouses. The rear entrance toOrpheus has now been closed and the sign removed.
Walk 6, page 14, para 2:The track on the far side of the river has been widened to improve access to a small garden centre, and this seems to have caused some confusion. To clarify; after climbing the river bank keep left uphill on the track, leaving the houses and garden centre on your left. You will meet the Molivos-Vafios road just after the brow of the hill.
para 3: There are now no signs at the entrance to this track, but it is fenced and unmistakable.
A large new house has been built around the chapel; several other new houses are going up on plots to the right of the path.
Walk 7, page 16, paras 5 to page 17, para 1:The track leading from the Molivos- Vafios road past the reservoir to Petra (used by walks 7, 12 & 13) has now been widened and asphalted throughout its length, except for the steep hill at the half-way point past what used to be the double ponds. Possibly nobody has yet decided how to get down this hill. I am told that this is intended as a relief road during the regular winter cliff falls on the coast road above Petra harbour.
Walk 8, page 19, para 3: The dirt road to the municipal tip has beenre-aligned to cut out the final right-hand hairpin. Otherwise there is no significant change here, except that there are now two entrances to the tip, part of an attempt to segregate and recycle various types of rubbish.
page 20, line 1:The word'right' could be misleading: the path drops down to the right of the main track, but bears left where it leaves the track.
para 4: The brushwood gate has been removed. Go through the remaining gate and bear right into the field.
page 20, para 7:The road intoVafiosis becoming busier. To avoid it cross the road and take the track diagonally off to the left (now with a green fingerpost ΣΤΑΥΡΟΥΛΑ- ΒΑΦΕΙΟΣ) and follow it uphill for about five minutes to a fork. Go downhill to the right (signed ΒΑΦΕΙΟΣ) and in another ten minutes fork right again. This track leads steeply downhill and in five minutes meets the top of the concrete road into the village
page 21, para : Turn left along the paved street into the village.
Walk 9, page 23, para 1:A new track has been driven up the lower part of the hillside, starting about 20 metres downstream from the previous crossing. (It is clearly visible across the valley as you walk down towards the farm) To reach it, go between the farm buildings and the stream and continue across the farmyard. Follow the track up the hill, ignoring the branch to the left running along the hillside. The track currently ends at the first ridge, where a field has been fenced. At the brow of the hill there is a row of small trees to the left - take the path that runs alongside and immediately before them.
Most of the water pipe has now been removed.
para 5: 10 metres beyond the gate a rough track has now been bulldozed down to meet the top of the existing track. page 23, last para: The goat path has disappeared. It is now easier to walk diagonally across to the topright-hand corner of the range and climb the barbed wire fence in the corner of the field where piled stones form a stile. Then follow the path to the right through the brushwood fence and left downhill.
page 24, para 1:The field has been fenced along the full length of its boundary with the road. There is one small gap (with a brushwood barrier) in the middle of a holly-oak thicket directly opposite the bottom of the track.
(NB If you are walking this route from the Vafios end, swing right uphill towards the small ridge after coming through this gap. It is all too easy to follow apparent paths and hit the river at the top of a cliff several hundred metres too far downstream)
Walk 10, page 25, para 3: Shortly below the beginning of the path a new track has been bulldozed, obliterating a section. Turn left on to the track (this is the second track, the first runs down to a metal gate), follow round the right-hand bend and climb for 5 minutes until a short spur joins acutely from the right. The path resumes a few metres down here on the left.There are now new blue way marks on this section.
Walk 11, page 26,Introduction: I understand that FrIgnatius is no longer at Ypsilometopo. I do not know whether his replacement is continuing his custom of welcoming visitors.
page 30, para 1: Halfway down the hill there is a new dirt road off to the left(signpostedΚΑΛΛΟΝΗ) This runs along the hillside above Stipsi and leads to the junction in Walk 16, page 41, para 2.
Walk 12: Valley of the Mills.The Municipality ofPetrarecognizes the historic interest of this valley, and has finally begun work to encourage visitors: one of the lower mills has been partly restored and information boards, finger-posts, and way marks (red squares or diamonds) erected. A marked trail starts from Petra sea-front (near the football ground), leads through the lower part of the valley and finishes at Petri.
There are now two marked walks through the valley in addition to mine - the Petra Municipality's and one marked by Akti Travel of Molivos with blue paint. Inevitably they all overlap in places, but if you are trying to follow my walk rely on my description, not the marks.
page 31, para 2 (also Walk 13, page 34, para 2): The track here has been realigned to run below the ponds. (in preparation for paving, see update for Walk 7) Coming from Molivos turn left uphill and take the track through the gate on the right.
page 31, para 3: Shortly after the second gate there is a new track down to the right: keep on the upper track.
para 5: Near the top of the concrete stretch of track a newly cleared path leads diagonally up to the left. There is asignpost to'ΑΝΩ ΛΙΓΩΝΑ'at the bottom of the path.This leads past the top of the mill and rejoins the walking route, so is an alternative to continuing on the track along the valley.
page 32, para 2:The gate has been removed.
paras 2-3: There seems to have been some confusion here: to clarify, the path leads uphill to the leftimmediately before(ie to the left of) the cistern.
para 5: There is now a double-headed blue arrow on a flat rock marking the beginning of the path down to Petri.
last para:This post and the way marks have now completely disappeared. ForPetri take the path down into the valley starting to the left of the large triangular outcrop in the shape of a shark's fin.
