The Livadia- Delion Sanctuary- Telegrafos Hill Hike
A circular mostly coastal hike from Paros town up to the heghs N and Telegrafos hill and down to Parikia bay beaches, featuring ancient cult ruins, old footpaths, some rougher trails and impressive views over rugged shores. Great as a sunset walk too!
Description Starting out at the Paros nautical club premises at the end of Paros town (last stretch of Livadia beach down the beachfront promenade – N of port), we walk along the beach and take the uphill paved road heading inland to Kalami (for 1 km). At the quaint white-washed chapel of Aghios Minas we take an ancient stone-walled footpath up the hill. Catching our breath under the cypresses, we take in the view of Parikia Bay below, the open sea and the island’s mountains SE. We continue on the uphill trail uphill to the remains of the Delion, the sanctuary of the Delian Apollo, the ancient Greek god of light (the strongest cult in the Cyclades in ancient times). The temple ruins go back to the 8th c. BCE and are perched on top of a hill at 155m with majestic views to Delos, Mykonos and the islands all around.
Leaving the Delion behind, we descend to the small countryside chapel of St. Irene (19th c.) and continue on high ground along the N-NE shore, traversing dirt tracks, old footpaths and hunters’ trails, always with magnificent W-NW sea views. We climb at the top of Telegrafos Hill (170 m) and pause to enjoy spectacular 360° views to the interior, the surrounding Cycladic islands and the open sea, as well as the bay of Parikia below! If the group is up to it, we go down a rough, mountaineering trail to a marble rock ledge above the water with fantastic views to the cliff walls, the ocean and the twin Portes rocks guarding the entrance to Parikia bay. After some rock scrambling, we discover a hole in the cliff: the cave where the famous ancient Parian poet Archilochos (7th c. BC) would sit and compose his elegies staring at the same sea. After a verse-reading break, we continue down a mild dirt road with shifting views (to Antiparos island and the S-SW coast now) to the chapel of St. Focas right by the water on cape where we stop for a refreshing dip (weather permitting) and a “Taste of Paros” picnic break. On a late afternoon/evening walk, splendid sunset colors are a definite plus on most summer days, as we watch the sun sink into the sea beyond the Portes rocks.
After the break, we start on our return to Livadia beach on an easy 2.5-km seaside route, sometimes walking right by the water on sandy beaches and sometimes above the shore on rocky but flat trails, always enjoying great views to the bay of Parikia and the stacked white-washed houses of Paros town opposite us.
In a nutshell [History, adventure & tall sea views] Sights/history/trails/views, relatively easy/moderate, distance 9.5 km, elevation cl. ±170 m, duration 5 h (incl. stops).
N.B. This hike can become strenuous when strong N-NE winds (over 5 degrees Beaufort scale) are blowing, and will be cancelled in the event of gale-force winds (over 7 Bf).