Kollyvata to Skaros forest loop

Classic route around the Skaros peaks wandering through ancient oak forests along marble terraced monopati. This trail has a number of elements that make it one of the best on the island. The oak trees many of which are hundreds of years old. The ancient monopati following natural rock ledges across the hills. The vibrant colours of flowers and trees that change with each season. And the views across the island and out over the Inland Sea. If you do one walk on Lefkada do this one.

230m ascent

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Some accomodation in Alexandros and Kollyvata. Taverna in Kollyvata.

If you are fit divert off this path half way along to the Skaros main peak and hence down to the Red Church. From there you can get back along Red Church to Kollyvata. A long trail but well rewarded.

Kollyvata also connects to Karya for long distance hikes.

No public transport unless you take a bus to Lazarata and walk 3km to Kollyvata from there.

Starts from Maria’s taverna in Kollyvata. Follow the path up the right side of the taverna.

The trail starts up the right side of Maria’s taverna

Turn immediately right at the back of the taverna and follow the path/dry stream bed up through the little village. Soon you come to a wider path running up the right side of the churchyard. That turns into a road continuing to climb the hill. Shortly a path goes off left up and over steep rocks. Follow that path until it crosses straight over a second road and goes down the left side of a small monastery.

The trail now follows a classic monopati that traverses across and up the Skaros peaks. The path is very clear and at times you walk over a gently climbing stone ledge – a marble walkway. This is possibly one of the best examples of the monopati network that once covered all of the island. You follow the footsteps of ancient Greeks.

The classic monopati traversing Skaros

As you climb you start to get views over the oak forests that make up much of the flanks of Skaros.

The slopes of Skaros

Eventually the path reaches a plateau where the path divides. Keep left following the big bright red paint marks. Pass under a group of giant ancient oak trees. Soon after the path with the red blobs starts to descend to the left and another track starts continuing to ascend up to the right. Go a short way up this track to reach the ruin of the Church of the Virgin with fine views out over the east coast.

The ruined church with fine views

After enjoying this ancient sacred spot retrace your steps back to the path with the red blobs and go right down the slope. Keep going down through the trees until you get to an unsurfaced road. Follow the road to your left. (Alternatively turn right and via Skaros peak down to the Red Church and hence back up on Red Church to Kollyvata).

The leftward road gradually descends back along the other side of the peak you have just come over. You now have several wonderful views of the east coast and over to the mainland.

View from Skaros down to the Lefkada east coast and the mainland

The road eventually meets a paved road. Turn left and follow the road around a short distance back to Kollyvata. Use the signs to Maria’s taverna as your guide.

Well worth stopping at Maria’s tiny taverna for a post-walk drink and maybe a meal. Best to ring first and let her know you are coming. Like visiting your favourite aunt who cooks good food.

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