APANO KASTRO AND SURROUNDING VILLAGES

A moderate-to-demanding walk, starting from the village of Halki, Naxos’ old commercial center. As we cross the lush valley of Tragea, heading west to Apano Kastro (Upper Castle), we can see the rapid change of the geomorphology: huge stone rocks form a lunar-like landscape, on geological formation unique in the cycladic region. A short, rough footpath leads us to Apano Kastro, a formidable citadel with a view all over the central part of the island. This was the residence of the island’s Duke during the period of Venetian rule. The view from this point is breath taking. The medieval scenery of the fort and the half-ruined old churches is quite theatrical. Descending from the castle, we visit the Geometric Era Cemetery (Necropolis) and the nearby Menhir, a large upright-standing stone suggesting  pre-historic presence of people in the area.
We then follow old footpaths that peasants used for centuries which connect the nearby small charming, traditional villages of Heimaros, Damalas and Damarionas, before ending up to Halki. Picturesque churches can be encountered all along our hike to Halki.

Level: moderate to demanding
Duration: 4h
Distance: 9.2 km
Other Technical Details:
Elevation gain: 236m, elevation loss: -236m, maximum inclination: 23.5% (asc.) -23.6% (desc.), average inclination: 4.6% (asc.) -5.1% (desc.)
Recommended seasons:
All year round (except very windy days)

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