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The paths

Ochi has wonderful trekking paths that bring us closer to nature

The trekking and mule paths and the stone paved lanes were once the only means of communication and transport in Ochi.

Detail of a very old stone-paved road at Skala, Lenosaioi, at the Demosaris gorge.

It is on these paths that the life of the area flowed. Many of the traditional paths continue to serve the locals and shepherds still use the old lanes, particularly those that lead to the summer highland grazing lands. These lanes pass through harsh terrain, where there are still no modern paved roads and are a testimony to the presence of human habitation since time immemorial. It is certain that there was an ancient paved road from Karystos to ancient Geraistos. Some sections of this ancient road still exist in Kastri. Remains of roads that were used during the Ro- man era to transport cipollino marble are evident near the old quarries such as at Kylindroi and above Myloi. Many paths were created or improved during the Ottoman era. Stone paved roads were built by Greek masons at the orders of the Turkish landowners, as were arched bridges and public wells. Some still exist and are unique monuments of the local culture.

At Skala, Lenosaioi a huge boulder provides shade for a stone paved path. According to the locals, this point of the path is haunted. Detail of a very old stone-paved road at Skala, Lenosaioi, at the Demosaris gorge. (photo Dimitris Dimopoulos)

Most of the old lanes are a heritage from the past that is being lost. Migration meant that agriculture was neglected and people now use the modern roads which are frequently built on top of and conceal the old paths. Some paths are ideal for leisure pursuits. A great way for one to feel in touch with nature is to walk on them. Today, some of the old paths are being cleared and signposted and new ones are being opened. In this way, anyone can enjoy the environment, walking on old byways that traditional culture built.

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