We continue our walking excursion at Lefkada, with the book “Lefkada on foot” by Lida Out.
Vafkeri – Monastery Asomatou – Neochori – Vafkeri
(3 hrs) 19 km
The walk starts about 500 metres past Vafkeri (coming from the direction of Nydri) at the spring you see on the left hand side of the road (VAF1). There is a sign for the Monastery of Taxiarches; turn onto this tarmac road. After 20 minutes you see a track to the left (VAF2) leading to the Monastery Asomatou, also called the Taxiarches (Archangel) Monastery. It is definitely worth taking a little time to enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautifully situated monastery.
The Monastery Asomatou, dedicated to Archangel Michael, was probably founded in the 16th century during the Turkish domination. At the beginning of the 18th century it was at its peak under the Venetian rulers. It counted 19 cells and possessed farmland and animals. The church is decorated with unique frescoes dating from the end of the 16th, beginning of the 17th century. The remains of the cells, warehouses, olive mill, stables and other buildings remind one of the past wealth. Since 1930 the monastery has been abandoned.
Return to the tarmac road and continue uphill for another 10 minutes until, just after the road turns right, you see a turn onto a gravel track going uphill on your left. There is a rusty yellow sign (EN2).
If you keep following the tarmac road you will reach Englouvi after 1 hour.
Turn onto this gravel track (it eventually descends to Neochori) and after about 20 minutes you reach a Y-junction where you keep right (EN3). After another 20 minutes turn sharply to the left at the junction (EN4).
If you do not turn left here but keep going straight on, after 7 minutes you see some sheds on the left hand side (EG22). Turn left before these sheds and continue on walk no. 9, via Paleokatouna back to Nydri.
From (EN4) walk no.10 partially overlaps walk no.12. After 5 minutes, just past a turn to the church of Ag. Dimitrios, you see a path on the left (EN5). (See red dot on tree.) Turn onto this path and after 3 minutes you reach a spring and the old school of Neochori. The descent will have taken about 50 minutes from the tarmac road to Neochori.
(continues in the book)