ANITSAIOU – KILINDRAS – PORTES – ANITSAIOU
5.8km / 3 hours 15 mins (circular route)
Degree of difficulty: easy / moderate
Starting point: Anitsaio (in front of the village church)
From Anitsaiou, a settlement with a characteristic windmill, we descend north to the pine forest by the small, lush canyon, rich in biodiversity. Throughout the island’s pine forests, there was in the past substantial foresting activity revolving around the collection of resin. We go on, passing by the rock-cut family-owned rainwater-collection cisterns, souvala in Greek, which announce the traditional settlement of Kilindras, where we arrive after an hour’s walking.
We cross the village, which offers excellent examples of folk architecture and traditional interiors. We turn right on the square. After 100 m, we take the dirt road on the right, which leads to a path that brings us to the outskirts of the seaside village Portes. Bypassing the village, we begin the ascent towards Anitsaiou, passing through a beautiful stone-paved and -walled path, and lush vegetation. Attention: after the cemetery, we enter the asphalt road, which we leave after 100 m, turning right to resume the path that crosses the beautiful rural landscape of old terraces.
The route offers a beautiful view to the slopes with natural rock sculptures and the sea, as well as a variety of habitats that host birds of prey. We can admire some of the more than 1000 plant species documented on Aegina – trees, shrubs and herbs. There are pines (Pinus halepensis), cypress shrubs (Juniperus), lentisks (pistacia lentiscus) and shrub oaks (Quercus coccifera). We can also smell and appreciate nectar-producing, aromatic and medicinal plants, such as wild lavender, saffron and thyme. With a little luck and depending on the season, we can see rare and endemic plants, such as colchicum (autumn crocus), iris and wild orchids.