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Hike from Chora to Profitis Ilias on Amorgos
Profitis Ilias (or Profitis Elias) is the highest situated church on Amorgos. Or chapel is probably a better designation since it is very small. In other words, a very small chapel on a very high mountain. The mountain is also called Profitis Ilias, measuring 699 metres above sea level. Amorgos' highest mountain is called Mount Krikelos, located above Langada with an altitude of 821 metres above sea level.
Profitis Ilias on Amorgos is not the only chapel or mountain called
Profitis Ilias, such are found on many islands in Greece, and of course
also on the Greek mainland. Profitis Ilias is for example found on Sifnos,
and Lesvos. Ilias
or Elias has a name day on July 20, then Greeks climb up to these high
located mountains and chapels.
Kalimera was here.
The hike to Profitis Ilias on Amorgos is among the coolest things I have done in Greece. I have done the hike several times and I will definitely do it many times more. It is not a particularly difficult hike and it only takes an hour. However, it can sometimes be a little difficult to find the path leading to the chapel. I know several who have given up and returned home. So, it comes to not giving up, because the hike is worth every drop of sweat and the reward is an unbeatable view, as you can see above.
Join me on the hike to Profitis Ilias on Amorgos.
Profitis Ilias (or Profitis Elias) and Chora seen from Minoa above Katapola.
Chora, Minoa and Katapola seen from Profitis Ilias. Pretty cool view!
The hiking route begins shortly after Chora on the way to Aegiali. It is preferable to drive all the way and park by the pig house where the hiking route begins. If you do not have your own vehicle, go by bus to Chora and walk along the road until you see the pig house (see picture below). As I said, the hike is quite easy and the walking time is about one hour. Bring plenty of water. Keep an eye on the weather, it is not uncommon that the summit is obscured by clouds and then it is very difficult to see where you are going.
Chora and the road leading to the pig house from where the hiking route begins.
Here the road turns left to Aegiali and you should walk in the direction the arrow points.
Here the road turns left towards Aegiali. You turn right and follow the arrow. There is the beginning of an old donkey trail that was probably the main route between Chora and Egiali once upon a time. Follow the path a short distance until you reach a gate. Open the gate and move on. You are now at an altitude of 360 metres. Continue the path forward. Look for red dots and cairns all the time.
The hike feels like a Sisyphean task in the beginning, but it is only in the beginning.
At first there is a clear path to follow. Later on during the walk, you are guided by cairns, red dots and blue-green marks. I recommend that you keep an eye on the ground throughout the hike. Look for cairns and red dots. It pays off. The blue-green marks come later when there is no path to follow. There is no cause for concern if you get lost, just continue to ascend, you reach the goal anyway. But it is much easier if you follow the path. :-)
Go past the stone circles and continue uphill.
When you have walked for a while, you see two stone circles in front of you. Lots of goats live here. Follow the circles as I do in the picture. Do not forget red dots and cairns.
Katapola on Amorgos seen from 500 metres above sea level.
You are now quite high up (about 500 m) and the view is formidable. If you are lucky, the weather is as good as when we went here. Katapola can be seen down in the bay. Certainly it is stunning!
Continue uphill, then uphill.
Aim for four telephone poles. Turn right between the first and the second pole. Note! Reportedly, the telephone poles are gone since I took the pictures, but you can probably still guess how to walk. There was still one telephone pole here the last time we where here.
Turn right about here, then continue uphill and then uphill.
Here you turn right. The path becomes smaller and smaller and soon disappears completely. From here you have about 20 minutes to the top. Keep a close eye on the cairns. Soon you will see blue-green marks on the stones. They are quite worn off and sometimes difficult to see. Walk uphill and look closely for the marks. I'm a little annoying, I know, but it's for your own good. :-)
Do not forget to take breaks sometimes to enjoy the splendid view.
Go up, up, up. Without warning, the chapel appears and you are there.
Yippee! You've done it! Congratulations!
Where Camilla stands, it is 698 metres down to the sea. You pass 700 metres if you climb up on the roof. You can see the whole of Amorgos from the chapel. If you have not been in love with Amorgos before, I can guarantee that you will be now. If you look to the left you see the small island of Nikouria, if you look down to the right (it's really scary) you see the big blue and the path between the monastery of Panagia Chosoviotissa and Aegiali. That hiking route is also fantastic, it only takes five hours. :-)
Nikouria island off Agios Pavlos.
If you look back in the direction you came from, you have this amazing view.
This is defiantly one of my favourite views, yet it is nothing compared to the view in the other direction. So we turn around and look out on one of Greece's most breathtaking views: Amorgos the dragon!
Camilla and Amorgos the dragon!
Janne and Amorgos the dragon! Under my left arm is the village of Tholaria.
This is the most beautiful view I have ever seen. Standing here, looking out over the sea and the dramatic landscape, makes one speechless. If you are lucky - as in the picture - it is cloudless, windless and quiet.
You feel so small. And so happy. I hope that more people will have the opportunity to experience the same view and the same feeling of happiness. It only costs an hour of life. An hour that gives a reward every hour, every day, for life.
However, the interior of the chapel of Profitis Ilias is not as impressive as the hike to the chapel. :-)
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