E4 to Disaster: Vardhousia Trail
Epiniana to Ano Mousounitsa (Athanasios Diakos)
“Take the road. The old path is far too tiring,” we were frequently advised. For the older generation of rural Greeks, following the ancient paths was part of the backbreaking labour of everyday life, to be avoided wherever possible. While younger Greeks are now rediscovering their wonderful mountain areas, I suspected that the bureaucrat who devised the E4 European route through Greece belonged to the “too tiring” school of thought. So the E4 mostly followed roads, and the challenge was to find more scenic routes along the mountain tracks and paths.
Yet it was on the beautiful off-road stretch of the E4 between Artotina and Ano Mousounitsa that disaster struck, nearly bringing our hike to a sudden end. It had been a difficult trail below the dramatic peaks of Vardousia, and we were just emerging from the trickiest part, when Alan slipped and fell down the scree slope.
Route: Epiniana, Varvariadha, Klopoukitsa, Kerasochori, Nea Viniani, Stenoma, Karpenisi, Kokkalia, Saradena ridge, Grameni Oxia, Artotina, Ano Mousounitsa (aka Athanasios Diakos).