Paros has a surprisingly efficient bus system. There are only five bus routes but they cover most of the island. For about 2 Euros you can hop on any of the routes and watch the lovely scenery as you meander around the island. A convenient thing to note is that the buses will also stop for you in the middle of nowhere, so if you see one and want to hop on it, just wave! Or if you are on it and want to get off somewhere, just give the bus driver a sign!
A friend had recommended that I visit the small village of Lefkes. This is a cute little town of about 500 inhabitants located in the center of the island situated on a hillside with views of the valley and sea in the distance. I took the bus route #1 for the 15 minute ride to Lefkes. It was a Sunday, so the town was very quiet with many of the shops were closed. Regardless, the quaint narrow winding streets were just enchanting.
I arrived at the Louki’s café at the end of one narrow street and noticed a sign with an arrow pointing to the right that said “Byzantine Path”.
The name rang a bell in my memory! I quickly checked my travel ebook and Triposo app and could only find minimal information about it. It is an ancient road that dates back to the Byzantine era (1000 AD). But neither the sign nor my apps said how long the trail was or where it ended. Nor did it appear on the map of the island I had with me.
It seemed to be an interesting path down into the valley with beautiful views and there were signs of civilization in the far distance. It was calling my name and I just had to walk it! I figured that if I had to, I could just turn around and head back to the town of Lefkes.
The trail is paved in ancient marble which in some areas is quite smooth and in other areas very broken up and uneven. Most of the trail is level or downhill with one 200 meter section which goes up to the peak with an amazing 360 degree view.
There wasn’t a soul in sight and at times it felt quite eerie walking along the trail surrounded by the heavy thick scent of wild sage and rosemary (I wish the screen came with a “scratch-and-sniff” option!) and only the chirping of the cicadas to keep me company.
I didn’t know where I was going to end up or how I would get back home, but I had faith that I would figure it out and all would work out just fine. The Byzantine Path eventually came to an end and after following a residential street for a couple of blocks I found a hand painted map of the small traditional village of Podromos on an outside wall of a building that showed where the bus station was.
This was a cute little village and even with a map it could be quite easy to get lost in amongst the narrow winding streets.
Eventually I found where I thought the bus stop was, but there wasn’t a sign. So I went to the small family run restaurant across the street. Their daughter, Kyriakí (which means Sunday in English), told me the bus stop was indeed on the corner and the bus to Parikia would be coming by in about 20 minutes. Perfect!! That gave me time to have a souvlaki and a well-deserved cold beer!!
With further research I discovered the Byzantine Road is 3.5 kilometers to the village of Podromos and it continues on to the near-by village of Marpissa and to Pisso Livadi by the sea on the western coast of the island.
Not knowing how long it would take or where I would end up and not seeing another soul along the way was at times disconcerting and a little intimidating, but it was a life-changing experience and I am so glad I ventured down this unknown path.
As Herman Hesse is quoted as saying, “Each man’s life represents a road toward himself.“
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.
Do you have any stories to share about Greece? If so, please leave us a comment below.
Stay tuned for more stories from beautiful Greece!