Ranti forest is one of the oldest forest of oak trees in the Aegean sea. It consists mainly of oaks, strawberry trees and Mediterranean strawberry trees, some of them being as high as 14 meters.
At explorations there, before we did the marking of the Round of Rantis, my son Orfeas was chasing dinosaur, a motive given to him by Angelos Kalokairinos , so that he doesn’t get bored to walk especially when going uphill.
No matter if you start from Frantato or Petropouli, it is a very beautiful hike, where sometimes you walk through dense forest and other times you walk on the ridge of the mountain, being able to see both sides of the island, North and South. At times you cross small streams and if you have a good torch amongst your equipment, you can carefully investigate the cave named Raos of Choutras near Petropouli.
For me it has always been a trail full of surprises. Once it was an owl that would fly towards me in the little church on Christobouni, but finally would escape through a small transom window right over my head. Another time it would be a small goat, still wet, that we met at the same spot next to the little church, during a hike with the islands Hiking and Mountaineering Club (firstname.lastname@example.org).
When marking the part from Frantato to Stavri, instead of marks, we would paint little hearts on some of the rocks.
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We have climbed a lot in Ranti forest, since the trees there are many years old and just perfect for that. We’ve also practiced a lot of Tree Hugging there with some old oak trees. We did part of the performance “These Mountains are for Dancing” there, an answer to those who wanted to turn Ikaria into a Wind-energy Park and put 110 monstrous wind generators on its back.
Notes: For the Round of Raches, one should be prepared to walk for 6-7 hours and to bring along the food and water needed for these hours, since we will not pass any spring or other place with fresh water to fill our bottles.
There is the option of a smaller walk of approximately 3 hours, which would start from Petropouli, uphill to Christobouni and back again. Another option of approximately 5 hours is to continue to Manganitis from Stavri instead of continuing to Petropouli or Frantato.