Among the informal walkers on the island, a long-awaited project may finally be realised, that of mapping the walking routes of Paros. The plan is simple, immediate and easy, and aims to facilitate those who are keen on walking and hiking to easily access route information, and also to promote walks in nature as a hobby and to attract walking tourism to the island.
The process goes something like this: First of all a route is suggested and a meeting point and time is set. As we walk, route notes and scenery photos are taken, and the route is tracked via a GPS or a smart phone. At key points (turns, crossroads, etc.), a simple sign is made – for example, a sprayed white arrow or a pile of stones. At the end of the walk, all the data is collected and uploaded online. So, potential walkers of the routes, have a full map via Google Earth, plus a short description and photos as well as some on-track signaling.
Once a few walking routes have been tracked down, then an effort could be made to publish a small printed map (eventually sponsored) which could then be given to local bookstores and travel agencies. The online routes could be promoted online. Finally, proper wooden signs showing the different routes could be placed in the countryside. Perhaps someone artistic would like to volunteer to make some of these signs?
The Paros walking routes mapping project is informal, an initiative by those of us on the island who simply like walking. Anyone is welcome to join us. If you want to participate, see planned walks, propose your own route or share your walking experiences, sign up at the Paros Community social forum and join the Walkers Group at: www.paroscommunity.com/group/walkers/
There are currently three walking groups on Paros – the informal walkers, the Folkdance Group of Naoussa (XON) and the Women’s Group of Naoussa who often organize hikes. The Paros Athletic Association (GASP) also plans to organize a hiking and a cycling group.
For more information, contact Eleni Grammatikaki at email: firstname.lastname@example.org