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near Áyios Vasílios, West Greece (Greece)
Different variant of a loop around hills of Rio.
0,0km at 10m - Ag Vassileios, up to old national road and following it until Drepano. Flat and fast section with pleasant minimum traffic in early morning hours.
4,5km at 40m - right turn leaving old national road, under new national road to enter Drepano. Route passes through the village and continues up south. After passinf the houses, at Y crossing, route turns right and starts with huge climb! In some sections with bigger loose rocks the ride was impossible and I had to walk. Later path becomes more mild all the way up to church of Saint George of Drepano.
7,6km at 370m - Agios Giorgos Drepanou. Small church above the village hidden in the forest. This part was not burned in 2012's fire and looks really green! Great views!
Route continues south with a little bit more climb until 520m altitude, and later fairly flat to reach local road Ag Vassileios - Sella, just before Argyra.
11,0km at 480m - local road. Very soon later, route leaves the road to the right in direction to the church of Profiti Ilias of Argyra.
12,2km at 520m - Profiti Ilias Argyras. Another church higher in the hills of Rio. Again great views and mandatory water supplies refill :-D
After the church, route goes a bit down to pass mountain spring. At this this of year fairly calm and easy to pass. The rest of the section to Ano Kastritsi is mixed up and down with good dirt road.
14,7km at 630m - just before Ano Kastritsi, the highest point of the route.
17,0km at 480m - Ano Kastritsi. Great village hidden in the hills. Great views and quick rest at water springs next to the church.
Few meters later, route leaves main local road to the right and follows minor concrete path between the houses to reach dirt road by the spring all the way down to Kato Kastritsi. Some sections are pretty heavily destroyed and possible to pass only on foot :-/ After passing the spring twice, the path gets much better with fun descent to Kato Kastritsi.
22,0km at 120m - Kato Kastritsi. Pasing next to the church and following main road down. After two turns (first left, then small bridge and right), route goes next to the Rio Hospital and down with Somerset street to the bridge and fortress of Rio.
26,2km at 0m - Fortress of Rio. Passing next to Rio docks and back to Ag Vassileios by the coast.
30,0km at 10m - back at home.
Very nice route through forest areas, offering great views (see photos) and quite a lot of shadow. Level moderate with very few difficult sections (climb from Drepano and first part of downhill from Ano Kastritsi).