Hiking Mount Oros in Aegina Island, Greece

Despite buying a digital version of the hiking routes of Aegina, I was not able to use it when it came the time to start hiking. I had read some information about this hike, and some of it seemed to be inconsistent. Therefore, I thought that it would be useful for me to share my experience with this hike in details!

This map is not really straightforward but I have traced in green the path that we have done. We have not encountered or noticed some of the paths shown on the original map. 

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A rough draft of the hike described in this post (in green).

Mount Oros is the highest peak of the island of Aegina, just over 500m. You can actually see the peak from the town of Aegina on a clear day.

How to get to the starting point 

First of all, I would like to say that it is quite easy to rent a car, an atv or a scooter (50cc or 125cc) in Aegina port. The prices are reasonable, we paid 30 euros for a 125cc scooter for 12 hours. This is a convenient way to get to know the island at your own pace. I would recommend a scooter over a car since the streets are quite narrow. However, there is still good bus service on the island.

We set to drive from Aegina town to Agia Marina and then Portes. From Portes we turned right and headed towards Anitseo. Once you pass the small settlement, keep an eye for an entrance way on your left. You will see this sign:

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Where you begin, enter this road and park
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Approximate google map position of the start

You can park at the entrance of the road. There were 2 other cars parked there when we arrived. Alternatively, you could drive up until the next diversion. This drive up would probably save you half an hour of hiking but coming up to the views by foot is really worth the extra time.

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On your right you will see Aegina town and Perdika, a small fishing village. The contrasts between the different types of island on the right make for an unforgettable vista.

Once you access the section of the trail that is not accessible by car, you will see that it is marked with “1”. The signs are placed on rocks along the trails starting from there.

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The Ascent

You should calculate between 1h00 to 1h15 for the ascent. Wear shoes that can grip in rocky terrain. Regular gym shoes were not good for my partner, as he slipped one time on his way down. I had my Salomon and they were great for that terrain.

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You can see the top!
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Almost there!

Once you get close to the top, you will see a marked separation between the paths. On your return, you will go towards “Anitseo” or “1”. This will bring you back to where you parked your vehicle.

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Branching of paths before the summit

Once you reach the summit do not be shy to let your accomplishment be known by ringing the bell! Enjoy a 360° view of the Island and imagine yourself as being a part of this mountain. Imagine all of the people who have ever reached this summit before. The man we met and chatted with up there told us that he climbed Everest, so I guess that this one was not much of a deal for him! Still, get a proper feel of the place before you think of the descent.

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The bell. I and other hikers rang the bell once we reached the top.
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One of the angle.

The Descent 

I recommend wearing a hat and putting some sunscreen before you start to go down, because we got roasted! The trail leaves you in the open, and we are used to hiking in forests and milder weather, which provides some protection.

Most importantly, wear long socks with you are wearing shorts. The way down is full of bushes with needles. Alternatively, you could take the same way down instead of turning right.

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Parts of it look like this, but most of the time the bushes will only scratch your legs.
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Those bushes are no jokes
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Some of them look like this. They are only taking over the path on the way down though.

The descent trail is difficult to locate ahead. To counter this lack of visibility, some people have arranged piles of rocks to show where the next “1” sign is located.

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Extra signalization with piles of rocks

Your perseverance will eventually bring you to the Temple of Hellanios Zeus.

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Olive tree and temple of Hellanion in the background

Shortly after this landmark, you will reach your vehicle back.

Review 

The descent took us around an hour. In sum, planning just under 3 hours for this hike would be safe. We are happy that we took on this one! My favourite part was the view of the islands as we were going up. However, the signalization on the way down is not optimal and one needs longer boots or socks to be comfortable on the way down. I rate this hike 7.5/10.

Luxembourg – Hiking Heinerscheid Loop Auto-Pedestre

We did this loop on May 1st 2019. It is just under 11km with some elevation, so you should plan just under 3 hours. We saw a lot of families and groups enjoying their labour day in nature.

We parked at at restaurant-touristic center in the middle of Heinerscheid called Hotel Cornelyshaff. They had an extensive range of brochures about the nearby Our Nature Park in German, French and English. We ordered a cappuccino before getting started on our hike, and the staff was friendly. They have some menu items that you can order in advance. There are other restaurants in this town, but the spacious facilities as well as the terrace of this place means that we would probably choose to eat there next time we visit.

The view as you leave Heinerscheid for the fields

Flowery Fields

You begin the hike in the fields. It does not look like you are going to reach a forest anytime soon, but you will. At the beginning of May, the field is really pretty because it is filled with dandelion flowers. This flower is pretty and loved by the bees, and I like to look at it as if it is not just another common flower.

Dandelions near Hosingen

There was also other marked trails. It would be interesting to see what they have to offer! I did not recognize the names, but the signage was artistically hand-painted.