(At this point a path comes in from Vafios.
For details see New Routes 2 - Vafios to Petri via¨Ανω Λιγώνα atwww.lesvoswalks.net)
page 33, para 1:The collapsed tree has now been removed, revealing yet more ruins.
para 3: The brushwood barrier across the stream has been removed.
para 4:Where the stream divides follow the right-hand channel (previously this was the obvious route, but it has been obscured by fallen trees) or for easier walking climb on to its left-hand bank. Almost immediately go through a gap in a wall towards the animal shed.(If you come across a much larger shed surrounded by a network of wire mesh fences you have followed the wrong channel)
Walk 13, page 34, para 2: Shortly after the second gate there is a new track down to the right. Both tracks lead to the chapel.
para 4:The grassy track has been widened, and is no longer grassy. Now, where you meetthekalderimi leading ahead, bear left slightly uphill through a gate.
page 34, para 5:There are now five gates on this stretch of track. The final one defeated even me; fortunately there is an easily climbed wall to the right of the gate.
Walk 14, page 36, para 3:The Grand Caféis now Veggera CaféBar.
para 4: There is now a difficult-looking gate on the rock-face. However it opens easily by lifting the post on the left towards you.Immediately afterwards go rightdownhill for a few metres and then left into the olive grove. Follow along the terraces to join the road - there are now several easy ways up the bank.
page 37, para 1:After rejoining thePetra-Petri road, you can turn left after about 50 metres up a steep concrete drive.This becomes a rough track running uphill to meet a path leading off to the right.This winds uphill, partly on old kalderimi, and comes out at the new apartment block. Turn left to follow the track up to the church.
The rubbish tip has been closed and re-located further down the road towards Petra. The old site has been earthed over and is no longer noticeable.
Walk 15: page 39, para 2:Be sure to continue on the path downhill as far as the stream. Ignore anyway marks indicating a path to the right.
Walk 16, page 41, para 1:Harald Haugli, a reader who has done this walk with an altimeter, tells me that this is not the summit of Roussa, which in fact is about 83m (270') higher and 1km further east. His instructions to get there (which I have not yet tried) are:- "It is easy to get there, there are plenty of animal tracks going in the right direction and a concrete post marks the summit. Curve back above the main antenna using what you can find. Then go through a gate in the stone wall to your right. After that it is just to aim for the top of the hill (or the post if you can spot it), keeping the wall fairly close on your left where the animal tracks are easiest for walking"
Walk 17, page 43, first line:A new hand-painted sign toEftalou has appeared, pointing right through a gap in the wall on to the drive from the new development. Following this will lead you on to the track past the Pension Taverna Orpheus (page 44, para 4). If you want to follow the coastline, stay with the instructions in the book.
para 2: Take care when crossing this fence and the land beyond not to disturb the fences or any animals. The farmer is not walker-friendly and there have been several altercations reported to me.
page 44, para 4:Both the Restaurant Tsipouri signs have been removed. (The restaurant is still open; its entrance is now on the tarmac road going left from the fork). After the fork, the fields are gradually being replaced by new houses and a large group of polytonal greenhouses.The rear entrance toOrpheus has now been closed and the sign removed.
Walk 18, page 46, para 2:The millstones have gone.
Walk 20: page 50, para 2: Take care not to miss this right turn; the bottom of the track is becoming overgrown. It is opposite the steel/wire mesh gate of a fenced olive grove.
para 3:Immediately before the first house on the left a short track has been bulldozed up to the left. This leads directly to the square, next to the school, with theTaverna ΤΟ ΑΙΘΡΙΟΝimmediately to the right, making a useful short cut if you are desperate for a beer after the climb.
Walk 21, page 51, para 2, line 10: For a short cut avoiding most of the bypass; about five minutes along the lane there is a staggered crossroad with signs to'Center' and 'Anaxos'. Turn left here, walk up to the bypass and turn right. The track to Lafionas is about 40m on the left, just after a large new pale blue agricultural building.
para 3: A new track has been opened up into an olive grove. Coming fromAnaxosthe track to Lafionas is now the third on the right.
page 52, last para: There is a large new water-trough shortly before the junction.
Walk 22, page 53, para 3: The first sentence should read: 'Take the left-hand street out of the square into the village, and almost immediately the first turning on the left. Follow it as it bends round to the right.....'
The sign on the electricity pole has disappeared (there are various new signs around the village indicating the 'road' route to Ag. Alexandros)
"Where the path forks...." - This is now deceptive. At the first clear fork (just after a farm building above the path to the left) go left uphill, not straight ahead.
