Mount Paiko is located in Central Macedonia at the borders of the prefectures of Pella and Kilkis . The highest peak is Gola Tsouka with 1.650 m altitude.
A very beautiful and easy route of the mountain is the forest road that leads to Valeorvo, a forest spot into the mountain’s heart.
Distance from Thessaloniki: 93 km (up to Kastaneri)
European Number of Emergency: 112
Fire Brigade Dept: 199
Medical Emergency: 166
Goumenissa Forestry Dept: 2343042002
Paiko Mountain – Valeorvo route
Route length: 5,4 km
Water in route: No, only at the end of the route
Duration: 1 hour (to go)
1 hour (to get back)
The route took place at OCT 2019
Team members: 3 adults 1 child
We have been to Paiko many times and all of them, in some strange way, in the fall. We made this route a little bit hurriedly, 7 years ago (see our previous article ) and we had promised ourselves that we would come back. Going up from the village of Kastaneri, we pass the Environmental Information Center and the observation post in Primatari and in about 8 km from Kastaneri village, we see on our left hand a forest road with a wooden sign that our destination. is written in big letters “Valeorvo”. We park our cars at the sides of the dirt road, which at that point is quite wide and we start to hike.
Our route is the forest road itself and is essentially a relaxing walk in the beautiful mountain forest. We leave behind the intersection with the public road and immerse ourselves into the nature. The weather is wonderful and the atmosphere is fresh and cool. The morning sun shines on the morning dew on the leaves of the trees. To our right and left, on every opening, heaps of logs indicate the preparations for the upcoming winter. Berries, blueberries, mushrooms and grass are continuing, after the logs, to build a natural fence on the road’s sides. The beautiful forests of Paiko painted in all shades of green and brown, are looking endless as we hike inside them. Wherever you look, a sea of beeches, oaks, firs, pines and wild chestnut trees, surrounds us. The morning’s sounds of the birdsong and the buzz of the insects are our company. This is how the whole route goes.
The road is smooth, without difficulties, it leads us closer to our destination. Walking slowly, in about an hour, we see the small clearing that is our goal. A little higher than street level with the small wooden cabin on the edge, the gazebo with the grill in the middle, the small slide and the wooden benches, is like a picture from a magazine. We are in Valeorvo!!! We rest and enjoy our coffee in the shade of the tall trees talking about old and future ascents and routes.
The place is clean, tidy and well maintained, thanks to the effort of the Forestry Dept. of Goumenissa and once again it takes the credits for the amazing job done in the mountain. For aspiring campers, the place is also suitable for camping. The route is easy, almost without altitude differences, suitable for all family members, even the younger ones and it can be done with a conventional car as long as it has not rained, because then a four-wheel drive vehicle is needed.
Autumn is here and it is moving fast, the chestnuts are ready to fall from the chestnut trees and nature is getting ready for the upcoming winter. We stayed for about two hours, enjoying the quietness of this wonderful corner of the mountain and slowly we start to hike our way back, since it was already midday. We say goodbye to Valeorvo and we go down to Kastaneri to continue our route, a tasty route this time, by visiting the local tavern.