Just 5 km from Karlovasi, you reach Lekka village, which was established during the Turkish occupation. The village square is a real balcony with a view over all Karlovasi villages. It is worth making a stop for a delicious cup of coffee or a glass of ouzo. The church of Agios Ioannis (St John) and its marble interior chancel are also worth your attention.
From Lekka we can slope up towards Castania (=chestnut tree) village. We are now at the roots of Mountain Kerkes, at 350m altitude. The countless chestnut trees have given their name to this beautiful village which maintains its patterns of old. Historical sources report that the first dwellers came from Epirus, during the 16th -17th century. It’s worth taking a walk around its alleys, and admiring the laundry houses, still in use by local housewives, the Kimisis tis Theotokou church and the beautiful double-decked houses. The area is verdant, with pines, chestnut and walnut trees, and with beautiful little chapels all around.
Cosmadaei, at 600m of altitude, is one of the three villages in such high altitude (others are Platanos and Spatharei). Don’t be surprised if you encounter cloudy or foggy weather, even during summer months. The view from the serene village to the north side of the island and the steep gorges that lead to Seitani village is really breathtaking. There are few villagers still living here, because the days of prosperity are long gone. Forest logging and coal production have ceased and agriculture has remained as the primary occupation. From here starts a dirt road to Kakoperato, a small monastery (Zoodochos Pigis) which is situated at a steep gorge with a cave.
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