Parikiá - Panagía Thapsanoón - Agios Minás - Maráthi - Náoussa
This fairly long hike brings you to two monasteries and the
marble-quarries of Maráthi. The monastery of Panagía Thapsanoón is a
huge building, which is not really beautiful; the monastery of Agios Minás
is also a solid building, but it looks much nicer. The marble-quarries
of Marathi are famous and still very impressive (do not forget to bring
a torch, though). There are few really nice hiking trails, so the hike
only deserves an evaluation of **.
The actual walking time to the monastery of Panagía Thapsanoón takes
90 minutes. It will then take you a little under 40 minutes to Agios Minás and about 15 minutes to Maráthi. After the detour to the
marble-quarries, you can continue, usually via the bed of a small river
and then via a monotonous gravel road, until you reach Náoussa – a
trip of about one hour and a half. The total actual walking time is thus
4 hours. We hiked from 9.30am to 4.30pm, a total walking time of
seven hours, with a long break to talk to an interesting man in Agios
From the windmill in the harbour of
Parikiá you follow
the road running all the way along the bay towards the west (to the
right when standing with your back towards the harbour). You thus walk
past an abundance of restaurants and bars; at the far end you would
eventually get to the rock with first 1 and then 2 windmills and with
the hotels of Pandróssos and Nikólas – marvellously situated!
The little church of Agios Konstantínos on the kástro.
beginning of the hike is to be found at the large church with the double
towers and the blue domes. You can follow the coastal road until you
reach this church, but it is much nicer, of course, to first climb up
the kástro and then descend from up there. You then go down via the
tower with some striking old construction elements of an old temple,
after which you turn to the west and you continue zigzaggingly through
the old city – however, you should not move too much away from the sea.
You then also arrive at the large church, which is the mitrópoli of this
(0h10) At the square in front of the church you do not take the road on the right of the church, but the road on the far right, to the left of the Kialoa-bar and the lotto-shop. Via a long, meandering street you walk inland; after 5 minutes you cross the ring road, next to a bridge and then you proceed straight ahead.
At the first crossing, already after 15
m, you take a right; you pass two little streets on the right side and
at the following crossing you go left, to the left of a wall and a blue
wooden gate. In this way the road meanders between villas until, after 7
minutes, you get to a large villa, with palm trees and a pergola with a
staircase on the outside – over here the road splits up. You take the
narrower concrete road on the left of the green screen that screens off
the villa and you follow this road for 5 minutes – you do not descend
into the valley, which means that you have to keep a right at every
junction. At a very modest chapel with a flat roof, the road turns into
a narrower gravel road; after yet another 2 minutes this road gets to
another concrete road.
(0h30) You follow this road to the left and going down and after 100 metres you take the small concrete road off the right, near a sports field on your left-hand side. After a few minutes, at the last big villa, the concrete becomes gravel and after climbing up for another 2 minutes you arrive underneath an electricity cable – on your left and right you notice some tumbled-down buildings.
One minute later, the gravel road veers left and on this place you
finally find the beginning of the ancient trail, straight ahead,
climbing up the side of the hill.
There is a rather wide
rocky road in front of you (red mark), but the path to the right of the
road is obstructed by vegetation and comes to a dead end a little
further, because of the road.
After one minute you keep going straight ahead and in this way you climb
up for 10
minutes, until you get next to another electricity cable. From then on
the trail starts going down and after 5 minutes you reach the bottom of
While clambering in the rocky river bed...
(0h55) You should watch out here: BEFORE this cabin you take a right leaving the bed of the river, just next to a heavy electricity pole (red mark); in this way you find an obvious and narrow path, which soon becomes broader. The following stretch is very beautiful, between flowering broom (on the 22nd of May 2007), while walking next to a deep gorge. A couple of minutes further you get between the two slopes of the small valley, but you do stay on the left-hand slope. Everywhere you look you see beautiful olive trees and flowering broom!
The path to the Panagía Thapsanoón, in spring, with the flowering broom.
After 7 beautiful
minutes the path continues on the left of a metal fence and it becomes
narrower (red mark). The path keeps going up and you can see a small
corner of the sea behind you.
The Péra Panagía and the path next to it.
(1h15) Slightly further the trail gets into the bed of the river and – watch out – you cross the bed by keeping to the left, in the direction of the small church and the house next to it.
