Ε4.53 Akolita – Kamares

Additional Info

  • path length 9 km
  • duration 3 hours
  • suggested period From spring to autumn
  • difficulty level Relatively easy
  • markers' type E4 (red marks)
  • Region Festos (Heraklio)

E4 Trail Map

map

To see the trail in Google Map (indicative trace) - click HERE

Trail Vertical Alignment

Trail Detailed Description

The footpath from the top of Timios Stavros leads to the area of Akolita (1) and then splits; its eastern branch leads to the plateau of Nida, while its southern one to Kamares. The latter, after 1 km comes to a dirt road (2), which we follow initially eastwards and then southwards.

There are quite a few stone dairy huts (mitata) in the area, where we can take shelter, if need be.

The road winds along the slope for approximately 1,5 km, leading us to the western side of the peak of Sela tou Digeni (= saddle of Digenis). Down below to our right, a stream can be seen; as it flows downwards, it creates Farangas, a gorge West of Kamares.

We leave the unsurfaced road at its end (3) and continue on a relatively clear path, which goes down the slope. Due west of the peak of Digenis, the Skaronero (4) water spring can be seen.  

its name is related to the fact that many skares, as locals call vultures, can be spotted in the area.

By now, the magnificent view of the Gulf of Messara and of the area of Phaestos, opens up to the south. On our right-hand side the wilderness of the gorge stretches out, while on our left are the steep western slopes of Digenis.

We continue to descend, initially along the edge of the steep cliff above the gorge. At an altitude of approximately 1.400 m, we begin to draw away from the lip of the gorge, turn towards the south-east and arrive at the area of Kalamafka (5), where a water spring is to be found and a sheepfold can be spotted nearby.

The distance covered from Skarónero to Kalamafka is about 1.500 m.

At this point, we can see a side path that goes to the Kamares Cave, north-east.

On our way to the cave, we walk along a water pipe for approximately 30 minutes, until we get to the area of Perdikonero. We continue uphill and after a steep section, the entrance to the famed sacred Minoan cave (6) appears.

The distance from Kalamafka to the cave is about 1.100 m, with an elevation difference of approximately 400 m. 

We return to the spot where the path splits (5) and take the south-eastern branch; we walk along a cement water channel and reach the lip of a small gorge

We pass a low hill and after approximately 1.400 m we reach a ridge (7), at the altitude of 1.200 m.

We then begin the steep descent on the ridge, following the footpath which meanders down along the cement water channel. 

Throughout the route from Akolita to this point, the route signs and markings are quite frequent.

By now we constantly have a distant view of the whole southern foot of Psiloritis.

Having left the cement water channel, we reach a spot from where we can see the village of Kamares ahead in the distance. After a while, we descend to a narrow road, where the first houses of the village are. This road leads to the main, paved road, at the eastern exit of the village (8).

 The descent from Akolita to Kamares takes approximately 3 hours in total. For the reverse route, the difficulty of the continuous climb from 600 m to 1.800 m should be taken into consideration.

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