Akrotíri - Panagía Kímisis - Mésa Pigádia - Lighthouse - Akrotíri
This walk is
after all a pleasant walk, which takes place in a part of Santoríni
which remains unknown to most visitors to the island. There are some
beautiful trails, but unfortunately this walk follows some sections of
gravel roads and a long stretch of asphalt road - at least if you want
to continue up to the lighthouse. It remains interesting that this walk
take place quite often among the vines and that it offers, above
the village of Akrotíri, a splendid view of the caldera. Deserves **.
In 2008, there were buses back to Firá at 2.20pm, 3.50pm , 5.35pm and 8:35pm.
The excavation site was closed for quite a few years, bus it reopened in the Summer 2012...]
(0h00) From the black beach of Akrotíri, you retrace your steps on the road for a little over 2 minutes, until next the excavations. Once there, you cross the large parking lot until the other side. In the left corner, to the left of a small white building, there is a faint trail that goes up to a terrace where you go right. You follow a basalt supporting wall on the left side and you get in this way to a nice path which runs at the foot of the hill. You go to right - at the beginning, the trail has an uneven pavement, made of black and red basalt stones. To the right, you see the covered site of Akrotíri and further on the Profítis Ilías; soon enough, you discover in front of you the village of Akrotíri. Shortly thereafter, the monopáti continues in the midst of a lot of daisies (1 May 2011); later on, it continues on volcanic ash or pumice stone, between basalt walls - these are the remains of the great eruption of the 17th century BC.
(0h16) You are approaching
the village: you veer right in front of a beautiful orchard of almond
trees and you arrive at a parking lot, located below the village. You
follow an asphalt road to the right and you thus get to the main road,
which you follow to the left until the second turn, just after the bus
stop. You take a left there onto
a narrow asphalt road that enters the village; you get to a little
street that goes up until you get near the neoclassical building of the
primary school "Spíros Marinátos."
(0h25) You continue left and at the left side of a church that seems too restored: the white staircase going up here on the left leads up to the wooden gate in a narrow passage to the kástro.
[This kástro was built in red and black lava stones; it offers a beautiful view of the village, the volcano, Firá and Ia. For the moment, the kástro is being restored.]
Back at the bottom of the stairs, you continue straight along the wall of the church, and you get again to the asphalt road that you follow to the right. In a sharp right turn, you continue straight into staircase-street; further on, you take the first little concrete street to the left and you thus continue through the village - and you get a beautiful view over the village and the plain with vineyards.
You continue climbing white steps and you reach at the end of the village a small concrete road, with on the left side a chapel - here you go up to the right.
Once arrived at a fork - with a minimarket right - you go left and you follow the concrete road up to another fork, with to the left with a small church with a blue dome. You go up to the right here, on a concrete road, and soon you get a magnificent view on the slopes all around Akrotíri with further the Profítis Ilías and on its right side the silhouette of Anáfi - and lots of flowers in the spring.
View on the slopes around Akrotíri.
You climb until you reach a left turn, and there you take the beautiful
trail in front of you, that passes underneath a large ocher villa, next
to a black retaining wall.
On ocean of flowers, to the right of your trail to the Panagía Kímisis.
The 3-4 minutes that follow are really beautiful: the trail continues on
ashes, on pumice or small black stones. You meet two bifurcations, where
you should NOT take a left towards the fields. So you continue straight,
just above the road, but finally you get to this road. On the left side,
there is the chapel of Agios Ioánnis, with to the left concrete steps
leading down to the Panagía Kímisis.
A nice wine stall, to the right of your path from Akrotíri to Mésa Pigádia.
(0h44) You go down the concrete steps on your left and you thus arrive quite at the bottom, next to the big church, which in reality is a small monastery. You find a path, which at the beginning is a bit neglected, but later becomes quite beautiful and continues between the vineyards. After 4-5 minutes, you reach a gravel road, which you follow for 1 minute to the left; in a left turn, you discover another path in front of you. It continues again for a few minutes between walls of black lava and vineyards, which are strewn with black stones, which provide the heat required for the Visanto, the famous sweet wine. This is still the island of Santoríni of yesteryear!
A vineyard, with the typical round vines...
(0h52) You get again to a gravel road
that descends to the left towards the beach of Kambiá (sign "Kambiá Beach").
However, you should take the gravel road JUST OPPOSITE, which winds down into an
eroded valley, between slopes that are covered with vineyards. Be careful now:
after exactly 10 minutes, next to a metal fence with behind it a fig tree, you
climb a narrow path; it turns to the right and it gets again to a gravel road.
The black beach of Mésa Pigádia.
(1h16) After a possible break for
swimming or a picnic, you retrace your steps and climb the steep gravel road for
about 11 minutes. Just past a small road to the left and almost in front of a
house surrounded by a wall, the path you have followed a little while ago, gets
off to the right, to the right of a black wall.
The cape of Akrotíri with the lighthouse.
From the top, a path leads in 5 minutes to the lighthouse. (1h56)
The lighthouse of Akrotíri.
(1u56) In order to return to Akrotíri,
you should unfortunately follow the asphalt road: after about 20 minutes, you
pass the gravel road that comes from Mésa Pigádia which you followed earlier.
The road continues for another 1.4 kilometers or 18 minutes: you pass 2 small
asphalt roads on the right and a gravel road down to the beach of Kambiá.