Autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons of Greece to go on an expedition. At this period of time, the colour of the sky is the most amazing sight as it is painted by beautiful green, brown, red and yellow hues. The upcoming weekend seemed to be of such a day. The company was a major factor to go on an expedition by motorcycle in the mountains. Four friends and I, each from a different place, met in Patras. These friends were Nikos from Kopenhagen, Nikos from Sitia, Makis and Nikos from Kos. Every November, we meet in order to enjoy the expedition in nature. However, this year we did not manage to spend many days together so we arranged to enjoy ourselves for at least one day in Patras. On Saturday evening we met only to talk about the last instructions for the meeting point and the course schedule. On Saturday morning, we met in a café in Rion that is situated before the exit point of the highway. We had coffee there and then started our day trip.
The selection of the right rider’s equipment was a necessary supply in order to be protected and comfortable during the trip.
The predetermined route to follow was Kalavrita (through Diakopto) to Zarouhla and the Lake of Doxa and then return to Patras from Trikala Korinthias getting through Mountainous Achaia to Mountainous Korinthia.
We drove to the highway of Patras-Athens which is not only a very boring part but also a dangerous one due to roadworks that take place for the completion of the Ionian highway. Basically, our trip begun after we passed Diakopto. Thus, we exited the highway which was full of trucks and we immediately drove towards uphill preserved bends as far as the paving is concerned. The view was amazing. At that period of time, you need to be cautious when riding in Mountainous areas because there are parts that are treacherous due to ice which makes their street surface slippery.
After an hour we arrived in Kalavrtita where we stopped and relaxed. We took a stroll in the beautiful pedestrian area which was full of shops and cafés. Kalavrita village once had suffered by the dramatic events that took place during the World War and the German’s invasion to the village. Moreover, the place’s contribution to the Greek revolution was of great importance. The last years the village is known as one of the most beautiful resorts of Peloponnisos and Greece. One of the best skiing resorts is located there and those who love winter sports can enjoy themselves during the prosperous winter period. Therefore, we were supplied with tasty and hot bread, gruyere (by goat and sheep cheese with pepper) from the beautiful traditional shop that Mister Panagiotis owns and then we continued to Lake Doxa.
Going towards the uphill road to the skiing resort the view was amazing as we were watching the conifers of the mountain while the temperature was decreasing in 8˚C. Kalavrita seemed to be an artwork. The distance to the skiing resort was relatively short as we arrived there in 20 minutes. Before we reached the parking lot we had turned left and headed for the village of Zarouhla which was 20 kilometres far. We went in front the impressive scenery on our right side and gazed at the ski fields which in a few days would be full of snow and people will have fun. The top of Helmos hulked highly with a background the observatory “Aristarhos”. Once we went from the back side of the skiing resort the scenery changed. On the one hand, the firs disappeared and on the other hand there were stony acreages. This happens due to the cold blast of wind of the Gulf of Patraikos and the top of Helmos that do not favor herbage.
The view was stunning as we were going from the 1700 metres height (where we arrived at the parking lot of the skiing resort) down to the 1200 metres height where Zarouhla is located. There were a lot of stones in the road due to the erosion so we had to be careful. After an hour, we arrived in the beautiful village Zarouhla where there were stone houses and a beautiful paving. We had to stop to drink water and eat some almonds which we had bought by Kalavrita. Zarouhla is full of trees and its houses are built near the slopes. There is also a central paving in which there is a lot of traffic. The paving leads straight into the forest where the provincial – woodsy road begins from and links Zarouhla with Feneo.
The highlight of the day was the forest route that passes through Zarouhla’s forest and ends up in Feneo. At this point nature was amazingly painted by opalescence of green and brown colours which were mixed with yellow and red hues. The greatest part was the red-brown colour of the plane trees at the end of the road. In order to pass the route, you will need to drive carefully for 45 minutes as you may find parts of mud that make the road slippery. We arrive at the barrier of Feneos. The road heads you in the right side of the barrier where the water lever is low. The lake is surrounded by tops of mountains which in a way protect it. Its shores are covered by a green veil of firs, pine and plain trees. You must go round the lake either by feet or by bike which you can rent by shops from the villages. If there weather conditions are bad you may go round the lake by car while listening to soft music. We sat under the light of the sun in a beautiful corner which was near the shore. There, we had a picnic and relaxed.
Peace, serenity, delight.
You may relax in this place.You may feel revitalized in nature, in the countryside and in the mountain as well. The rustling of the leaves and the warmness of the sun make you calm down and lull to sleep. Once we had taken some time to relax we walked at the church of Aghios Fannourios which is located in the middle of the lake. Afterwards, we continued our stroll.
In November, the sun sets around 17:30. We wanted to be in a lower height before 17:00 in order to avoid problems of visibility and ice on the street surface. Keep in mind that the in the mountainous parts the light of the sun disappears more quickly. We went back to Patras moving from Ancient Feneos, Gkioka, Steno towards Karia and Trikala Korinthias. After Steno the church of “Panagia twn Vraxwn” is worth visiting as it is built inside the rocks. The landscape here is full of red colours and there are rocks that are of majestic beauty. In Karia and in the homonymous tavern you should stop to try some tasty food and perfectly grilled meat.
We had coffee in Mesaia Trikala. It was our last stop so as to refill our batteries before we start to go towards the last and most difficult part – the Highway. As in the beginning of our ride we are again in the highway which we chose to go through just to arrive earlier and safer because the sun started to set and the visibility was relatively low.We had a wonderful time that Sunday. Greece is so beautiful because it offers its visitors several images. It is amazing that you can go to the sea and in no time move to the mountain and go back to the sea again passing by beautiful villages, forests and lakes while tasting delicious traditional products that these places produce.
Love and Live Life.