We start our hike at Melinda on the south coast. Melinda is a tiny hamlet with perhaps two dozen inhabitants, six kilometres west of Plomari. First we follow the narrow asphalt road uphill towards Paleochori. When the road turns inland, we stay on the coastal sand track. From here we have spectacular views of the steep coast and the deep blue sea. Far below - unfortunately unreachable by us - are beautiful little beaches. On a clear day you can see the island of Chios approximately 50 km away, and the Turkish coastline more to the east. On a steep path we now climb down to the amazing cave chapel of Panagia Krifti - the sanctuary is a cave! Close to the chapel there are hot thermal springs that flow in a natural pool at sea level. You can enter the crystal clear water over a small jetty. Here we stop for a revitalizing break. If you like, you may bathe in the natural hot pool and then cool off in the sea, which is a memorable experience.
Pleasantly refreshed, we climb the path uphill through shady olive groves to the small village of Paleochori. Some corners of the "main street" are so narrow that you hardly fit through with a standard car, but friendly Greek people are always at hand to help – and watch. We have a coffee or refreshment in one of the small kafeneion and relax from the steep climb.
Now comes the easier part of the hike.
We head down towards the sea, passing a modern olive press and little further a very old oil press which is still in operation. If the doors are open we may have the chance to look inside and watch the process. Through olive groves we walk back to Melinda.
In Melinda, we now enjoy a late lunch in our favourite taverna overlooking the sea. After we have eaten some tasty Greek food we can enjoy some relaxation on the sunbeds at this beautiful beach and a refreshing swim in the sea. The beach consists of multi-coloured pebbles, you may want to collect a few as a reminder of that lovely day.
Minimum of 2 people required, start time, meeting point or pick-up from your accommodation by arrangement.
Price for the hike: 24€ p.p. (5 or more people) or 36€ p.p. (for 2-4 people).
The extra-charge for our exclusive-package (Coffee or refreshment in Paleochori, lunch in Melinda incl. wine or beer and water) is 18€ per person.
Prices for larger groups (>10 people) on request.
This hike includes a rather steep descent to Panagia Krifti. Proper hiking boots and a good mobility are recommended.
(Level of difficulty: Medium)
Total distance of the hike: 10 km, duration including stops: 7-8 hours