Agia Triáda (Stavropéda) - Zagorá and back

Evaluation: In about half an hour this short hike brings you to the archaeological site of Zagorá. The location of this ancient settlement (bloom period from 900 - 700 B.C.), on a difficult to occupy acropolis, is really interesting. We would recommend to visit the Archaeological Museum in Chóra beforehand – in order to get an idea of the excavations that have taken place. This hike gets an evaluation of **. 
[Update by Raymond on May the 11th, 2016.]

Estimated time: Two hours are definitely enough to make this hike (it takes about 30 minutes each way) and to walk around on the site itself.  We combined this hike with the hike Agia Triáda - monastery of Panachrántou - Messariá.

Route description: [The busses from Batsí to Chóra or Ormos Korthíou stop at the crossing of Stavrópeda, where the road to Chóra and Ormos Korthíou splits up. You have to follow the asphalt road in the direction of Ormos Korthíou for a couple of hundred metres. On your right-hand side you will the see a small chapel, dedicated to Agia Triáda (the Holy Trinity) – a small concrete trail leads to this chapel.
At this point you find the departure of hike [7] to Zagorá; a sign on the right-hand side of the road points to the archaeological site of Zagorá.

[On the opposite side of the road, on the left hand side, there is another trail, between walls. It runs in east-northeastern direction and you can even see the sea on the other side of the island. This is the departure point of the lowest short-cut of the island; the trail runs at an altitude of about 200 - 300 metres, except close to the Panachrántou-monastery, which is situated at an altitude of 500 m. The short-cuts via Pitrofós (till 500 m) and definitely the one via the Profítis Ilías (till 900 m) go much higher. See the hike Agia Triáda - Panachrántou - Messariá.]

(0h00) For the short walk to Zagorá, you take the concrete path that leads between walls to the chapel (sign [7] Zagorá 1,8 km). Behind the chapel, you go left onto concrete [7], but the trail soon becomes a regular trail between walls. Only 50 meters further, you reach a triangular spot, where you go right. [7] You go through a wooden gate and you continue between walls on a slight slope (with on  the right wall a roll of barbed wire).

(0h04) On top, you arrive next to a small stable, then you go down gradually while you go through gate in reinforcing steel and after 2 minutes, you veer to the left - you already have a view of the acropolis. You still go through a gate, you keep a little to the right between walls [7] and then you descend to the left in a small depression in which you descend sharply to the right [7] After a steep end on eroded rocks, you arrive at a cross-trail, next to some ruins - here you will descend slowly to the left.

But first, you should take your time to cast a glance to the right in the first stone hut: it has in the middle a beautiful central column, which is called "pézos". Most other flat roofs have collapsed...

One hut has a nice central column, a "pézos"...

You continue to descend on a staircase [7] and you are now heading straight towards the acropolis until you arrive to the left of an alóni, a small ruin and a chapel – here you enjoy a beautiful view of the acropolis of Zagorá and on the islands of Sýros (left) and Giáros (with in the back Kýthnos (left) and Kéa).

Panoramic view of the acropolis of Zagorá.

(0h14) Again you go through a gate and for quite a while, you continue to go down slightly, while meandering a bit - and after 3 minutes, you still reach a triangular spot where you go up to the left. [7] You climb next to some ruins and so you get a wonderful view, to the right on the terraces and on the steep valley to the left.
Later, the ascent to the left becomes much steeper [7], you veer to the right and then you continue on a slight slope.

(0h24) Some 10 minutes since the chapel, you finally descend quickly to the right [7] and you now enjoy a view of the whole extent of the acropolis, with to the left and the right very steep rocks and gorges. You descend between walls, then you go through a small breach to the right, in order to follow a narrow dirt path [7] that leads up to the first wall of the acropolis. You continue on a vague path that winds between vegetation and arrive at a height from where you can look at the remains of the walls.

The path descends to Zagorá.

These are the modest remnants of a city from the Geometrical period, which flourished between the 10th and the 8th centuries B.C. – the city counted up to 4000 inhabitants. During this period the city even sent four colonies to Chalkidikí, where they founded, amongst others, the city of Akanthos. After the decline of this city, Paleópolis (bloom period in the 4th and the 3rd centuries B.C.) became the capital of Andros.

If you continue a little to the south, you will find yourselves suddenly in front of a vertiginous chasm down to the sea - here, you can realize how well the acropolis was protected on three sides. Straight ahead lies the uninhabited island of Giáros, with Sýros to the left and to the right Kéa and finally the mainland of Greece.
More to the west (right), the precipices are equally impressive...

(0h31) For the way back you naturally follow the same route and, starting from the walled remains, you take the vague path leading to the obvious trailhead between walls.
We repeat the most important directions in telegram style:

- you continue towards the path where you go left; you climb 5 minutes, then you veer left [7]
- after a few easy minutes you descend quickly to the left, then you continue right [7] and without problems, while keeping to the right ([7] on the corner of a wall), until you get to the chapel
- (0h50) you continue your ascent until you arrive to the right of the ruins
- you climb to the right [7] on a very rocky trail, but after 2 minutes – watch out – you should keep to the LEFT [7]
- after two gates in reinforcing steel and a wooden gate, you reach the chapel of Agia Triáda, where you zigzag left and right.

At the chapel of Agia Triáda you can find some shaded benches – this is the ideal place to have some rest.

Finally, you continue up to the asphalt road. (1h04)

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