Emborio and Pirghos area Walk on Santorini Island.
Emborio - Pirghos - up to Profitis Ilias Monastery and walking back to either Perisa or Kamari on Santorini, Greece.
This Santorini walk is actually quite strenuous - obviously the heat is a factor but also it is really hard on your knees for both climbing and descending - a walking stick is really useful. It is not too great a distance but you do have a continuous climb on a really nice but somewhat rocky-underfoot mule-path from Emborio to Pirghos and then another hard climb up on a moni-pati to the Monastery area.
From the monastery you then undulate a little over the Profitis Ilias hills before heading down on a zig-zag rock and sometimes scree path to the saddle above Kamari and Perissa.Possible Vertigo
issues: The first 100 yards or so from the monastery is on a quite narrow path and the drop to the left is about a
30 degree slope. As you cross the hills further along the path will take you left round the hill-top - this again has a similar slope on the left however if
you instead walk right over the pinnacle the drops are not apparent. The path down to the saddle is ok with only at most 45 degree or so drops on the right.
Incidentally you can easily get to Emborio by using one of Santorini's buses - the town is on the Perisa to Thira route.
From the main bus stop (by the church) in Emborio and facing a large children's play area go right - the road forks almost immediately - take the left hand fork soon passing a school on the left. Continue down on this quiet
road and just having passed an infants school on the left the road ends at a t-junction in front of a wall - an even smaller village road goes off sharp left here.
Follow this heading slowly up and eventually arrive at a junction with a road sign - you can see the castle higher up on the left. Turn right into a narrow road - this passes by occupied houses and then the road becomes much
narrower and the houses are now sometimes derelict. Just after passing a church on the right the road becomes a narrow path with high walls either side - continue on under two buttresses and then arrive at a junction. Go
left here (there are red arrows and dots on the walls) and head very steeply up and round on a rough concrete track. Do stop (not only to catch your breath) but also to look over the village where you can see churches, threshing circles and lots of old interesting buildings.
This goes as a concrete drive as it passes houses but then becomes a beautiful moni-pati - soon passing a renovated church on the right. Follow the path as it climbs sometimes quite steeply up towards the monastery - you can see the road to the monastery below
with coaches heading up and down on it - (the lazy way to get to the top of course). The moni-pati arrives at the road just below an old military establishment - cross the road and find a narrow path which continues half left
up to reach the road again. Turn right and make your way on up to the monastery - note the monastery has been closed for many years - however apart from on Mondays the church and a seating area within
part of the monastery's gardens is opened for visitors.
Depending on where you are staying or where you want to get too the walk continues with the options here ofReturning back to Perissa:
- the path goes on the right side of the saddle and this is yet again another really nice walking path which follows the right hand
side of the hills and offers excellent views of Perisa and the coast. (note when you see a large white cross on the rocks ahead this marks a small path which forks
off left and climbs up to Panaghia Church - which is well worth visiting). Else and anyway from the white cross just continue on down the clear path to reach a
track on the outskirts of Perisa - from there go on to where you want to go to in the town.
Going back to Kamari:
Follow the tarmac road which leaves the saddle on it's left hand side - at it's third hairpin bend you will see a large white cross
painted on a rock on the left. A gravel and scree path leaves here which eventually becomes a rocky stepped path - and ends up at Zoodochos Pigi church
From here this really nice walking path continues zig-zagging down to reach the outskirts of Kamari - with great views all the way down.
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