[1.4 km and 1 hour of this is added by the detour to the Leivaditis waterfall]
Degree of difficulty: easy (1/4)
Minimum height above sea level = 502 m. / Maximum height above sea level = 1276 m.
70% of the route is on dirt paths
The Kato Karyofyto – Leivaditis leg of the trail mainly follows the route taken by the old path between the two villages. Most of the route is wooded, with oak trees in the lower zone and black pines in the upper zone. Ferns and low soft-leaved phrygana are scattered around the more bare slopes. The first half of the trail has a good view of the Nestos basin and the Rodopi peaks, with Abar-Kagias standing out among the other mountains. The mythical Orpheus lived with Eurydice in these mountain ranges and in the valley of Nestos. Here, he played his lyre and inspired the “Orphic” and “Lithika” sacred texts.
The route starts from the main road in Kato Karyofyto and leads through the streets towards the Kerasi spring. We leave the dirt road to follow the line of the ridge, initially walking through the bare plain, but gradually walking into a forest of black pine. The path climbs gradually, passes by the spring of Krania, and leads us to a hill where there is a large wooden gazebo and a wonderful view.
We walk through a smooth basin using a clear livestock path that steadily follows the gorge downstream. We walk past a succession of meadows, until we reach a point where two ravines join. We follow the second ravine upstream, pass a water trough and continue through an open landscape with sporadic clusters of black pines and low shrubs. We arrive at twin water troughs and end up on a dirt road.
From this point we climb up to a small saddle and descend to the Leivaditis basin. We follow a combination of paths, alleys and streets to reach the Xanthi EOS (Hellenic Mountaineering Society) shelter.
Accommodation & dining
There is NO accommodation, restaurants, tavernas or cafes at Kato Karyofyto.
There is NO accommodation at Leivaditis, but there is one taverna which operates during the tourist season. If you arrange in advance, it is possible to stay overnight at the Xanthi EOS (Hellenic Mountaineering Society) shelter. Otherwise, walkers have to stay at Ano Karyofyto and organise with their accommodation to be driven to Leivaditis.