STARTING POINT: The Promenade of Avlemonas
MAIN SIGHTS: Avlemonas, Fossils, Agios Giorgis church, Minoan Peak Sanctuary excavations
CONNECTION TO OTHER TRAILS:
The picturesque harbour town of Avlemonas marks the starting point of one of Kythera’s oldest walking paths. Its usage dates right back to the Minoan period, when it enabled the island’s inhabitants access to the Minoan Peak Sanctuary – the largest of its kind found outside of Crete. Walking along this trail truly feels like being thrown back in time. After leaving behind the populated harbour-town of Avlemonas, the path gradually ascends the “Mountain”, passing through old deserted fields where only the ancient stone walls bear witness that wheat was once cultivated in today’s bare soil. Today, only a few beekeepers’ hives remain scattered across the landscape.
While progressing along the path, the observant hiker will notice that in tricky points along the path, the supporting stonework has in fact lain there for centuries… Arriving at the summit, the sight of the chapel of St George and its beautiful Byzantine mosaic, is always an exhiliarating experience. For any mountaineer who has “conquered” the Mountain by foot, the rewarding panoramic view across the island, especially towards its eastern shores, will remain etched into memory for many years to come.
Tips! Ask the locals to get you in touch with the local priest. He has the keys of the church on top of the hill. It is really worth it to visit inside as you will get to see some mosaics from the 6th century AD!