Other trails. The one we followed is the blue arrow on the white background

Our River

Soon enough after the fields you enter a forested area. There are some interesting geological formations that you can start to notice. Make sure you catch a view of the valley from the lookout area on your way down. You will go down in enlarged zigzag patterns for a while. At the end, you will pass by a camping ground. It is located near the Our River. The trail continues along this river. It is nice to be able to hear it flow as you go on.

Walking by the Our river

You will then pass through pine plantations that feel quite picturesque.

A very pretty section of the trail

WW2 Memorial

Later on you will turn right and face some elevation. If you feel up for it, it is a nice challenge to jog up until you exit the forested area. At this point, you will encounter a memorial honouring 5 young Luxembourgish men who attempted to escaped Nazi forces and hid in a bunker at this very location. There is another sign telling the whole story on how these men were forced to defend themselves but were ultimately killed. This was an unexpected find, and the rest of the trail gave us time to debrief and discuss about what had happened there.

A memorial to 5 young Luxembourgish men that were killed by the Nazis

We learned something while doing this hike, and imagined what it must have been like to be there at a different period.

Labour Day

Overall, the light mood that this hike created for us was probably influenced by some of the family gatherings we came by. We saw a group of young girls sitting in a circle in the field, probably taking a break from the louder family party that was happening at the nearby cottage.

Rating and Review

We enjoyed the Heinerscheid loop, especially the fact that the landscape changed quite a lot and that an historic aspect of this place was documented on site. We rate this loop 7/10. I would be willing to find out more about the other local trails that this town offers.

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Luxembourg – Canach Loop Auto-Pedestre

I did not know this before moving here, but Luxembourg is great for hiking! Beside the national trails and the well known ones, almost each village has its own local trail as well. It’s a great way to discover the country.

Finding a map which features all of the trails is sometimes daunting. In my experience, the several apps that claim to have all of the trails always end up missing some of them.

If you want to plan your day in advance, it may be useful to have access to a map before you get to the town itself, where you often find an outdoor map of the area. My favorite website and tool for planning day hikes in Luxembourg is this Geoportal. What an amazing tool! It gives you distance and elevation as well.

Canach

A screenshot from the Geoportal

Canach is a small town in South Eastern Luxembourg. Depending where you are coming from, you will get the chance to drive through several other small towns are there are no main highways.

This blue loop is 12km long, so allow around 3 hours to complete. I would say that 70% of this trail is paved. As you exit the town, you will start in a section of the trail that is grassy. It feels as if not a lot of people use this trail. However, you turn right soon enough and enter a more forested area away from the main road.

As you will notice, this trail is also the starting point of other local trails which also seem to be well-marked. We will try these out another time! To find out more about the other local trails in Canach, you can research more about the Reserve Naturelle Wengertsbierg (see below)

The sponsors of the other local trails

Vineyards

In the first section of the trail, you will come natural and abandoned vineyards. Others are well maintained though, like the one below:

Nice brick walls for the vineyards

An old brick wall can be found along this first section of the trail. On your right, you will have the chance to enjoy beautiful views of Canach and of the valley.

A view over the valley during the first part of the trail (going eastward)
The path leaving the vineyards section

After this section, you will enter farmlands. This part feels like it goes on for a bit longer because there is not much change to the scenery itself. Before turning right and going down towards the town of Lenningen, you will pass a small building which seems to be holding events and maybe catering during the summer. It was not open when we passed by in early May 2019, but we saw people prepping.

A small town: Lenningen

Through this hike you will pass by the town of Lenningen. This town has bus services. We did not come across restaurants on the main road, but there was a winery which says that it serves food as well! It looked open.

A colourful house with a matching car

You will leave Lenningen by going uphill towards the west. If you are lucky, you will come across peculiar sheeps and yak-kind beefs. Enjoy the beautiful view on the valley from that side

Shortly after this view, you will enter a forested area (the first time for this loop). Some of the trees are older. The path is large and quite accessible, I almost wished that it would have been a bit smaller. After a few kilometers in the forested area, you will cross a road an enter another forested area. Many trees were cut there, left to lay there. I am assuming that there was an operation to clean the forest there a bit. Keep an eye on the path, as it is not that well defined in his area.

At one point, the trail will split in two directions. Take the right one. At times of writing, some of the signage is being redone, so instead of the blue arrow pointing you where to do, there is only the white square.

Horses

When you definitely exit this section of the trail, you will walk through a farm with a lot of horses. The were friendly and we gave them some grass. As you continue on, you will be able to spot Canach again.

Rating and Review

I am rating the sentier auto-pedestre of #Canach at 6/10. We were expecting more unpaved trails. Trees were cut over some sections of the trail but I am assuming that this is temporary. The views on the valley are nevertheless scenic and the farm animals found along the way truly animate your trek. When I return to Canach, I would try out the other local loops offered by the commune, which might offer additional features.

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