Naxos – Apano Kastro
Our last day on Naxos we rented a car to go for an extra hike. We read about Apano Kastro in another website and were told it was more amazing hike than Mount Zeus. So we had to check it out.
We picked up the car and drove to the small village Ano Potamia. We parked the car outside a restaurant and a church and walked through the village. We saw later that we could have parked on the other side of the village. It would be closer to the trail.
The autumn is starting to make the leaves yellow
And also red. So much nice colours.
Ano Potamia. You can see the car park in the middle of the photo.
The sign to Apana Kastro along the main road showed us the direction
And it started pritty steep
But in a short while the ascend was over and we walked on a dirt and gravel road. This is not a long and difficult hike as you already can see the hill where you will find Apano Kastro. You can not see the castle from this side (maybe with good glases 🙂 )
We met some goats on the road. They kept the distance!
Further on you will see this sign and then you can follow the trail along the stone wall.
It is already an amazing view
You will pass the Agios Andreas Byzantine Church in front of the hill
Google Maps told us that the church was closed, but it wasn`t. The church is from the 12th century.
Some very old paintings on the wall inside
I guess something is missing here…
The trail goes around the hill on the left side annd you can also follow the red marks.
The view is spectacular!
Here we are on the other side of the hill
Here we found this small church, St. Georges Church. You have to go through the gate.. This church was not open.
At the gate you will also find this sign. So from here you will leave the trail and walk up the hill to Apano Kastro.
There is a trail but it is hard to see, so look for rock cairns, they will help you on the way.
The first ruin on Apano Kastro
You can see me on the left side of the hill, I am thinking how I can walk up to the top…
It is not a hike for everyone, you have to see where you are going, and sometimes you need to use your hands when climbing.
I also got an extra hand from Astor when I needed
Its quite rocky up there!
But take your time and you will find the way up
And it is really worth it! From Apano Kastro it is an amazing view in all directions
I got company from a lizard
Some beautiful spots on the top
There were also some goats on the top.
Apano Kastro summit is at 420 masl. It`s not very high, but you will have an amazing view in all directions
Apano means “Upper” as this was the upper castle. The lower castle is found in Naxos City/Chora.
The Venetians build this castle in 13th century
You can also read what Earthtrekkers is writing about the trail to Apano Kastro. They follow the trail back the same way, while we continue around the hill.
As that said, I will follow their recommendations next time. We also check out alltrails about this trail and they wrote it was possible to go around. IT IS NOT!
Many rock formations around Apano Kastro
If you are going back the same way you will not see this rock formations
Between the rock formations and the Agios Andreas Church you have to climb over three different stone walls. Most of the walls do also have rebar mesh on the top of the walls, so you have to find a place where it is destroid enough to go through/climb over. We took a chance, because if not it could happend that we had to turn around and go back the same way as we came…
From the church we followed the trail back to the car. After we came down from Apano Kastro we drove to Filoti village to eat lunch. It was not much open, but we found Karra`s corner. And guess what?? They had Pita gyros!!
Here is the main square in Filoti
You will see cats everywhere, and we love them!
Not much people to see
I liked this guy 🙂
After walking through Filoti we went back to Naxos to deliver the car. Had a short walk in the old town looking for bread…
Last week we hiked the highest mountain on Naxos, check out our last post!
The next morning we woke up early (that was the plan) and already at 6 o`clock we were ready to leave Naxos. It was a lot of wind, but it came from north and we should sail south so it was okay. Only the part from Naxos town to the canal between Naxos and Paros was bad. After that we had the wind in behind and that is perfect!
It is not very warm that early in the morning, before sunrise.
After we passed the small islands south of Naxos, the waves was growing big.
Right before the sunset we arrived our goal – Astypalea
I had a wish to reach the sunset on the top of the hill, but when we started from the boat the sun was already gone from the bay.
It is quite uphill from the bay, but it is easy to follow the road
Astypalea is one of the villages you will find a lot of photos on Instagram
Also pictures of the windmills will you find on Instagram. I hoped for better photos here, but the sun was going down…
But we ran through the small, narrow streets, of course with a lot of steps…
I like the new, but I am also fascinated about the old things, it is more history and soul
And as you can see, we reached the castle before sunset!
The castle was founded by Giovanni Querini in 1413. At that time the island had been desolated due to the consecutive pirate raids. The castle was built using local ferrous rocks at the position were the ancient acropolis of the island once stood.
The church of Saint George
most of the houses inside the castle collapsed due to an earthquake that struck the island in 1956.
Right before the sunset
2000 people lived inside the castle, and it was habitable until the 20th century, but due to the great earthquake of 1956, the last inhabitants abandoned it.
The castle has only one opening, to the southwest, and the gate is under the church Lady of the castle.
After sunset we walked around in this beautiful village.
Can you see the balcony on the wall of the castle?
I felt like this was a private garden, but I had to take a photo of it – amazing!!
8 windmills are on the topp of the hill, along white houses and churches. They are build in 18th or 19th century.
When we walked back to the boat we had the town behind us, but luckily Astor had a necessary errend and I had to wait for him. Then I turned around and saw the full moon hanging over the castle of Astypalea. Amazing!
