100. Kardaki to Amari Walk and Cycle in Crete
Four kilometres of track and cobbled path.
The large church in the middle of Amari is decorated with vivid paintings. If the church is locked you can see some of these through the windows. To the east of the church steps lead up to the clock tower. A narrow spiral staircase takes you up to the four bells and views out over the red tiled roofs of Amari.
It is worth taking time to explore the village. Some of the village houses have elaborately carved doorways of Venetian origin.
There is a telephone kiosk in the village square and a Kafeneon serving refreshments.
On the western edge of Kardaki a good track drops into the valley from the main road and runs to Amari. An older path provides a more interesting route from the middle of this village, dropping north into the olive groves.
15 min. The gravel track is heading north-east through some of the oldest olive groves in Crete. Some of these trees are over six metres in diameter.
20 min. Fork right to head north across the flat valley bottom with more scattered olive trees mixed with oak.
25 min. Cross the concrete bridge over the stream and follow the track as it climbs gently north through more ancient olive groves.
30 min. As the ground in front rises more steeply, turn right, toward the east onto a level track. Ruins are visible 500 metres to the south.
34 min. As the main track turns south and back down to the valley floor, turn left up a rough track and immediately left again to head due north up an old cobbled path.
40 min. Follow the path up into a rocky valley through high wire gates.
45 min. The rock shelters under the ochre cliffs are now used as pig sties. When we passed each sow had a litter of tiny piglets.
48 min. The path climbs up the narrow valley past another pigstie in a cave before turning into a track as it passes a farm shed. Follow this through a gate and past several small vineyards.
1 hr 2 min. Turn right at as four tracks meet in an area of vineyards set on a col.
1 hr 7 min. Pass a little church with outstanding views to the north and immediately turn right to head east down a track.
1 hr 15 min. The track soon becomes a path as it passes between two large boulders. Continue down and east through the bushes of broom.
1 hr 20 min. Sections of the path are now cobbled as it continues to drop gently north-east.
1 hr 26 min. Turn left at a fork in the path and head down and north for the village of Amari ahead. The path here is mostly well cobbled but with some more eroded stretches.
1 hr 32 min. The path joins the track from Kardaki just outside Amari where a trough with a water tap sits under an oak
1 hr 40 min. tree and then enters Amari.