Moní - Apíranthos

Evaluation: This hike describes the inverse of the walk Apíranthos - Fanári - Moní and it is also beautiful, because of the magnificent landscape and the quality of some trails. At the end of this hike, you can visit the village of Apíranthos, one of the most beautiful villages of Náxos. It certainly deserves ***.
[Updated by Raymond on September the 19th, 2015.]
[The translation of this walk was made with some help of Google translate - so, please, do not mind the mistakes...]

Estimated time
: The actual walking time (AWT) amounts to 1h55 - if you make the detour to the summit of the Fanári, you should add a little less than half an hour. Since the total time (TWT) is often the double of the actual time, you should take into account that the total hike will last for about 4 hours...

Route description
: [Only in summer you will be able to take the bus to Moní, otherwise you have to catch a taxi. If you rent a car, you can leave it at the entrance of the village, in the bend of the road that leads from Chalkí to Kóronos and Apóllonas.]

(0h00) You start near the war memorial at the edge of the road, and you enter the village while following the paved street that passes between the two restaurants and next to the bakery. Once arrived at a small square (from here there is a little street that goes down to the right and to the beginning of the walk to Chalkí, see the second part of hike Chalkí – Panagía Drosianí – Moní – Kalóxylos – Chalkí)
and after 6 steps, you follow a narrow street leading down to a second square, with a tree in the middle (there is the date 1931 on a wall). After 2 minutes, you take a left next to a pole, farther you go left again, next to a chapel, but you veer immediately to the right – and you pass in this way between two chapels. You thus reach a washing place (date 1935), at the end of the village.

(0h06) A narrow cemented path begins here ([8] on a wall): it turns right; a little further you keep to the right (large yellow and green mark) and you continue above small gardens. Then you have to watch out: next to a high wall, you see a yellow mark that could send you to the left - but you should continue STRAIGHT on the main trail (red 8 on an wall). The trail becomes narrow because of the vegetation and then continues at the foot of a high wall.
After 4 minutes, you climb the rocky or concrete steps and you reach a concrete bridge.

(0h13) You pass through a large metal gate, then you continue to climb on about 70 ruined. You continue STRAIGHT between walls, to the left of a few isolated trees - so you do NOT take the narrow path going diagonally to the left.

A nice trail...

You continue your nice climb between walls and under the trees, then you veer to the left - the impressive Fanári is now just ahead. Some landslides can trouble you a bit, but suddenly the trail gets better, with a high wall on your left.

Panoramic view on Moní.

Later, you descend on a trail with an uneven pavement and so you arrive in a dry river bed.

(0h21) You follow this bed to the LEFT (red arrow) - again, the path is paved. You follow the bed for some time, and then you go up to the right on big rocks - the climb is sometimes very steep and rocky, then the path is paved again or there are steps.

(0h30) Pay attention: when you arrive in front of some trees, you should climb the slope with a vague path to the right (cairn) and you thus reach a clear path, which is very shady and dark. You go through a breach in a wall (red mark), you still go up and you get to a dirt track (cairn). You should follow this road to the right for 8 minutes; towards the end, it becomes vague, but you should continue to go down straight, in zigzags, until you discover on your left some terraces - and you reach a cross-path next to a fence.

[If you were going to the right and down, you could continue to Chalkí, see the second part of the hike Apíranthos – Fanári – Kalóxylos – Chalkí.]

(0h40) You go left, you continue beneath a terrace, but in the end, you should go up to the left to continue on a long terrace planted with a row of olive trees - a beautiful spot!

A nice terrace, with in the background the Fanári.

(0h44) At the end of this terrace you should be careful: you go down to the right in order to find the beginning of a beautiful trail that continues between a wall and a fence. Later you pass at the left side of a cliff and you then arrive in front of a metal gate.


