Walk to Afionas
( 5km approx 1hr 30 minutes each way )
Afionas provides a fantastic view of the bay of St George together with magnificent views of the Diapontia Islands and Gravia Island (the one in the shape of a ship) looking back towards Arillas. On the headland there are faint remains of defensive walls which date from about 500 BC. Excavations in 1912 uncovered traces of a Neolithic settlement dating back to around 3000 BC. This walk is quite challenging therefore is suitable for those who have experience or are reasonably fit. Appropriate footwear is needed so definitely no flip flops or summer sandals. Remember to take plenty of water with you as once you pass Arillas the shops are few and far between.
Firstly you have to make your way to Arillas either on foot or by car. The walk starts at The Marina Hotel by the jetty, follow the road which runs alongside the beach.
Keeping to the road with the sea on your right, head towards the tavernas and holiday apartments until you reach the Thomson Hotel Bardis Sun. Follow the road to the left, the next road you are looking for is on the right hand side opposite the Villa Feakes Apartments. Don’t go past the sign for Mon-Amour Taverna. Turn right onto a tarmac road leading into the olive groves and be prepared for a long walk up into the hills. The path twists and turns on its slow ascent up into the mountain. The path continues to wind up into the hills turning back on its self when it gets very steep. There are a number of vantage points on the way where you can stop for a drink and to admire the view, especially when you reach the top overlooking San Stefanos and Arillas in the distance. Continue to follow the path until you reach the main road and turn right, remembering where you left the path for the return journey. Keep on this road past the graveyard on your right until you reach a junction with a sign leading down to the beach of St George. Walk past this junction and carry on up the hill, passing a number of restaurants, bars and a bakery. The road twists and turns as you continue your climb. You will soon reach a steep S-bend just before the final ascent. The road comes to an end at the church square, look out for the beautiful church chapel with its magnificent bell tower to your left and a craft shop to your right. From here you have two options the first carries on from the square to the headland and the second to Dionysos Taverna.
Continue by going up a narrow slope to the right of the craft shop sign posted “To Sunset 200m” This path takes you through a narrow paved street passing some traditional whitewashed houses that are a mass of flowers in summer. Old feta cheese and olive tins are used as plant pots. Follow this path onto the headland where you will find bench seats and a wonderful view back towards Arillas, Gravia Island and San Stefanos.
A sign on the left hand wall of the craft shop guides you down a side street to the Dionysos Taverna. This taverna has breathtaking views across the bay of St George and is definitely worth a visit. Before resting up at Dionysos take advantage of the views by carrying on the road round to the right, passing the entrance to the taverna car park. Follow the path as it begins to narrow through the bushes and follow this until you reach a wide stone path. Follow this path onto the headland where you will find bench seats and a wonderful view back towards Arillas, Gravia Island and San Stefanos. After admiring the view, make your way back to the taverna for a well earned drink!