The Friends of Mount Athos

President:

Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia

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The Footpaths of
Mount Athos

Mount Athos Footpaths: Frequently (or even Infrequently) Asked Questions

On this page the FoMA footpaths team posts responses to questions about footpaths from our readers. In return, we ask one thing: if you try out a footpath, whether one described here or one of those which we have not yet surveyed, please provide us with a report of your experinece, including your travel time and identification of places where the path was difficult to follow. We invite you to send your information or submit questions to the footpaths team.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Could you please verify whether the path from Vatopediou to Konstamonitou via Chera and Paliopyrgos is traceable? I have read the description of another path in your website, which does not pass from Chera. response

Responses

1. The path from Vatopedi to Konstamonitou via Chera and Paliopyrgos

The most direct footpath from Vatopedi to Konstamonitou is the one described in Vatopedi to Konstamonitou. This path crosses the ridge significantly to the south of Chera.

You can also follow Vatopedi to Chera footpath as if going from Vatopedi to Zographou, but turning off from that route onto the footpath that goes to Konstamonitou via Paliopyrgos. This route is marked on the Zwerger map, but the FoMA footpaths team has not surveyed the path after Paliopyrgos and so cannot vouch for it's condition. Proceed as follows:

Follow Vatopedi to Chera footpath as if going to Zographou (as in our description). This joins the ridge path about 50m before reaching Chera.

Take the ridge path south towards Karyes (in other words the path you join just before Chera) and follow it for about 1600m. About 180m beyond Chera you pass a very fine large covered well on the left. This section is to be found in our description of the Chilandar to Karyes footpath.

Shortly after the path crosses from the west to the east side of the ridge (Paliopyrgos) there is a footpath to the right signed Konstamonitou through a gap in a stone wall. This is the path about which you are asking, but which we have not surveyed and described.

We offer the following report on the path via Paliopyrgos based on a description provided in 2011 by the traveller who submitted the question, after he took this route.

After passing Chera and following the route towards Karyes, you will find the sign on the right showing the path heading downwards towards Konstamonitou through the gap in the wall, as described above. This path descends steeply and is generally well signed (in both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets).

The footpath runs alongside a beautiful stream for almost 20 minutes until reaching a plateau. From there, follow the small forest road that heads southwest towards Konstamonitou (signed). After 5 minutes on the forest road, turn right onto a narrow footpath (signed Konstamonitou) that descends even more steeply. This last 15-minute part of the route is the most exciting: with increasingly clear views of the Monastery, the path zig-zags through overgrown bushes and wild nature before finally reaching yet another stream and then heading upwards towards the Monastery.

Overall, the route from Paliopyrgos to Konstamonitou takes about 40 minutes (at my normal walking pace). From Vatopedi to Chera took 70 minutes, and then another 30 minutes from Chera to Paliopyrgos. Total time from Vatopedi to Konstamonitou via Chera and Paliopyrgos: 2 hours 20 minutes (much faster than the time given in FoMA's Vatopedi to Konstamonitou route description).