Several of the way marks have faded into near invisibility, but the path remains clear.
page 54, para 2:The fountain has now been removed.
para 3:Ignore the new track forking down to the right just after the monastery, unless you want an extra ten minute walk to a promontory with views over towardsSkoutaros.
The water supply to this fountain has now been disconnected.
(For a new route through the valley to the Skoutaros-Anaxos road see my website)
Walk 23, page 56, para 3:In the last sentence "a track down to the left" is in fact on the right, and "two leading uphill" are on the left. My apologies for the error.
para 4:The 'Ecological Route' sign has disappeared.
para 5, line 1: There is a new sign here toΛαφιώνα- Lafiona.
The sign at the next fork has been corrected with a taped arrow pointing right to Ag Alexandros.
Walk 25, page 58, para 2: For an alternative start to this walk turn off the main road throughAnaxosopposite Studios Anessis down the tarmac street next to a partly-built apartment block. (This is the last street in the village going towards Skoutaros). In about five minutes keep left at the fork (the right fork becomes a river bed and leads underseveral low bridges before coming out on the beach). Carry straight on along the concrete lane, ignoring a turning on the left, and where the lane ends, with a small-holding on the right, continue on the path ahead (do not go left into the olive grove) In a couple of minutes keep left at the junction of two paths, and rejoin the walk at page 58 para 3.
page 59, last para:The roadfromAmbelia to Anaxos is now either tarmac or concrete throughout its entire length.
Walk 26:Since I last updated this walk the track which was being bulldozed through the valley has been completed. It now runs from the main road betweenArgenos and Lepetimnos shortly after the spring (there is a green fingerpost to ΑΓ ΑΝΝΑ)and finally joins the dirt road leading to the summit of Vigla.
Also the Commune of Lepetimnos has cleared, signposted and way marked a series of trails in the area, including most of those used in the lower reaches of this walk.
(For a new route from Sikaminia to Αγ ¨Ανναusing these paths see my website)
page 60, last para:This area is being tidied and'improved' with a new wall and steps. A restored Turkish fountain has been imported and installed with an impressive working tap. To follow the walk turn left at the top of the steps and go along in front of the fountain.
page 61, para 1:The yellow trekking trailway markhas been replaced with a red square. After about five minutes turn left on to the new track and follow it for ten minutes to where it bends left to cross the stream (there is a sign toΑγ Ανναat this point) and then right by the tree with the old blue cross way mark. There should be a fingerpost at this point - follow the sign to ΚΡΗΤΑ.
In less than five minutes the track doubles back across the stream - go straight ahead along the path signposted to ΚΡΗΤΑ. Where the path leaves the track stay on the left of the stream bed. Since it was made the course of the stream has changed with winter torrents and you may have to pick your way over boulders. Part way along this path the red way marks end, but in ten minutes it rejoins the track. Turn left uphill on the track, follow it round to the right, and the Turkish fountain (para 5) is on the right at the next left-hand bend (this is Κρητα).Then continue from the top of page 62.
page 62, para 4:The gate and warning signs at the top of the track have been removed - there is now no obstacle to getting tothe summit of Vigla. The communications post seems to have been re-designated a fire lookout point, though I surprised a national-service man asleep in there in 2007.
Walk 26, page 63, Sikaminea to Lepetymnos:This trail has now been marked for its whole length withfingerposts and red square/ diamond way marks.
page 63, last line: Add'In five minutes turn left again at another T'
page 64, paras 2-4: New brushwood barriers have made it necessary to reroute this section, as follows: 'The path leads back into trees and descends again. It bends round to the right and climbs on kalderimi. Go through a gate and bear left, with the entrance to an olive grove straight ahead. Climb steeply over a brow and down again with a wall on the right. In five minutes, continue ahead onto an overgrown path along a terrace wall. After two minutes bear right past a fallen tree and continue along the path with steep terracing down on the right towards the sea.
In another five minutes, by an entrance on the left over a fallen wall into an olive grove, go straight ahead along an overgrown kalderimi running between walls. (There may be a firmly closed gate across the path at this point in spite of the red way mark on the tree to the left. If necessary, climb over. Don't be misled by the apparently well-trodden path into the olive grove on the left: this leads to a maze of sheep-paths, the lowest of which runs more or less parallel to the trail: even if you manage to find the right one, at the end you will still have to climb another gate to regain the trail)Bear right and continue slightly uphill. Go along the path as it reverts to kalderimi leading down and across a stream, then bending right under a high stone wall on the other side (This last section has become very overgrown) It finally bends left and climbs twenty metres to join a dirt road by a small trekking trail sign'
page 65, para 2:The power line has been being renewed and rerouted, but not enough to affect the instructions.
para 4:This trekking trail sign has been removed.
page 66, para 3: There is now a crash barrier along this stretch of road, with a gap and fingerpostwhere the path starts. Note that the path runs alongside the road for about 20 metres before turning downhill - do not take the apparent path leading straight down from the sign.
The next printed update will be produced in early 2010.
For a free copy send an addressed envelope to the address below.
If you come across anything that you think should be noted, please let me know by email or letter.