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Starting from Chalki, the route heads towards the western side of the Tragaia olive grove. Upon reaching the entrance of Tsikalario, hikers can rest and drink water from the spring, while admiring the 13th-century frescoes in the cruciform domed church of Agios Stefanos. Beyond Tsikalario, the landscape changes significantly, with immense fragmented migmatite boulders appearing in the area. This geological formation is one of the oldest in the Cyclades region. Visitors can also explore "The Necropolis", a cemetery with circular tombs from the geometric era (9th-8th century B.C.) that contain the remains of influential families from the Naxian mainland.

The main trail leads to Apano Kastro, situated atop an impressive rocky hill that dominates the area. A challenging path leads to the castle, which has been inhabited from early historical times to the period of the Latin occupation. At the top of the hill, hikers can see the medieval fortifications, the semi-ruined Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches of various styles (including the large "roofless" church of Panagia Kastriani), and enjoy the wonderful view towards central and southern Naxos.

After descending from the castle, the trail continues around the perimeter of the hill, stopping before Ano Potamia at the church of Agios Andreas. The route to Ano Potamia follows a wide stone-paved trail, a remnant of the medieval road that once connected the Potamia valley with the Apano Castle and the Tragaia valley.

Tips:

The upper part of the trail is quite demanding and the signage is scarce, so hikers should be well-prepared.

Good hiking shoes are necessary, and wearing a hat and sunscreen is recommended.

Level: **

Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Elevation Gain: Approximately 240 meters

 

 

 

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