Our plan was to reach Rhodes in a couple of days (we checked the weather forcast) and here it is a big distance between the islands so also next morning we had to woke up early. And the best thing that early in the morning, is the sunrise!
We anchored in Livadi bay, even if it was windy it was very nice to stay there. And I have to tell you; the evening before we were looking after bread and went to one of the small supermarkets here. We couldn`t see anything and I guess we looked a little bit “lost”. A young girl with kids stopped us and asked if she could help us. Then she asked the woman in the shop in greek, and yes! they had bread! So nice to come to theese small places in the low season. I guess the locals are much more open to speak to you.
And do you see the moon on the top of the mountain??
The sunrise a little bit later, with the chora on the top of the hill
We had a nice downwind sail with 20 knots of wind.
Half way the wind decreased and the gennaker were hoisted.
Just reached Tilos before sunset.
We arrived at Tilos in the evening, and a guy came to the harbour to help us with the lines. He said he had many friends from Sweden. We have been on Tilos before, in 2018. We had this stop because it was necessesary between Naxos and Rhodes.
Tilos is a small village, and now everything is closed, like other small places. Only some supermarkets and a bakery was open.
It was no other sailboats in the harbour so we could stay longside.
We needed a bread in the morning so we went ashore to the bakery.
Cozy, quiet place. Of course, it is still early in the morning.
An amazing bouganvilla outside the bakery.
The beautiful church Santa Claus. It was open but we realised we didn`t had time to visit it. Next time!
Me on a small bridge on the way back to the boat
The marina. Very quiet at this time of the year. A perfect place for a stopover if the wind direction is right.
We sailed further on. In the beginning it was good wind so we had a plan to reach Rhodes. But almost half way the wind dropped, and we decided to go to Symi instead. We have been on Symi also before, in 2018, and the town is one of the most beautiful in Greece.
You can check out my previous blog lailasturblogg if you like to see more photos from the sailing trip in 2018. Unfortunately that blog is in Norwegian.
On the westcoast there is a beautiful bay, and it started to get late so we stopped there. An old windmill met us at the inlet to the bay. We thought immediately that could be a nice sunset spot.
Sacred Monastery of Saint Archangel Michael the Panormitis
We anchored on the left side of the bay, really beautiful place, clear water and so quiet (until the church started the mess in the morning, with speakers outside)
It is a nice path from the monastery, around the bay, to the windmill
We used the drone to take some photos
Unfortunately we didn`t get the sunset, the sun went down behind the hill
But we enjoyed it with a bottle of wine!
The monastery in the night with all the lights
In the morning we took the dinghy over to the monastery. I hoped that the sun would shine on the monastery, (for better photos) but it was not like that now in the winter.
I think this is the monastery we have visited with most buildings. They have started to renovate a part of it.
It is a mess in the morning so we waited until that was finished before we visited the church.
It was still some people around so we didn`t took much photos here
The backyard, outside the church
The clock tower seen from the other side.
After visiting the monastery we hoisted the anchor and set sail for Rhodes. It was not much wind but we could use the gennaker for a while
The eastern part of Rhodes town
Rhodes town is located on the north end of the island, with beaches all the way around the peninsula
We anchored in Zaphyros beach, 20 minutes walk to the old town. Wednesday and Saturday it is farmers market here, and I love farmers market! A lot of fruits and vegetables, and fresh fish.
We bought some eggplants for moussaka!
We had to go first one tour to see what they had, before we started shopping
It is this time of the year – clementines!
All of this, and a bit more… So now we have fruits and vegetable for the next week
In the afternoon we went to the old town, it was cruiseship in town so we expected a lot of people. We went through a park on the way and found this cat shelter.
A lot of cats wanted som cuddle, but this one was first, and he was so cute. It is so sad we have to leave all this cats… When I google it I found the name Lefteris B&B, there is a guy who feed them and taking care of them.
Astor was popular
We went further on into the old town. We have been here before and we think it is a beautiful town with a lot of history
Church of the Virgin Mary of the Burgh
this late Gothic bulding from the 14th century was badly damaged in World War II bombing. Only the church`s three apses remain standing today.
We sat down for an icecream, but pritty soon we realised that the shops were closing. People were on the way back to the cruiseship and the old town get empty. On days without cruiseships everything is closed in the old town.
We ran through old town to see if we could find something (didn`t)
On the way out of the old town someone asked us where we come from. One of them was from Finland (the other one was greek) and she was spoken swedish. She could tell us that on monday everything would be closed in Rhodes town, because of a public holiday. Not in the island, only in the town.
We continue walking out of the old town to check out if something was open in the new town. We found many shops and we had dinner (yup, Pita gyros!) before we took a taxi back to the boat (not far to walk but after sunset the temperature is falling)
A beautiful sunrise next morning and we decided to sail south to Lindos
We used the whole day sailing south. We anchored in the St.Pauls Bay, it is totally cheltered for all type of winds. In the evening we took the dinghy ashore and took a walk around the old town. We found 1 restaurant which was open, Arhontiko, and stopped there for dinner. We were the only guests but after a while a group of five people arrived and sat next to us. They came from Australia, Irland, Germany, Austria and Greece, and we had a chat around the tables.
Next week we continue our stay at Rhodes and exploring the island with a car. See you!