Starting Point: Neda
Ending Point: Temple of Epicurius Apollo
Main Sights: Abeliona, Stavrouli, Sklirou
Connected to: Trail 2 | Abeliona – Neda Springs – Neda, Trail 3 | Abeliona – Agios Sostis – Neda
The trail starts from the village of Neda – called Berekla in older times. The first part downhill is covered by large yew trees; older residents used to benefit from their shade to make their route easier, especially during the summer months. At the end of the downhill road, there is the stone-built bridge of Berekla.
After crossing under the modern cement bridge, you find yourself in a totally different environment dominated by plane trees. You are walking along the stream’s running water and under full shade, and after a while, you reach the spring of Tritseli, where you meet APOLLO TRAIL 2, and you continue till Abeliona’s square. Abeliona owes its name to the vineyards (abelia or ambelia) cultivated here in the past. Today, this plantation is very scarce though.
Leaving Abeliona behind, the trail enters a very dense chestnut woods. There is a pleasant route uphill, under dense shade almost all year long. When coming out of the woods, there is a majestic view to Mount Lykaion and Mount Tetrazi, which enclose the region. The trail’s highest peak lies at Stavrouli, where you can choose to either visit the church of Saint Iakovos, called Agianakovos by locals, the spring of Filiatro, or the mountain top of Vigla (APOLL TRAIL 1A).
The trail crosses a small plateau, among aged oak trees, where you can see countless dry-stone walls and many threshing floors, proof of the everyday effort of local residents in the past to benefit from every yard of soil for plantation. From Pontika, the trail continues downhill till the village of Sklirou. You can either reach the village through a dust road or a stream covered by plane trees. In Sklirou, you can see the statue of Nicolaos Bozinakis, a local chief of the Greek Independence War. From there a broad, good paved path will lead you to the Temple of Apollo Epicurius.