Aegina’s ancient olive grove

Date:

Share post:

The island of Aegina, a short boat trip from Piraeus, is large enough, at 83 square kilometers, to offer a variety of pleasant walks and hikes. 

One of the least strenuous options is a plateau with an impressive ancient olive grove in the southwestern part of the island, some 6 kilometers south of the main town. 

Take a taxi to Marathonas beach and ascend the dirt track that can be seen on the right-hand side of the ravine coming down from the hills. 

The track turns right after about 20 minutes and the plateau, interspersed with thick olive tree trunks, low bushes and generously covered with expanses of chamomile in springtime, extends on the left. 

The highest summit of the island (Koutala, 532 meters) is in the background. 

Follow a clockwise route and take a sharp left at 50 m after the sign “Katafygio Agrias Zois” (Wildlife Shelter). 

The track winds up to a large abandoned animal pen, behind a house with windows and doors painted light blue. 

Continue to the scenic Chapel of Aghia Triada, with a large covered medieval cistern. The track here turns south of the dried-up stream coming from the mountain. 

Look out for the occasional grouse flying out from the bushes, you’ll hear more drumming in the distance. 

The track narrows until it finally disappears but if you keep on straight alongside the mountain you’ll eventually reach the settlement of Sfentouri (1.5 km). 

A right turn into the center of the valley, which is marked by a cluster of rocks and ancient olive trees in gnarled shapes, will bring you to two animal pens on the far western side, from where you can descend to Moody Bay through the village of Aeginitissa. 

Scientific dating techniques have shown the largest tree trunk (13 m in diameter and a hollow nearly 2.5 m wide) to be about 500 years old. 

The grove, which even many locals are not aware of, is still tended by local farmers for home consumption. 

“The tree never dies unless it is uprooted completely,” says film director Nikos Alpantakis, who has shot an excellent documentary about the grove. 

Fortunately, a plan to build a biological treatment plant in the location a few years ago was shelved. 

Source: ekathimerini [April 15, 2011]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Ascension of marine diatoms linked to vast increase in continental weathering

A team of researchers, including Rensselaer professor Morgan Schaller, has used mathematical modeling to show that continental erosion...

The closest star system found in a century

A pair of newly discovered stars is the third-closest star system to the Sun, according to a paper...

Researchers discover earliest use of Mexican turkeys by ancient Maya

A new University of Florida study shows the turkey, one of the most widely consumed birds worldwide, was...

New archaeological area declared near Athens

The peninsula of Cape Zoster, now called Mikro Kavouri “protects the modern yacht harbor and bathing beaches of...

Fossil skull sheds new light on transition from water to land

The first 3D reconstruction of the skull of a 360 million-year-old near-ancestor of land vertebrates has been created...

Young star rebels against its parent cloud

Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 has captured this image of a giant cloud of hydrogen gas illuminated by...

Could ferocious lightning storms on exoplanets beam radio signals to Earth?

Ferocious lightning storms millions of times more powerful than those on Earth could be responsible for unexplained radio...

Not so crowded house? New findings on global species richness

Planet Earth may contain millions fewer species than previously thought and estimates are converging, according to research led...