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The Karathona beach path
This satellite image from Google shows the location of triangular Arvanitia Square on a hill above Arvanitia beach. The Arvanitia promenade ends at the northwest corner of the square, while the path to Karathona beach begins at the southern corner of the square.
As walkers approach the pathway to Karathona beach, they pass the dilapidated shell of an abandoned building that may once have been a beach club. I searched online, but couldn’t find any information explaining what used to be here or what happened to it.
My favourite part of the Karathona path is this first long stretch, with its line of pine trees tilted seaward above the coast
As you walk the first part of the path, you can see the beautiful turquoise water below the trees and hear waves lapping against the shore. The sounds of swimmers splashing and chatting at Arvanitia beach also carry up to the trail.
Cliffs and steep slopes line the seaside below the beach path
I never realized how much work went into building the beach path until I stepped off the trail and noticed the stonework that supports the trail surface
Cliffs and lower slopes of Palamidi mountain loom above the path
There is a wide variety of terrain and foliage along the path; this section had a rock outcrop on one side and pine trees and palms on the other
A memorial shrine dedicated to Agios Georgios (St. George)
A panoramic view of the Argolic Gulf
Once past the line of pine trees, the path begins to twist and turn as it continues southward
A tree-shaded bench offers walkers a place to rest. There are only a few benches along the route, and even fewer places to find shade in the afternoon.
You’ll see occasional pops of colour amidst the greenery, like this spot where pink bougainvillea has entwined a tree
The path descends close to the sea as it curves around a cliff near Neraki beach
A hollow in the base of the cliff offers some shade from the sun
Trees frame the path a short distance past the hollow in the cliff
Fitness enthusiasts will find some exercise apparatus at the base of the cliff
The cliff face is pocked with hollows and small caves that provide homes and nesting spaces for a variety of birds
A lush section of the path, with thick foliage on each side of the trail
Neraki beach is the first swimming spot walkers will encounter as they head to Karathona. It’s actually two beaches in one — a smaller cove is nestled under a hollow a few dozen meters further down the coast. It can be reached by walking across the rocks at the far end of this pebble and stone strip.
Neraki beach view across the Argolic Gulf
From a lookout point farther south on the path, walkers can find a better view of the two Neraki beaches and the massive cliffs behind them
We usually see nudists sunbathing in the Neraki cove, but on this occasion everyone at the beach was clad in swimwear
Trees along a section of the path near the Neraki beaches
Looking north across the Argolic Gulf from an open area a short walk past the Neraki beaches
A cruise ship anchored in the gulf for a port day at Nafplio
A short walk past Neraki is this strip of rock and sand beach. We have seen sunbathers here on occasion.
Argolic Gulf view from a lookout point above the beach
A group of hikers heading to Karathona
Another impressive view of the gulf
Another cove where we have seen sunbathers (sometimes completely au naturel). On Google Maps, this spot is indicated as “Rocky Unnamed Beach.”
I love the amazing turquoise hues of the sea at this beach
The trail sweeps around a hill on the south coast of “Rocky Unnamed Beach”
Afternoon sunshine sparkles on the gulf
Approaching Karathona beach and bay
The last stretch of path before reaching Karathona beach
A small pebble and sand beach beside the breakwater on the north side of Karathona. It attracts sunbathers and swimmers when the water is calm.
Karathona beach extends roughly 2 kilometers around the bay
Loungers and umbrellas at one of the beach venues
Two men fish from the breakwater at the north side of Karathona Bay
The small harbour at the north end of Karathona bay
Docks and boats in the harbour
Looking toward the north end of Karathona beach
Looking south from the water’s edge. The strip of beach closest to the harbour looks rather scruffy, but keep walking! Farther along the sand is cleaner, the water much clearer, and the beachfront much more inviting. As you would expect, however, the nicer parts of the beach are also the busiest.
Three ladies have a wide swath of beach all to themselves
Another wide section of beach
There are hundreds of trees along Karathona beach, as well as numerous flowering bushes
Yet another broad section of sandy beach
Young palm trees on the beach
A view across Karathona Bay
Lounge chairs facing Karathona Islet (top left) and mountains in the Arcadia region of the Peloponnese
Two churches are situated on the mountainside behind Karathona beach. One, Agios Ioannis, is not visible in this telephoto image, which shows the path to a cave church called Panagitsa. We keep planning to visit the churches, but have always felt “walked out” by the time we get to Karathona and haven’t wanted to do the extra walking and uphill climbing to see them. We’re aiming to get a close-up look on our next trip to Nafplio.
Approaching one of the busier sections of the beach
Rows of sunbeds on the sand
During one of our afternoons at Karathona, a storm appeared to be approaching from the south. The winds picked up and the sky clouded over, but it never rained. The sun was back out within just a few minutes.
Beach view of Agios Konstantinos church, houses and a small harbour at the south end of Karathona Bay
One of the busy organized sections of the beach
A traditional Greek taverna at the beach
Loungers and volleyball nets near one of the beach bars
The patio of another taverna near the south end of the beach
A memorial shrine at the taverna
Approaching the southern end of Karathona beach ….
… and looking back in the other direction
Approaching the church and small harbour at the south end of the bay. It takes just a couple of minutes to walk here from the beach.
Agios Konstantinos Church
A large sheltered patio at Agios Konstantinos Church
Icons depicting the church’s namesake saint, Konstantinos, and Saint Eleni
The Agios Konstantinos church bells
A row of rustic houses next to the church
Please click on the link below to see photos of the walk to Agios Nikolaos Church on page 4.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 4