[This means that
you DO NOT continue in the bed of the river, in order to
go up the staircase to the hamlet on the right-hand side of the
valley. On the other side of the bed, you DO NOT take a right – there is
indeed a trail towards the monastery, but it is densely overgrown.]
The monastery of the Panagía Thapsanoón.
(1h28) From the entrance of the
monastery, you retrace your steps and you take the path on the right,
immediately after the angle of the wall that surrounds the complex. Some 20
meters further, it continues between walls. The trail veers back for a few
moments until next to the road, then then it continues to the right as a rocky
gravel road, between walls. You have from here a beautiful view of the modern
The monopáti to Agios Minás.
After about 13-14 minutes you thus reach the bottom of the river, and
you follow it sharply to the left (red marks).
Some 20 minutes after you have left the chapel you thus reach the fairly
The huge walls of Agios Minás.
At this monastery we were welcomed by an enthusiastic and talkative man who talked endlessly about himself and the monastery. Later this year he will turn 80 and he once worked in Canada. His name is Minás as well, just like the name of the monastery: Minás K. Damiás. The monastery dates from 1850, and there used to be 35 monks; the icon would be about 7-800 years old. He shows us the church with the beautiful ikonostási, he asks us to climb onto the roof to ring the bell and he also gives us a bottle of wine at our departure….
Inside Agios Minás...
The ikonostási of Agios Minás.
From the exit of
the monastery you follow the staircase for 1 minute and then you take
the monopáti off the right. In this way you get to a gravel road where
you go right. This is an easy road and after about 10 minutes you keep
to the right and you reach some concrete. A couple of minutes later you
walk through the village of Maráthi by keeping to the right again; you
now walk in the direction of the main road. About 100 m before the road
you find a gravel road off the right and a sign "Ancient marble
make a small detour to the right and you soon reach the first open mine.
A small road off the left leads you to the sign "Marble quarries", and behind this sign you see a large hole
and an underground shaft. This is the place where, in the classical era,
the famous marble of Páros was obtained; amongst others it was also
used for the construction of the Parthenon (432 B.C.). In recent times
there was a railroad to transport the marble to Parikiá!
An underground shaft.
By continuing you arrive at a beautiful, marble-paved lane, leading to
the asphalt road, on the right of a bridge.
follow the asphalt road to the right, but already after 4 minutes you take the small asphalt road off the
left (signpost to Ag. Thomas). A few minutes later you reach a small river and you continue next to this
river for another 3 minutes – until you pass a marble company on the
left and a cement company (Lafarge concrete) on the right. You then
continue in the bed of the small river - quite
understandably, this river is called the Xiropótamos ("dry
(2h46) Strikingly, from this point onwards, the bed of the river is really very passable, maybe also as a result of the concrete residue, which tends to be washed along with the rain. You continue on this sandy trail in a very pleasant way - when it is not too hot - for almost 25 minutes.
In the river bed of the Xiropótamos.
You meander between the hills until you reach a dam, after about 22-23 minutes. You pass this dam on the right-hand side. Slightly further you have to leave the bed of the river on the left, because water often blocks the way near the second dam. You pass a kind of filling station, you find the path on the left-hand bank and you walk to the second dam.
One of the dams on the Xiropótamos.
can walk on the dam to the other bank and you go up the slope, towards
the right. There is no trail, until you have to clamber over a small
wall and you thus get to a gravel road which follows the valley. You
take a left obviously.
should follow this gravel road for about 25
minutes; below you notice another 3-4 dams and the bed of the river
looks really stony now – it would have been impossible to follow the
bed any further. After a couple of minutes you already spot the sea and
the white houses of Náoussa, far away in front of you. After 25 minutes
you take some rest, inside a very pleasant and modern little chapel (Agios
reach a small concrete road, you take a left and you continue for
minutes, first in and then on the left of the river.
cross the main road next to a bridge and on the opposite side you
continue on a broad asphalt road.
A little further you get to a junction and you keep to the left. You
pass the bus station and for the final stretch you walk along a small
canal in the middle of the road.
thus reach the picturesque little harbour of Náoussa.
The little harbour of Náoussa.
The houses of Náoussa on the sea side.
Over here you find
many boats to bring the tourists to the popular beaches of Monastíri
and Kolymbíthres. You can also go to the right, through the nice little
village, until you arrive at the beaches of Agios Dimítrios (5 minutes)
and Agii Anárgyri (15 minutes).
The beach of Agii Anárgyri.
May 2007 there were busses back to Parikiá at 6.30pm and at 8.30pm.