Greece – maps & guides
Apologies for the lack of updates of late – poor weather, a very bad cold, and lots of work!
I’ve been reviewing my travels in Greece lately, and have been doing an inventory of the maps I currently own, whilst purchasing one or two new ones. I’ll provide a list below, with some notes about what I’ve used and the quality I’ve found. While I’m at it, I’ll also throw in some remarks about walking guides. All of these have helped me in recent years to explore the Greek landscape, as well as aiding my quest for Greek lepidoptera for macro photography, and help me research possible future trips and locations, hand-in-hand with my field guides.
Here is a list of the maps I currently own:
Larger general maps (hard copies):
Greece 1:750K (Road Editions, paper) – had this for a few years now. Road-building in Greece has been quite hectic of late, so maybe a little out of date. Not very useful for car-use; would probably now be better off with the Anavasi wirebound atlas.
Road editions maps are printed on very thin paper, so not really very durable. Mostly now superceded by the Terrain and Anavasi editions.
Peloponnese 1:250K (Road Editions, paper) – reasonably useful for driving around the Peloponnese and for general location-spotting, but again not very durable.
Central Macedonia 1:200K (Terrain editions, plastic) – a new map of the region, looks pretty good, and very durable thanks to the plastic.
Epirus 1:200K (Terrain editions, plastic) – as above
Thrace 1:200K (Terrain editions, plastic) – ditto
Attica 1:60K (Road Editions, paper) – not used as yet, but ok for general location-spotting.
Lesvos 1:75K (Freytag & Berndt, paper) – not used, but more durable than the Road Editions version; slightly different printing of minor roads than the Road Editions version.
Lesvos 1:70K (Road Editions, paper) – used extensively in April 2011 during my visit. Durability an issue – probably wouldn’t stand more than a couple of weeks’ use, and don’t get it wet! Reasonably accurate, but some liberties taken with road layouts.
Samos 1:50K (Terrain Editions, plastic) – very good map used throughout my visit in April this year; one or two minor tracks not printed however – as usual I check out possible routes on Google Earth, setting up waymarks on my GPS before I leave anyway, so not usually all that much of a problem so long as you prepare in advance.
Aegina 1:25K (Road Editions, paper) – a map I used extensively back in 2006 on my last visit; not very durable, and road & track layouts often suspect. Should really have far better detail for the scale.
Hiking maps (Hard copies):
Peloponnese Hiking map 1:50K (Freytag & Berndt, paper) – very old, but still a favourite – bought in Blackwell’s in Oxford in the late 1990s I think, a great source of inspiration in the years before I could get to drive around the Greek mountains. Very cheap paper, but quality and detail of mapping was best available at the time. Includes Mt. Chelmos, Kyllini, Mainalo, Parnon, and Taygetos, so quite a lot included. But obviously now very much out of date.
This is really where the Anavasi Hiking Maps come into their own. Most are also available in GPS versions, some of which I also have, as listed below.
Mt. Chelmos, 1:50K (Anavasi, plastic) – so good I bought 2 (I lost one, bought a new one, and then straightaway found the old one again while doing some tidying in my office!). A mainstay of my 2012 trip in July. Excellent detail. Only minor criticism is that the plastic is maybe a little thick (I slightly prefer the thinner Terrain maps).
Mts. Giona, Oita, Vardousia 1:50K (Anavasi, plastic) – as above, not used yet. I also have the GPS version of this one downloaded from the anavasi.gr website.
South Pindos- Tzoumerka, Peristeri, Koziakas, Avgo 1:50K (Anavasi, plastic) – as yet unused.
Mainalo 1:50K (Anavasi, plastic) – another mainstay of my 2012 trip.
Parnassos –Kirfi 1:50K (Anavasi, plastic) – as yet unused; also have the GPS version.
Erimanthos 1:25K (Anavasi, plastic) – even more detail at 25K; excellent, and very useful for my 2012 trip.
GPS-only Anavasi maps:
Xirokabi-South Taygetos 1:25K (GPS only) – looks very good; for south-eastern side of mountain south of Sparta.
Prespa – Vitsi 1:50K (GPS only) – for north West Greece: Prespa lakes and Mt. Vitsi/Peristeri
Voras (Kaimaktsalan) 1:50K (GPS only) – for northern Greek mountain of Kaimaktsalan on FYROM border.
My favourite and inspirational walking guide for Greece has to be my cherished copy of the 1993 Lonely Planet Trekking in Greece – a book that takes no prisoners, but is full of lovely walks in very remote areas of Greece. I used this back in 1998 on my visit to Samothrace and the 5hr+ walk to the summit of Mt. Fengari. A lot of the information is now of course a long way out of date, but it is still a lovely read and contains info on walks and areas not available in more recent books.
Last year I picked up the Cicerone The Mountains of Greece book, which is essentially a revised and updated version of the Lonely Planet offering. But it has fewer walks as it concentrates on the Pindhos Mountains: it has 9 other trekking sections beyond the main coverage of the Pindhos range, whereas the original has a lot more, including coverage of the islands, Crete, and other areas of the mainland not in the new version.