Perisa Circular Walk on Santorini Island Greece.
A fairly flat by quite long walk out of Perisa which goes to Emborio, passes eight windmills, visits Vlichadha Harbour then returns to Perisa. The walking distance is around 16kms. This mostly flat Santorini walk takes you out from Perisa to the bottom of the Profitis Ilias hills
where you skirt clockwise using an old track and a nice path to get to Emborio. From there it's a walk mostly on a quiet road which climbs gently up going by several old windmills.
Then there is something of a scramble down terraces towards Santorini's coast at Vlichadha followed by a walk back a little bit along roads and finally by using the pleasant beach road back into Perisa.
This walk starts off at the northern end of Perisa's Beach by a parking area (this is almost under the hills and next to the ruins of the Byzantine church of Aghia Irini) - follow the road heading inland and staying to the right where the road splits. Pass the Hotel Mariana,
continue past the dirt track signed to Ancient Thira and then take the next track on the right.
This track heads directly towards the hills and then bears left around the far side of a house. Now walking along through Santorini's nice countryside follow the dirt track to eventually join a road. Turn right on this road and continue along soon passing the church of Aghios Stefanos.
When the road bends very sharply left keep straight ahead by some houses and go onto a sunken Moni-path - when we
walked this route the path was fairly overgrown in some places. The path swings round going past a quarry and then joins a road. Turn left and then shortly go right passing by the front of a church - a path leaves from the far side of the church by a retaining wall. Follow the path with the retaining wall on the right - when the wall starts to turn away continue left across the field to reach a dirt track.
By now you can see a 3-barrelled church which is where you are heading for. Turn right on the dirt track - at a junction go right again and soon
passing below the church - it is worth just diverting up to take a closer look at this very interesting building. Having just passed the church the track soon
ends at a field - take a Moni-path on the left which heads up between houses and then swings round to the right and takes you to a narrow road. The views of the
castle and of Emborio itself are really excellent as you walk along this Moni-path. Turn left on down the small road and then at a junction go right and then left into the castle - this bit of the walk is ambiguous since you will probably want to look around and could end up anywhere. The aim to continue the walk is to get to Emborio's main bus stop and centre which is by Emborio's church, a large school and play area.
From the main bus stop head up the main road going towards Thira until you reach a road junction on the left. The road joining from the left has an immediate fork and you need to take the smaller right hand road
which it follows the main Thira road for a little while and then twists away going steeply up and left heading towards the ridge. There are eight windmills up along the ridge varying in condition from really derelict to not too bad plus one which has been restored - these are really interesting. Having reached the high point the tarmac road ends by a taverna? - it then continues as a dirt track now going straight towards the small church of Profitis Ilias.
The track forks in front of the church - take the right hand track which then soon ends by a wall. Climb down the wall on the left and join a small path - this has initially got occasional markings to help show the way - you can now see the harbour at Vlichadha way down below on the right. The aim is to get to this
harbour - after a while there is no clear path - you have to make your way down the old field terraces always aiming towards the harbour.
As you get further down you will see farm buildings and large greenhouses - aim to get to the right hand side of these green houses where there is also a large sterna.
From here there is now a clear path and then small road which will take you down into Vlichadha where there is a harbour with cafes and tavernas. Around the area you
will notice some old buildings with very high chimneys - these used to be tomatoe processing factories - an activity on Santorini which started at the end of the 19th Century. Turn left along the main road - unfortunately you have to use this road for around 2.5kms when a road leaves on the right which heads
towards the coast - you can see another large chimney (another ex-processing plant) in the distance. Once down on the coast road just follow it along with the coastline next to you on the right and wander back into Perisa.
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