Symi Greece Chorio to Ag. Emilianos Circular Walk.
This is a Chorio to Ag. Emilianos and back walk which heads off into the Symi Hills and visits monasteries and even drops down to a beach.
This is quite a long walk with an initial climb out at the start and a good climb on the return - there are no facilities other than well water at several of the churches so you do need to take food
and plenty of drink with you. It can take around 3 hours to walk to Ag. Emilianos although that allows for spending time looking at the churches and monasteries etc.
From the village square climb out of the Old Town and up the donkey path to Monastery Mihail Perivliotis.
[ See our Symi Walks about getting from the Village Square in the Old Town to the start of the Donkey Path ].
On reaching the main road with the monastery in front of you turn right and at the bend take the concrete road straight ahead - this climbs up with views of Ksisos below you on your left. Ignore the first road on the left - when the road starts to climb very steeply take the dirt track on the
left - now the church of Panagia Myrtariotissa and it's houses are above you on the right. The track takes you to some steps which you can take to go on up into the church. Back down the steps turn right on the track and a little way on take a newly bulldozed track slightly to the right and going uphill. Follow
this track which will take you to a small church hidden in some trees (we do not know the name of this church). Go through the church area and leave it by it's back gate, now turn right and make your way down (there
is no obvious path to use) over the scrub to join a clear path going along the hillside below you - turn left onto it and continue along this path.
There are really great views of the coast and also the monastery Taxiarchis Mihail Roukouniotis (and the military camp so take care where you point the camera..) - the path goes into and through trees and then comes out in a more open area with some ruins scattered around. The path swings left over the open ground
and then re-enters woods - keep going through the trees - the path is in fact marked with red dots. Always staying on the main path and ignoring smaller side paths you come to the small church of Ag. Ioannis Theologos - as with many of the churches this one has a well and somewhere cool to sit for a while if you wish (remember this church since it is a welcome rest point on the way back).
Carry on through the woods and then emerge onto a more rocky open area with views of Ag. Emilianos as well as the Maroni bay and then the bay's beaches. As you continue along the path drops down to almost sea level - at the bottom of the dip ignore cross paths and carry on back up the
hillside bearing right to arrive just below the Monastery of Ag Filimonos. The path was a little hard to find but is there and also you have to go up over heavy boulders so just head towards the right side of the buildings.
The monastery was locked up and surrounded by rough walls and wire fencing and we could not look round it at all. From the monastery steps lead you down to the beach at Skoumisa Bay - not the most fabulous beach on the island though. Carry on in the same direction and pick up a sometimes quite narrow footpath which
will take you on round the left side of the bay to Ag. Emilianos which is clearly visible. The monastery has plenty of seats available for a picnic break and a very small stoney beach if you fancy a swim - it is also a favourite stopping off place for "round the island" day trips so you could maybe scrounge a lift back if you did not fancy the climb back out but of course that would be the lazy option.
Leave the monastery and walk back to the start of Skoumisa Bay beach - now take a clear path going off the right which goes up through scrub - at the top you get a view of Ladi Bay and the headland. Continue across the top and then drop down towards a
fenced enclosure - go left just before reaching the enclosure and heading inland make your way back down to rejoin your original inbound path. Head back up into the hills - quite a climb in the heat - but you soon get back into tree cover. Retrace your steps eventually passing the Ag. Ioannis Theologos (and its well) and continue along to the ruined buildings in the open area.
Head towards a row of cypress trees a little below on the left - follow the marked path which winds down to eventually reach the road at Agii Anargyrii. Turn right along this concrete road - go on through a road gate and continue along until you reach the monastery of Taxiarchis Mihail Roukouniotis. When you reach the main road turn right (NOT though the road going down into the military camp..) and follow this up hill until you come to a concrete road on your left.
Turn right on this junction and to the left of the wall a moni-path leaves which will take you along beside the wall (the main road is still close by on
your right), then goes over a very rough area of heavy fallen rock and walling, then goes out into a more open area.
Pick your way along this what must have been a brilliant moni-path once upon a time - it dives down to cross a dry stream and then climbs back out and eventually picks up the Chorio donkey path. Turn left along the donkey path and soon passing a small church (Ag. Paraskevi) and then continues back down into the Old Town.
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