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The picturesque Agali Gorge in Central Euboea is an ideal destination for a day trip from Athens filled with relatively easy hiking and beautiful mountain views.
The gorge is tucked away on the southwest slopes of Mount Dirfys near a village called Agios Athanasius some 100 kilometers away from Athens.
The best time to visit Agali Gorge seems to be winter or early spring when the stream, running through the bottom of the gorge, fills with water.
During our November visit the stream was dry but we were treated to a beautiful autumny scenery thanks to the many colorful plane trees lining the riverbanks.
Maps, signposting & difficulty
The area of Agali Gorge is included in the Anavasi map of Dirfy & Xerovouni. We didn’t really need our map for this hike, though. The trail was marked well by red signs and the path was clear and easy to follow most of the time.
With 13 km in length and approximately 1000 meters of elevation gain (and loss), completing the hike requires a certain level of fitness. Other than that, I didn’t find it particularly challenging.
Many people finish the hike after about 5 km at the Kratia spring and return back from here. We decided to walk all the way to the shelter of Agali and loved the stunning mountain views offered from the upper section of the trail.
You’ll have to return back the same way, any way, which means that you can choose the finish point of the hike based on your aptitude and fitness level. For more details about the trail check out our recording on Wikilock HERE.
Driving to the beginning of the trail from Athens
The drive to Agios Athanasios from the center of Athens took us around one and a half hours and was easy. We left Athens following the Lamia highway until we spotted a sign for Chalkida, crossed the Evripos Straight, and drove through the city of Chalkida until we reached the coast.
We roughly followed the coast until Nea Artaki where we turned right following a sign for Steni. We left the road to Steni right before a village called Katheni and followed a small local road towards the entrance to the gorge.
At some point, our GPS took us through a shortcut following a dirt road through olive groves. At first, we thought we lost our way but soon enough we were back on the asphalt road without any difficulties.
To avoid this slight complication, you can drive all the way to the village of Agios Athanasios and turn towards the Agali Gorge from there (see the direction on Google maps HERE).
We parked our car near a football field at the end of the asphalt road and continued on foot.
Agios Athanasios to Kratia Spring
From the football field where we parked our car, we followed a dirt road running towards the entrance of the gorge among small olive orchards.
It didn’t stop at the beginning of the gorge as we expected but continued through the bottom all the way to Kryo Vrisi spring some 2 kilometers away.
Seeing this wide, newish dirt road scarring the bottom of the gorge was heartbreaking and we kept wondering what other kinds of development can be expected here in the future.
Don’t get me wrong, the scenery of towering cliffs and rocky riverbed lined by majestic plane trees was stunning. But seeing this kind of construction works taking place in a place of such natural beauty without any regret for the environment took away our ability to fully enjoy it.
At Kryo Vrisi spring, things changed for the better. The dirt road become narrower and narrower and after a while, it finally turned into a trail. From here, it climbed steadily through the wooded slopes on the eastern side of the gorge towards Kratia spring.
The colorful deciduous trees were slowly replaced by a thick fir forest and beautiful views started opening up across the gorge. After another two and a half kilometers of an uphill climb, we arrived at Kratia spring sitting in a beautiful spot shaded by large plane trees.
Kratia Spring to Agali Shelter
From the spring we continued our climb uphill following a steep path marked by red signs. The views of the gorge got better and better the higher we climbed serving us as a welcomed distraction.
After a while, we arrived at a dirt road where we turned left. We followed the road for a bit catching the first glimpses of the Agali shelter in the distance.
After about a hundred meters we come across a trail branching off to the left. It descended down the forested slopes for a bit before climbing up to the shelter on the other side of the valley.
The Agali shelter is just a small wooden structure, closed to the visitors. However, it offers stunning views towards the summit of Dirfy and across the surrounding mountains.
The asphalt road towards the village of Glifada on the eastern coast of Euboea passes from here so the shelter can easily be accessed by car as well if you want to arrange for pickup.
We ate our lunch here enjoying the mountain views, sunshine, and fresh air before returning back to our car the same way.