The Aghios Georgios- Profitis Ilias- Monastiria Hike
A challenging circular hike in wild south-western Antiparos, starting from Aghios Georgios village, going up the juniper hills to the chapel of Profitis Ilias (301 m), down to secluded Monastiria beach on mountain ridge footpaths, and back through the rugged Latomia area. Amazing landscapes, beaches, mountain & sea views on forgotten shepherds’ trails. Great as a sunset hike, too!
Description We meet at Antiparos town and after approx 11 km and 15 min of driving, we find ourselves on the outskirts of the coastal village of Aghios Georgios in the south and start walking uphill on a relatively steep dirt road. This soon turns into an old footpath with milder inclination. As we gain elevation, we admire great views of the southern shores of Antiparos, the gentle hills of Despotiko island, the rocky silhouette of Stroggylo island and the open sea.
Walking among low lying juniper trees and fragrant lentisk and thyme bushes, we slowly approach the island’s highest point, the peak of Mt. Profitis Ilias (301 m). Accessible through a well-kept gravel track, the peak is marked by the chapel of Profitis Ilias, on the yard of which one can enjoy superb 360 views all around, from the nearby Paros mountains to the N-NE to Sifnos (W), Ios (S) and a dozen of other islands in every corner of the horizon.
After a snack break, we start on a downhill course through the mountain on a rough hunter’s trail that soon takes us on dirt track for some easier walking. As we move north, we take in views of the beautiful hill ridges and the coastline to the west, with the light shimmering on blue waters. Entering into greener but rocky trail, we move along the hillside retaining our elevation, with shifting views of the sea below and Antiparos inland. The shepherd’s old footpath goes through low vegetation, with bushes like cistus, lentisk, thyme, sage and Jerusalem sage; in springtime, it is also dotted with multi-colored wild flowers, from daisies and dandelions, to wild lavender and wild mint. Reaching a rocky col, we pause to admire the spectacular views to the open sea and the rugged coves of Mikra and Megala Monastiria, before moving downhill to a small chapel and Monastiria beach.
We stop at the pristine sandy beach for a refreshing dip and a break, enjoying views of the deep bay and the emerald waters. On the way back, we start moving inland, going uphill again on a rock and gravel trail through the ravines and the green hillsides. As we approach the plateau of the Latomia area, we encounter some of the marks of mining activity of previous centuries, now healed by nature and time. From there, on an afternoon hike, one can also enjoy beautiful sunset views towards the bay of Monastiria! Then, it is all the way downhill back to Aghios Georgios on dirt road (through another route) with great views to the coastline W-SW and beyond, to the islands of Sifnos and Serifos. If anybody feels like a bite, Aghios Georgios offers some good seafood taverna options right by the water.
In a nutshell [All of the wild beauty of Antiparos] Hiking/sea & mountain views/sunset/swimming, distance 13 km, duration 4.5h (incl stops & sea dip), elevation ±300 m.