The Parasporos – Aneratza – Alyki Hike
A 12 km hike, climbing the gentle hills of Aneratza and descending to Alyki beach through idyllic Kamari valley, mostly on gravel roads, country lanes and old footpaths. Great S-SW views to Antiparos, Sifnos & Sikinos islands.
Description We set off from Parikia on the early morning bus to Alyki and get off at the Koukoumavles/Parasporos beach junction. We start our hike on an old footpath and walk along a dried river bed. Then, we cover 0.5 km of paved road and enter a steep 1 km uphill country lane, which takes us up on the heights of Moutsiko hill. As we walk up a gentler dirt track now, we enjoy unobstructed S-SW vistas of the islands of Antiparos and Sifnos and the Paros-Antiparos channel, while on a clear day we may see as far as Polyegos and Sikinos.
Then we start going downhill through a relatively rough gravel road. We enter the valley of Aneratza, with its farmland, olive groves and tree orchards, walking on a fairly flat country lane up to the chapel of Aghia Eleni of Aneratza. In the shade of its patio, we stop for a traditional picnic of local produce: Green salad served with caper and oregano, Paros gruyere, chopped tomatoes in olive oil, freshly boiled eggs sprinkled with thyme, olives and multi-grain bread, better washed down with a glass of home-made demi-sec liasto red wine.
The food and the drink, and the view to the serene valley below, somehow lift our spirits to continue on a mild uphill trail through the old, mostly abandoned village. We walk along farmers’ lanes and age-old ‘pezoules'(stone-built terraced hillside fields), with great views to Mt. Stroumboulas and the hills above Kamari to the N-NE. Crossing over centuries-old (but now wooded and in disuse) foot- and mule-paths, we get an idea of the vast network of paths that was the island’s transportation backbone.
On our descent, we get a full view of the Kamari valley and the coast of Alyki. We walk by pastures with grazing flocks of sheep, barley fields and olive and fruit tree groves, into the lush, green banks of a dry river turned to dirt track. We do a final, modest scramble to the terrace of the Desyllas windmill, with beautiful S-SW sea views to Alyki bay. After exploring the traditional farm right below, we continue downhill on the old riverside footpath to Alyki. There, we either lounge at a seaside café and wait for the bus to Parikia, or decide to spend some more time at one of the sandy beaches nearby.
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In a nutshell [Rural charm and endless vistas] Countryside/views, moderate difficulty, distance 12 km, duration 4.5-5 h (incl. breaks), net elevation 270 m.