Spartochori - Church of Agios Ioannis
We set off and leave behind us the village of Spartochori, taking the asphalt road to Agios Ioannis. We come to an intersection with the regional road, to the left, while we continue to the right, following the sign. Proceeding parallel to the ravine, still on the asphalt road, we come to a turning on the right, which we ignore, and after 50m uphill we come to a second turning on the right - which we take. Proceeding though olive groves along the whole length of the walk, on our left we come to a well.
After a while, on our left, we come to the start of a narrow dirt path. We start to go down this path, between holm oaks and abandoned olive groves. The landscape grows less tame and the path harder to follow in many places, darker too as the vegetation thickens; the clearings are infrequent. Where the path ends we move onto a country road. The vegetation is less rampant here and there are olive groves around us. We descend the country road, passing on our left an old cistern, and a few metres farther on we come to the beach. We turn left on the asphalt road, walking by the sea till we get to the Church of Agios Ioannis. Tradition has it that the monastery was founded before 1477 and destroyed by pirates, who threw the icon of the saint into the sea, whence it was recovered a fisherman’s nets. The feast day is on 24 June and features a reenactment of the traditional Lampardes, in which local people light bonfires and leap across them.
We can pause here for a swim, looking across to the coast of Lefkada; the little island to the NW is Thilia.