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Athos - Ouranoupolis - Border to Mount Athos

This easy route takes one from the village of Ouranoupolis along a path, which follows the coast to the border of Athos. It then turns north along the border fence for a few hundred yards, before turning west to ascend a forest track. This track gradually climbs the wooded hillside overlooking the coastline between Ouranoupolis and the Athos Border, as it meanders round the side of the valley.

The route provides good forest walking with fine views of the vineyards and olive groves in this sheltered valley, as well as the coast beyond. (2 hours)

Athos is a self- administered part of the Greek State. The monks established their monasteries there in the 9th Century and it is the records they kept which have provided most of the historical information from that date onwards. The tower of Prosphorion in Ouranoupolis is the biggest and best-preserved tower in Halkidiki and dates back to the 14th Century. It was damaged by an earthquake in the 19th Century and was subsequently repaired. The present roof dates back to that period.

The route

This walk begins at the seafront in Ouranoupolis. Turn left at the tower of Prosphorion to arrive in a short distance at a wide unmade road with ample parking space. From here walk on along the road with the sea on the right.

The road diverts to the left around a building then narrows and climbs a small hill. A small road to the left here is the one we will return on at the end of the walk. Continue on along the track, which turns to the southeast, following the shoreline, to a point where the track turns away from the sea. The route now continues along the beach (look for the way marker) towards a point where a large outcrop of rocks protrudes into the sea. About 100 m before these rocks the path climbs to the top of the steep cliff on the left, via Steps which zig zag up the hillside. The path continues to follow the coast through the brush and woodland on the cliff top for a distance of 700m and then descends through bushes to the beach at the Athos Border.

Here at the end of the track stand the ruins of Frangokastro castle, which dates back to at least the 11th Century, as well as the border fence and its police office. In addition there is a nice section of beach, marred only by the concrete wall that juts out into the sea.

Notices here inform people that no access is allowed, except with the appropriate visa, * and no access under any circumstances to women.

To continue the walk, follow the track through the olive grove, which leads past the ruined castle to join a woodland track going north. This fine path meanders gradually upwards through shady trees, constrained on one side by a forested hillside and on the other by a deep ravine, which provides an effectual natural barrier to Athos. However in a distance of 400m our route turns left up a narrow valley through an old olive grove in order to ascend a fine mountain track that twists and turns, following the contours of the hillside, as it gradually climbs back through open woodland, towards Ouranoupolis . The path provides fine views of the cultivated valley below, with the coast beyond. Eventually the path completes its traverse round the valley and turns back towards the sea. Here it passes through a shady pinewood to reveal, at the next turn, a fine view over the town and coast. The path now descends quite steeply to the coast with olive groves gardens, chickens, turkeys etc. on both sides to add colour and noise to the rural setting. The track emerges on the outward coastal path to the border about 500m from the Start. Turn right to return to the town centre with its taverns and shops.

* The conditions for non-Greeks to obtain visas are very strict and numbers are restricted to about 10 persons per day.


All Hiking Tours you can printout in the office of the Holidays and more tourist info in Psakoudia. If you use a navigation device to have supported the hikes, please contact one days in advance at the office of the Holidays and more tourist info. You will then receive your Desired issued a navigation device to your personal walk for a small amount.

We wish you much fun when you walk through the beautiful Chalkidiki!

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