Wow! Spring time on Thassos seems to be almost upon us. It is the middle of February and the sun is shining with an unbelievable temperature of near 20 degrees centigrade. “A few hours in the mountains is the order of the day.”, we thought.
So we set off with two of our friends and headed for Kallirachi village. Knowing that mountain tracks can be quite an ordeal for a normal car, our friends followed us on their motorcycle which can easily navigate Thassos' lovely mountainous terrain...
On reaching Skala Kallirachi, a turn inland takes you on a short drive towards the village. This typically Greek village is well worth a visit with it’s stone built houses, quaint village shops and enticing tavernas. It is a wonderful place to sample the local offerings as well as enjoy the unique village's native atmosphere and the serenity of life around you.
High up in the mountains above Kallirachi village, which is on the western side of Thassos Island, resides the little known church of Metamorphosis. It is no wonder that few people are familiar with this gem. Although it can be spotted high up on a mountain peak from the main island ring road, it is otherwise relatively obscured by the surrounding vegetation and spectacular landscape.
We drove by car through the village centre, following the signs for Metamorphosis on good tarmac roads until the dirt tracks began. If driven with care, a car is perfectly adequate for most of the 5 km. or so distance, although a 4x4 jeep would be advisable. Eventually I decided enough was enough and parked the car at a beautiful grass covered clearing overlooking the tree-filled valleys below. From here another 1 km gets you to the base of the mountain peak where the pretty church quietly resides. As our friends had the motorcycle, we had such fun being ferried in relays on the bike to the area below the church. The remaining section of the route though is only on a slightly inclined track and can be walked in about 20 minutes.
From here, the views are more breathtaking than you could imagine. We have seen some wonderful sights and views on Thassos Island, and these are definitely ones not to be missed. The tranquillity, serenity and sheer beauty is some of the thoughts that come to mind immediately.
The next short 10 minute hike has to be made on foot as no mode of transport has yet been invented to navigate the fallen rocks, trees, vegetation and small step type ledges which take you to the actual church destination. It sounds daunting, but I can assure you it is an easy trek although quite steep in nature.
On a very hot midsummer day, this walk is possible, but I would recommend doing it either on a cool day or early morning time. By far, Spring is the best time for mountain walks. The temperatures are pleasantly warm and the bloom of nature puts Thassos' beauty at its best.
However you get there and at which time you make the visit is not important though really, but I would say that you should try it, as you will be amazed at your discovery of yet another relatively unknown but truly special location on Thassos.