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Englouvi - Agios Donatos - Profitis Ilias - Englouvi

A walk of 7,450m, lasting 2 hours and 20 minutes and graded 3,5 for difficulty. It starts in the village square at Englouvi, taking us across the Agios Donatos plateau (home to the church of that name), and then past threshing floors, wells, windmills and voltoi (vaulted stone rustic buildings), before bringing us to the Chapel of Profitis Ilias and then along a dirt path back to Englouvi.

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C J T: Net walking time

C J T Walking description
00:00 We start at the Englouvi village square (GPS: Ν38 43 820, Ε20 38 734, H=720m)  Access map. Englouvi - Agios Donatos - Profitis Ilias - Englouvi walk (Starting point), proceeding along the asphalt road as far as the café owned by Ilias Kourtis, where we head to the left up a smaller paved road. After a few metres we turn right and proceed to the next junction, where we turn left onto a flat paved
00:06 road. We then carry on, bearing right, as far as the Church of the Virgin, at the cemetery. From here we ascend the cement road to the right of the cemetery. We carry on, still going uphill, until we arrive at Agios Donatos, following the dirt path to the left of the water tank. After a few metres we come to a stone
00:12 paved path leading through thick vegetation and centuries-old trees. We cross an asphalt road and carry on along the stone-paved path. 32takes us to the shrine of Agios Ilias where there is a superb view of the
00:16 Akarnanian mountains, Sfakiotes and the Skaron mountain. From here we continue along the paved path (not the dirt track to the left) as far as the
00:23 asphalt road, which we cross. After a few more paces we see to our left Vathylako, at the top of which stands a derelict windmill, and now we come to the first of the voltoi to be found in the area. These voltoi are witnesses to a unique community and culture, and these traces of their lives can leave no visitor unmoved. The voltoi are found only here, and their construction was the product of the special farming conditions in the region. Each voltos was home to a small household, providing shelter for the farmers who lived here through the summer months. The sheer number of these structures (small, vaulted, stone dwellings in the shape of an oven or kiln) indicates that in the distant past Agios Donatos must have been a busy summer community, buzzing with life.
00:28 We continue up the paved, path until we reach the Church of Agios Donatos (GPS: Ν38 43 644, Ε20 38 289, H=880m), before us the wells, threshing floors and the first lentil fields, where the famous Englouvi lentils are grown. The water from the well is safe to drink. The Church of Agios Donatos, on the Vouni plateau of Englouvi, has its feastday on 7th August each year, attended by many people. On the day before,  after evening service, the Feast of the Lentil is celebrated, an occasion to mark the harvesting of the new crop of the famous local lentils. The local housewives contribute offerings of cooked lentils, preserved sardines, olives - and plenty of wine. The occasion also features traditional dancing and songs. We turn right off the path onto the asphalt road and after about 100m turn
00:29 left at the intersection and to our right see the grape trough used until a few years ago by the vine growers of the area. We carry on for another 600m or so, past more voltoi and threshing floors, dispersed among the lentil fields.
00:44 Continuing along the asphalt road we encounter on our right the abandoned American military bases, which we pass and carry on along the asphalt road. After 530m we come on our right to the path we will take on our
00:52 return from Profitis Ilias to Englouvi. We continue along the asphalt road, to our right now the sand quarries, the area known as Ammokampos. A short distance in front of us and to our left is the air force base, while to our righ
00:55 tis the Chapel of Profitis Ilias. We reach the intersection and turn right to
00:57 Profitis Ilias, following the signs, and after 250m come to a dirt track. We ignore this and continue bearing right, ascending the asphalt road, with a steep
01:20 gradient, until we come to the Chapel of Profitis Ilias (GPS: Ν38 44 299, Ε20 38 834, H=1012m)   Profitis Ilias . On 19th and 20th July the feast day of the saint and the preceding day, a service is held here in the little church, while celebrations are held in the main square of Englouvi, with many local people and visitors from elsewhere taking part in the traditional festivities. This is a wonderful spot to sit and enjoy the unique, panoramic view.We return by the same route, leaving Profitis Ilias behind us and descending
01:40 until we get to the next intersection with an asphalt road, which leads on the right to the air force base, and on the left to Englouvi, our own destination, and we proceed with Ammokampos to the left. We walk for 200m and before
01:42 we pass a small vineyard on our left we come to the beginning of the dirt path (GPS: Ν38 44 437, Ε20 38 392, H=920m), which has been turned by rainwater erosion into the bed of a small torrent. We follow this down with
01:52 vineyards on our right and Ammokampos to our left. After 550m we climb out of the river bed, now becoming steep, and continue to the right on the path, eroded at its beginning but still to be made out. We are now walking through the hills divided by the torrent whose bed we were walking in earlier, which has now grown much larger. On top of the hills, to our left, we can see the Chapel of Profitis Ilias, which we have just visited, and to our right the radar aerials of the old American bases. Before us lies the village of Englouvi, with its
02:12 windmills, and in the distance to the right the loftiest peak on the island, Ano Pyrgos, the peak of Mt. Elati. The path now comes out on an asphalt road and we turn downhill to the left, then right onto a cement road as we enter the
02:14 village of Englouvi, the road now becoming stone-paved. We walk on another 50m and turn left into a narrow paved road which goes on down until we
02:20 come to the asphalt road, where we turn right and come into the main square of Englouvi.  Access map. Englouvi - Agios Donatos - Profitis Ilias - Englouvi walk (Finishing point)

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