This nearly 12km long trail is definitely one of the most impressive walks on Amorgos with beautiful views. It will take you around four hours of time and you can combine your walk with visiting the Monastery of Hozoviotissa (go there by bus) and finish your day with a swim on Aegiali Beach and an evening dinner in one of the taverns at the harbour and return to Katápola with the evening bus (about 45 minutes) or with the Express Skopelítis (about 1 hour).
Length: 11,9 km
Total Ascent: 360 m
Total Descent: 613 m
Highest Point: 436 m
Download GPX/KMZ (.zip)
Start at the parking lot of the monastery where you will get an firts look at the impressive building. Follow the stairs up to the monastery. You definitely have to spend enough time to visit this monastery at ease; you have to remember though, that you have to be dressed decently in order to enter (men have to wear long trousers and women a skirt or some long pants and covered arms – these long clothes are available at the entrance of the monastery).
After visiting the monastery you definit hike will start bypassing the metal gate with a red-white sign (1) which will be your guide for the complete hike. After 5 minutes of walking on a staircase you will pass a second gate. The landscape is impressive and the silence is overwhelming; between high towers on your left and a huge cliff and on the right you see the sea deep beneath. Twenty minutes after the monastery you get to a platform. Follow the rocky trail until you reach a stony road. You follow this useless destruction of the landscape through an impressive and rocky wilderness. Some 20 minutes later you reach a kind of saddle with the two coasts of Amorgos both before and after you. You go on to the right and your trail runs on the left hand side of a stony road. On the right you notice the Xenodochio, the remnants of a kind of medieval hotel on the road from Chora to Aegiali. Now the trail is descending for a little while until you see another sign (1).
Now you approach the modern road and you get a marvellous view on the carved north coast. The trail gets unclear for a while: after the first figure 1 you do not descend further to the main road (because this trail runs to a dead end). Instead, you stay more or less at the same altitude by following the cairns. When you reach the second sign with the figure 1 the trail gets more obvious again. For the next 10 minutes you walk almost horizontally at first; later on the trail goes up again in between overgrown rocks. You walk in the direction of the highest point of a grey cape in front of you – when you hesitate, just follow the cairns, the red dots and some red-and-white signs. Gradually you get a great view on the elongated island Nikouriá.
During the next 50 minutes nothing spectacular happens. The trail is not always that obvious, but large (cemented) cairns are like beacons to show you the way.A little further on your trail ends up in between walls; you walk more or less around a kind of top covered with walls and you continue through an opening in a wall in eastern direction. You now walk alongside a wall, you curve to the right and you descend from a stony platform. You discover the coast of the island on your right hand. At last you get to a long wall, which you more or less follow to the left.
Now you have to open a metal gate and you go up for a little while till the small church. This is Asfondilitis, a deserted village on a rocky plateau, you can also find a geocache there. You can wander around for a while among the abandoned houses. You can still see the chimneys, but sometimes the houses have been turned into stables – has this place always been that desolate? It’s halfway now – time for a stop.
For the next 30 minutes the trail goes up gradually till the hill saddle of Exo Meria. Before the crossing (with on the right a signpost to Chalara, 30 minutes hiking) you see the Hellenistic towers. For the final part you walk along side the electric cable that used to serve Asfondilitis in earlier times. Exo Meria is situated on a rocky plateau. On the hills on the left and the right hand side you can still see the ruins of two wind mills. It is hard to imagine how difficult and lonely life must have been on this desolate spot.
Your trail will now describe a wide curve to go around the deep valley in front of you up to the high up chapel of Agios Mamas. After some more curves on the easy trail you will have an marvellous view on the island of Nikouria and to the beach of Agios Pavlos.
Now the trail is really comfortable with a perfect view on the village of Tholaria and a great view to the bay of Aegiali.
On your right there is a “green stripe” of terrace fields and gardens from the farmers of Potamos which seems to be a fertile base for their quality of life. You pass a well and you walk over some large cisterns. After 30 minutes you get to the first house of Potamos. A long cemented staircase brings you exactly above the church with its concrete dome. Maybe you should stop at the Kamara Tavern on the right hand to have a rest and enjoy the beautiful view from the teracce (which is a famous sunset-watching-place).
It takes you 10 minutes to descend to the asphalt road: there is a sign pointing to Chora in 4 hours, to the monastery in 3.30 hours. You take a left, straight towards the harbour pier of Aegiali, a walk of 5 more minutes. Since Asfondilitis you have been hiking for 1h30 – you did it!
Now you can enjoy Aegiali village with its little harbour, beach and taverns (more info about Aegiali).
Obviosly you can hike the opposite direction, but you will have to master a higher altitude and a long ascent from Aegiali to Exo Meria.
You can go back to Katapola or Chora by bus, taxi or by ship (Express Skopelitis).
The trail description is greatfully provided by Raymond Verdoolaege
For any further informations contact Amorgos Diving Center in Aegiali. They are also hiking experts and will support you with tips, equipment and guiding activities.
Amorgos Diving Center, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel/Fax: +30-22850-73611, Mobile Tel: +30-693-2249538