How difficult Nestos-Rodopi Trail is

How difficult Nestos-Rodopi Trail is

Text by T. Adamakopoulos

In general, Nestos-Rodopi Trail is a long trail, yet technically is a medium difficulty route. In only two sections one can meet minor technical difficulties.
The main problem that the hiker might meet are some local difficulties, related to the explosive vegetation growth in the spring and until early summer, as well as the possibility of fallen trees on the trail.

Perhaps the most objective difficulty evaluation factors of Nestos-Rodopi Trail are the distnce and the elevation range of the daily sections. The following elevation diagrams allow the user to evaluate the altitude changes.

1. Xanthi-Kromniko

Nestos-Rodopi Trail
Nestos-Rodopi Trail, Section 1: elevation profile

The first section of Nestos-Rodopi Trail from Xanthi to Kromniko is one of the most difficult of the entire route, mainly due to its length (it is 18.8 km long, time needsd is estimated to 8h). Even though there are no objective difficulties along the route, the middle part of the section, from Chrissa to Achlada, might have considerable passability problems due to vegetation growth.

2. Galani-Kromniko

Nestos-Rodopi Trail
Nestos-Rodopi Trail, Section 2: elevation profile

The section of Nestos-Rodopi Trail from Galani to Kromniko is one of the most impressive mountain trails in Greece. The first part is etched on the rock, and so there is no change in it as time goes by. Contrary to that, the parts crossing zones with natural vegetation along the Nestos river, exhibit some passability problems due to the explosive development of the annual plants. The last section, the ascent to Kromniko, can be strenuous under the mid-day sun in the summer, due to the western exposure and the interrupted tree cover.

3. Kromniko-Stavroupoli

Nestos-Rodopi Trail
Nestos-Rodopi Trail, Section 3: elevation profile

The Nestos-Rodopi Trail section from Kromniko to Stavroupoli is the easiest branch of the route. The route follows the Roman-era paved path at first and alleys and dirt roads afterwards, up to Stavroupoli. Water and shade for a quick stop can be found at the monastery of Agios Konstantinos, near Komnina.

4. Stavroupoli-Kato Karyofyto

Nestos-Rodopi Trail
Nestos-Rodopi Trail, Section 4: elevation profile

The Nestos-Rodopi Trail section from Stavroupoli to Kato Karyofyto presents a variety in trail passability and condition, a status that might concern the non-acquainted hiker. It is possible that you encounter some passability problems due to vegetation, particularly in the part after Kalo Nero and up to the cemetery of Kato Karyofyto. During or after heavy rains, you should consider the passage along the Kastanitis ravine, and eventualy cancel this section.

5. Kato Karyofyto-Livaditis

Nestos-Rodopi Trail
Nestos-Rodopi Trail, Section 5: elevation profile

The Nestos-Rodopi Trail section from Kato Karyofyto up to Livaditis presents several passability problems, as it follows paths that have been abandoned since decades or simply goat tracks. At the first part, the path trace is unclear, but orientation is easy thanks to the marking. Right after and up to the large kiosk at Livaditis, the trail has been divided into several routes by livestock herds and you need to keep track of the marking.

6. Kato Livaditis-Erymanthos Forest Village

Nestos-Rodopi Trail
Nestos-Rodopi Trail, Section 6: elevation profile

The Nestos-Rodopi Trail section from Livaditis to Erymanthos Forest Village in Chaidou is, along with the section of Nestos Gorge, the two best sections in terms of passability and the two most interesting in terms of landscape and nature. In its first part, up to the junction to Livaditis waterfall, the trail is clear and smooth and passing of Arkoudorema stream is safeguarded by a robust wooden bridge. From there and up to the intermediate forest road the path has been configured by the Forestry Service and bears several infrastructure works and information boards. The last part has various passability levels, but is generally passable and quite interesting.

A hiking guide of topoguide app series, dedicated to Nestos-Rodopi area, is under development. However, all trails of the area are already included in the cartographic application Toponavigator, available for both Android and iOS (iPhone και iPad) devices.
Toponavigator provides full coverage of Greece with hiking off-line maps and thousands of POIS and offers tracking and navigation services.