Since Hydra is an island without roads, its path network has been kept in excellent condition. These trails join churches, settlements, beaches, old fields, pastures and of course, reach the highest peaks of the island.
What is Eros Mountain Trail?
It’s a 26, 3 km route that aims to highlight the beauty of Hydra’s mountainous landscape. There are unique mountain trails that, almost always, have a sea view but pass high peaks as well. However, what will fascinate the runners more is the feeling of running by the sea.
Of course the name comes from the highest mountain on the island, “Eros“.
Distance: 26,3 km, with positive altitude 1.400 m.
The starting point will be on the port and the first and last parts of the route are the same as “Rock Race” 12 km. The new route for 2017 has some changes compared to the first three years, in order to achieve a higher quality without increasing the distance too much (only by 800m).
1st part: Distance 3.890m.
Start from the harbor. We follow the main cobbled road which takes us to the mountain for the 1st kilometer. The 2nd kilometer is initially on an uphill dirt path and then on a rocky path until the windmills. We go downhill for a bit on the path and for the next kilometer we are on a slightly uphill dirt path until the 1st Supply Station. The route until here is the same as the previous years.
2nd part: Distance 2.110m.
There is an uphill path for 770m in a pine tree forest until the point where the long and shorter routes separate. This is where the downhill path begins with an intense slant which requires caution. The terrain is dirt and the view is exquisite, overlooking the beaches on the southern coast. We reach the 2nd Supply Station after having run 6.000m in total. There is also a time limit here for safety purposes, since the next part is quite strenuous. The limit is one hour and thirty minutes (1:30).
3rd part: Distance 5.200m.
This is certainly the most difficult part of the race, not only because of the altitude but also because of the remote distance from the 3rd Supply Station. At first we run on a smooth dirt path. After the 2nd km, begins the steep ascent to the old cobbled path that the local runners call “psychovgalti” (very tiring). The view, however, makes the climb less strenuous.
We reach a col and, for a bit, we enter a downhill path through a pine forest. Coming out of the woods a short uphill path leads to Prophet Elias Monastery. It’s a historical monastery and one of the island’s attractions. Here there will be electronic timing at the 3rd Supply Station with a total distance of 11.200m.
4th part: Distance 1.270m.
Exiting the monastery’s premises, we turn left abruptly and slightly downhill into the pine trees. We reach an important part of the race and this is where the uphill climb begins, to the highest peak on the island. After 600 meters on a technically rocky terrain, we reach the peak. There, at the elevation point of the Military Geographical Service, will be a recording of the athletes. Altitude 588m and total distance 12.470m.
5th part: Distance 2.760m.
The descent is on a parallel path, which is also technical. It requires caution as it is rocky and slippery. After 600m we have passed the technical and most difficult part and turn left on an easy path. It was above!!
Initially there is a flat path section that soon starts descending. It’s an old cobbled path which leads to a col (path junction). We follow the markings on a slightly uphill dirt path and we shortly reach St. Mama which offers an excellent view. There, is the 4th Supply Station with total distance 15.670m.
6th part: Distance 2.630m.
Downhill technical terrain on rocky ground (cobbled path remains) with repeating zigzag, which requires focus and caution. Then, a short uphill section followed by a flat section. The final downhill section leads to the settlement “Episkopi”, where there is the 5th Supply Station with total distance 18.300m.
7th part: Distance 5.430m.
An easy section is next, mostly on an old dirt path and some other equally pleasant dirt paths. Initially, an intense descending slope in a pine tree forest leading to a coastal settlement, “Palamidas” 2.300m (Caution on a small part of the path). Just before “Palamidas”, we have the new section for this route. We enter a flat path which shortly becomes uphill and after having reached the ridge, it begins to descend. We reach a riverbed and then a dirt path next to a stone bridge. We move alongside the sea on gentle slopes until the settlement “Plakes Vlychou”. After crossing the settlement “Vlychos”, we find the stone arch bridge where the 6th Supply Station is, with total distance 23.730m.
8th part: Distance 2.570m.
Perhaps the most beautiful section of the route (same as the shorter route). We run on a wide cobbled road having the sea on our left and small islets with chapels. In front of us, is the settlement “Kaminia”, which is particularly graphic. After entering the settlement, we run on a cobbled path crossing its harbor. Then we run between the stone houses and taverns. Approaching the port of Hydra we hear the applause and enter the horseshoe-shaped harbor. Surely, the finishing point will be the most exciting, as all spectators will be cheerfully waiting until the last athlete arrives.
From the link below, athletes can download the route for gps.
Virtual Google Tour