Vertiskos is a mountain in the Prefecture of Thessaloniki and is the physical border with the Prefecture of Serres. The summit is called Harvasta and has an altitude of 1103 meters. The mountain covers the entire northern part of the prefecture and on its slopes are formed many streams and torrents, leading to the lakes of Volvi and Koronia, as well as to Strymonas river, on its northeastern side. In the southeast, the mountain is associated with Kedrilia mountains.
Besides the picturesque villages of the area such as Vertiscos, Ossa, Sochos and others, in a higher altitude there are forests with rich vegetation of beech and fir trees. On the mountain there is an extensive network of forest roads that help the orientation of the visitors,
In the area, there are many beautiful places lost in the forest like “Daskalou Vrisi” , which is a recreation area with a gazebo inside the forest of Flaumouri. The “Alatza Tzítme” , also a recreation area, in a place with huge beeches and rich natural beauty. The Fire Brigade cabin, near the mountain top, provides amazing views of Volvi and Koronia lakes at the south side and the plain of Serres at the northeastern side. On the northeastern side also at 800 meters altitude, there is the abandoned village of Sevastia which, although approached difficult, it’s worth visiting
We decided to go to “Daskalou Vrisi” (Teacher’s spring in English) up to Vertiskos mountain. So, we started from Thessaloniki early in the morning for the city of Lagadas and from there to the village of Vertiskos, because nearby , we thought that there is the terrain of our hiking. That was an assumption which was proved totally wrong. In 50 minutes we reached the village and we searched in vain for a sign that says “Daskalou Vrisi” or something similar in order to have proper orientation. But there was none. So we asked the locals and we discovered that the spring is near Kryoneri village on the south side of the mountain. So we went back to the main country road, heading south and reached Kryoneri village after about 15 kilometers. There, again, we were guided by the locals (again there were no road signs to the spring) and we started driving the mountain uphill. In fact, we crossed the village driving on the main village’s road and at its end, we turned right following the uphill road to the mountain.
In a while, the asphalt road, becomes an earth road and leads us, after several turns and about 4.5 kilometers, to a large plateau with a junction. Around, in the vertical slopes, there is a wonderful dense forest. On our left, there is a huge beech tree, the only really huge tree in the landscape and behind it, at the root of the hill, there is a stone fountain. On to the sign is written, “Daskalou Vrisi” 900 m altitude. We have reached our destination. From the small opening among the trees of the forest, to the point where the stream, which is formed by the spring’s flow, takes the downhill and makes a small ravine, the view towards the lakes and to Chortiatis mountain is wonderful.
We are going to climb the hill above the spring, up to the gazebo on the hill’s top. So, we park our cars and we continue walking for 50 meters until the junction. At this point we turn left. The earth road is suddenly uphill and continues for another 200 meters. At the point where the uphill stops and the road starts to be straight again, there is a forest road (again on our left hand) which we are going to follow. We are now on the hill and on our left hand, we have a view from above to the plateau of the spring. On our right hand, we have the dense forest. We continue walking for about 600 meters and in a while, the forest road, drifts into the tall trees. Now we are hiking, among tall beeches and spruces, while in the distance front a small opening appears.
Another 300 meters and the forest road get wider as we reach the mini plateau at the top of the hill. Well protected, since its entrance comes from the forest, but also because the trees all around, cover with their height and density, the vision of the outside viewer. At the other end, there is a cliff, forming a natural balcony and just before the edge of it, there is a wooden gazebo. What a better opportunity to relax and admire the view of the lakes, Langadas plain and Chortiatis Mountain, at the horizon across the plain. Of course, after resting, a good meal always follows. With a relaxed mood and having ourselves full of, nature, forest and view, we started our descent to our starting point. It was late afternoon when we arrived back to the spring. We enjoyed our coffee with the water of “Daskalou Vrisi” and we took the road of return, with our existence full of the calm, the quietness and the pictures of this quiet and beautiful mountain.