(0h47 You get in this way in front of a beautiful valley, with pale rocks, and with a splendid view of the impressive Fanári. You descend while keeping to the right, next to a wall and on white rocks. Down in the bed of a river, 3 minutes later, you should again pay attention: you should continue to the LEFT (cairns and red arrow). First, you follow the bed to the right of oleanders, then you continue in the bed itself or to the left of it; in this way you arrive after another 3 minutes in front of a side wall, where you find a trail between little walls. Already after 1 minute, you veer left and now you should climb a steep rocky slope, without following a clear path.
Near the angle of a wall, you have to continue to the RIGHT: you thus leave a sort of valley, then you continue between a sharp rock and a wall.

(0h55) One minute later, you may NOT follow a misleading goat track, but you should go up to the LEFT, just after a few rocks on the left – we left a cairn and the remains of the retaining walls are still visible here and there. The climb is very steep, and sometimes you can follow a narrow path, first to the right, then to the left of the slope.

(1h02) After 5 difficult minutes, you arrive at the magnificent original trail, built of gray stone. You climb the stairs, sometimes on stony rocks, and you describe 13 sharp turns (do not miss the 6th turn!).

The kalderími runs through an impressive landscape...

(1h15) Note that you do not take a right after those 13 turns – you should continue straight, in the direction of the Fanári. After 3 minutes, the kalderimi with its beautiful retaining walls starts again.
In the 6th turn, you arrive in front of a pile of gray stones: here you go left, in order to arrive to the LEFT of a heavy wall you see above – for a few moments, the trail is narrow between the bushes. At the end of the wall, you climb diagonally to the left, until you get to a dirt road. You have here a magnificent view over the plain of the Tragáa with Filóti and Moní.

(1h26) You follow this road to the left, and you arrive at the pass, after 5-6 minutes. Pay attention now: just beyond a small ruin of a stable, you must find the path that continues diagonally to the right - and, almost immediately, Apíranthos appears in front of you.

[The road that continues straight runs towards the Fanári - see the walk Apíranthos - Fanári - Moní]

The trail is now very clear and after a few minutes, the white pavement becomes very beautiful. After a rocky descent between high walls, you pass through a breach in a wall, and you veer left.

(1h41) During 6 minutes, the descent is steep and then you begin a stretch with eight sharp turns, where you have to carefully follow the curbstones - meanwhile you enjoy a beautiful view of the two parts of Apíranthos!
You again go through a gate made of reinforcing steel and another breach in a wall, where you continue left.
You finally arrive at the left side of a large cistern and so you get to a concrete road.

(1h48) You follow this road to the right and you gradually veer left towards the houses; you arrive at a crossroad where you take the stairs in front of you for the final descent (blue arrow). After 26 steps, you turn right, near a pole. You veer left and after steps, you meander left, right and left again. You pass through a kamára (archway) and you veer right. You always continue straight now, but after more steps you take a right next to a pole and left in front of another kamára. You finally descend a magnificent staircase and arrive on a rectangular square with to the right the beginning of the main street – by taking a left, you can almost immediately arrive on the asphalt road, close to the bus stop.

[Of course you can stroll pleasantly through Apíranthos which really deserves its nickname of "marble village."
On the square you find the shop of "The Aperinthian women’s association" (where they sell all kinds of different textile), with some fancy bars and with the workshop "Apiranthos Art". To the right, the square leads to a beautiful street, paved with marble tiles: on its left side there is the café Samarádiko with a great outdoor terrace; you also pass the tiny little church of Agios Sardónis. A little further down you get to the archaeological museum that was established by Michaïl Bardáni: to be seen in this museum are a lot of small Cycladic statues, a clay vase from the 3rd millennium BC, a geometric tripodos from the 8th century, some prehistoric stone tools, bronze arrowheads, etc.

The platía of Apíranthos.

You then reach a small platía with beautiful houses from 1846 and 1897. Above these houses you find the folk museum, consisting of three rooms of a not too old house: in the living room, the kitchen and the bedroom you can see all kinds of traditional objects and tools. If you want to, you can then continue to follow the street for a little while, whereupon you should retrace your steps in order to return to your point of departure.
At the very end of the marble street is the church of  Kímissis tis Theotókou, then you reach the asphalt road and the bus stop.]

[Usually, there is an afternoon bus at about 4h30, returning to Filóti, Chalkí and Chóra.]

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