In previous years and before the integrated highway network was built in Greece, transportation and communication was carried out along the main road arteries that bisected the country, but mainly along paths which the older residents of the highland villages still call “dimosia” (dimosios = public road), because for them this was the main road access. Even though some of these older paths and the stone-paved cobbled roads –which are real works of art- have been converted into asphalt-surfaced roads, most of these still “slither” between the asphalt roads and continue to exist by crossing mountains, scrubs and ravines.
Thus, in recent years and with financing from various bodies (Municipalities, mountain-climbing clubs, private individuals, etc), many sections of these “road-paths” throughout Greece were serviced, restored and road-signs added, and in this manner created a broad network with a total length of approximately 3,500 km. The major part of this network is extensions to the European Long Distance Walking Paths, Ε4, Ε6 and categories Ο (3,000 km), while another 500 km of smaller walking paths have been created, which are also of comparable interest.
E6 Walking path
The Greek section of this Path has two branches: The first begins from the area of Prespes, passes through Kastoria, Ioannina and Dodoni, and concludes at the city of Igoumenitsa. The second branch begins from the region of Florina, bisects the highland regions of Western, Central and Eastern Macedonia , travels along the borders of Greece with FYROM and Bulgaria, and ends at the city of Alexndroupolis, in the region of Thrace.
E4 Walking path
This begins from the Pyrinaia Mountain Range and reaches Greece via former Yugoslavia. The Greek section of the E4 bisects Northern and Central Greece, the Peloponnese, arrives in Gythio and continues onto the island of Crete. The hiker or mountain climber thus has the opportunity to enjoy the whole extent of Greece’s landscapes and the riches of nature. The highest elevation of the total route is the Olympo Skolio peak (2,911 m).The ideal period for hiking along the Ε4 Walking Path is from May 15th to the beginning of October, because some villages along the route are inaccessible during winter, which therefore limits the places where a hiker can stay overnight. Frequently the opening of new forest roads confuses the hiker-sightseer. The climate is Mediterranean, very dry in summer with high temperature variations between day and night. Snow will be encountered along the route from November to June. The route to the southern section of the Walking Path (the Peloponnese and Crete) is more “walkable” than the northern section, as the hiker can walk here throughout the year since the climate is milder.