Text: Anna Kalatzi
Photos: Olga Karagianni, Antonis Sassalos, Anna Kalatzi
Translation in English: Violanti Vratsanou

As we expected it: we cannot go on without our public and our public cannot go on without us …. After the last maintenance hiking on route no. 4, we had missed our people a lot; the frequent questions and requests for a new hiking convinced us at last. So we decided to organize a surprise summer hiking for the friends and supporters of Andros Routes. And what else could this special hiking tour offer? Apart from the standard maintenance care of the footpath, it had to include sea, swimming, views of the endless blue, andriotic gastronomic delights after the hiking… What route could combine all these features? Of coarse, the circular of Aprovatou!!!! We met at 10.30 a.m. and at 11.00 a.m. we began to descend starting from the “Balcony of the Aegean”. And, as the name of this tavern (which would wait for us with delicious dishes after the end of our hiking) suggests, the route – as you walk it – is literally “Balcony of the Aegean”.

A rural route with an incredible view to the sea that spreads out in front of it and offers one of the most amazing sunsets in the Aegean Sea. We began with light clearing of the vegetation, looking to the nature around and the beach of Koutsi in front of us, not allowing the tiredness and heat to oppress us. The group of hikers was amazing; a mosaic of various nationalities (Greek leaving in Greece and abroad, Italian, Swiss, English, French, American) met on the trail and were automatically bonded with a strange chemistry… enjoying each other’s company!!!

We went down the circular route in a clockwise direction and halfway through the 4.5 km route we reached the beach of Koutsi with its thick pebbles and impressive stone ruins. Some people swam, some people sunbathed, some people just enjoyed the shade of the trees; after a break of one hour or so, we started all together to ascend on the other side of the circular route. The clearing demands were considerably less, since the ascending side is drier than the descending side, which has plenty of vegetation and water.

Around 15.30 we arrived back at the starting point…just at the time when the stomach starts to bother and the imagination is limited only to gastronomic delights!!!! We do not want to say goodbye to you again and renew the appointment for September… As long as you keep asking us about maintenance hikes, we will do our best to bring you in touch with the Routes of Andros, since we are united by the same passion. So stay tuned and let’s see, what will be the next footpath and to which beach it will lead us to in order to extinguish the summer heat!!!!

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