Footpath from Pounda to Alyki, Paros, Greece
This is an easy coastal walk of just over 9.2 kilometres taking around 2 hours 45 minutes. The route is mainly on dirt roads or footpaths, although there is a pretty rocky stretch of around 600-700 metres that requires a little careful attention.
• duration approx. 2 hours 45 minutes with a break of 20 minutes or so.
• most of the route is via footpath, or dirt road, although one rocky stretch of around 600-700 metres requires careful attention as it becomes very rocky.
• suggested resting stop: at Makria Miti beach.
• signalling: There isn't any but as you are basically following the coast, it's virtually impossible to wrong.
The walk starts at the port of Pounda (opposite Antiparos), easily accessible by bus from Parikia, or Alyki – check timetables before departure as they are subject to frequent change, especially out of high season. Just to the left of the port there is a small track passing in front of “Thea” restaurant. Shortly after the restaurant this widens into a dirt track which continues past both kite surfing clubs before reverting back into a footpath. (At least that was the case in April when the winter wetlands were still very much so). During the summer, the dirt road continues along most of the western coastal part of the route.
After around 4 kilometres, you will pass a beautiful tiny harbour, normally with two or three small traditional fishing caiques moored inside, and shortly after that a small church with a very well stocked graveyard on the right. It was around this point that we saw a friendly, or at least inquisitive, wild tortoise out for a walk amongst the fields full of spring flowers.
As you round a small headland there are beautiful views of neighbouring Antiparos, before the dirt road comes to an apparent stop. Don't worry, just move the section of fence, (and replace it afterwards), walk through the field, following the path, do the same on the other side and you come to a section of the coast lined with luxurious villas, small jetties and tiny little sandy, and pebble beaches. In effect you will be walking through the ends of these villas' gardens. It is perfectly acceptable however to stop for a swim here as the coastline in Greece is public.
As the line of villas ends after 600 metres or so, you are faced with the only, slightly difficult section of the walk, around 700 metres of rocky coastline with little or no discernable path. I'd recommend caution here as the terrain is, although entirely navigable, not easy. The pay-off is worth it though, just as you begin to tire of carefully placing every foot, you round the headland, and through a gap in a dry stone wall (about 2 metres back) come across a beautiful stretch of sandy beach lined with shade providing Tamarisk trees. ( A word of warning here; in recent years this beach has become an – unofficial- nudist beach). Further on is the main beach of Voutakos with its crystal clear waters, and further still, a series of small sandy coves backed by sumptuous villas.
The path here is clearly visible and continues around the headland until you arrive at the beach of Makria Miti, a long stretch of almost always, even in summer, deserted beach.
After Makria Miti, the path once again hugs tight to the coastline, and again passes through a couple of gardens. (The owners of one house gave us a friendly wave as we passed, so, don’t worry that you are trespassing.).
From here on the picturesque bay of Alyki, full of traditional fishing boats bobbing around on the tranquil turquoise waters comes clearly into view. It’s a short distance to the tavernas and cafes lining the seafront for some well earned refreshments.
From the seafront in Alyki, buses run to Parikia and other places around the island of Paros, Greece.
compiled by Andy Kirk