Difficulty Level: Easy
Suggested Hours: Afternoon
You are in Perahori. The start of the route is the old church of the Virgin Mary (Panagia), above the cemetery, at the highest point of Perahori. At the bend in the road right after the church the small dirt road starts which leads to Palaiochora. Palaiochora, which is deserted today, was one of the three first settlements of Ithaca and is mentioned along with Anogi and Exogi from 1548 (the period of Venetian rule of Ithaca).
Palaiochora was the old capital of Ithaca before it was moved to seaside Vathy. At the first fork in the road, at the entrance to a farm, take the road on the left (the road on the right leads to a small church) and after about a 10 minute walk, on an almost horizontal dirt road, you will see the church of St. John the Theologian with its stone bell tower and wonderful religious paintings. You are now at the first ridge of Palaiochora and the view of Perahori, Vathy, the surrounding coves, and high up toward Petaliatiko mountain is fantastic.
Continuing on the small road among the deserted houses, you will be surprised to see Dexia bay ahead. You are now at the second ridge of Palaiochora, at the center of the island’s old capital. Up high you can see abandoned houses, toward Vathy a very old “aloni” (threshing floor), and behind that an abandoned two storey building which may have been the old headquarters.
Continuing, slightly downhill, you slowly leave Palaiochora. After a while, you will see a low sheep shed and a second, relatively new, threshing floor. Immediately after that turn right and you will be walking on the ridge of the mountain toward the churches of St. Andrew and St. Nicholas. You will end up at the Cave of the Nymphs (Spylaio Ton Nymfon or Marmarospilia). Do not enter the cave because recent work has made the area dangerous! After the cave a cobbled road will lead you to the paved road.