Walking path 2 “Photodotis”
Chora – Milies – St. Irene – Katapola (Xilokeratidi)
This route was important during the War of Independence because it offered a safe pass and supply route between the then pirate free Katapola and ,back then, the isolated Chora and Monastery.
Today the footpath is used mainly by farmers from Chora to reach their olive groves in the autumn.
The walk start by walking towards the north side of the Kastro leads to St. John the Theologos, a Byzantine dependency of the Patmas Monastery until 1661 when it was assigned to the Monastery of Hozoviotissa. From here the steps lead down in a north-westerly direction to the Chora-Aigiali asphalt road which today forms the northern boundary of Chora. At this point the stone-paved path to Katapola begins.
The path are parallel to a deep ravine to the north called Kata Fylladi. At the point where the path starts to wind steeply down, the old chapel of Panagia Fidopatamiani may be seen opposite the path on the edge of the ravine. The path goes along the mountain slope parallel to the ravine, at the bottom is the chapel of Taxiarchis (Archangel). Beyond this place the ravine is called Fonias (Killer) and eventually ends in the bay of Katapola.
About halfway along the route one reaches Milies where the landscape is enriched by oak trees. Here fresh water springs emerge from the rocks and together with the shady clumps of trees make this one of the prettiest parts of the track. Immediately below are the washing places and an old kiln which belonged to a potter from Sifnos.
The walking path continues its smooth descent through bushing before turning into a narrow dirt track. The route leads to a low hill above the fertile valley, Yialinas.
On the hill stands the chapel of St. Irene where ancient remains from the Classical period have been discovered nearby. A fragment of a grave stele carved in relief portraying a man wearing a himation (cloak) was found at Yialinas, close to St. Irene. It was made by an island workshop around 440-430 B.C”
Then the route reaches Pera Rachidi, a newly built settlement on a hill overlooking the Yialinas and Marmara valleys. Apart from olives, fruit and vegetables are the main crops grown here. The extensive oregano fields are particularly impressive.
After Pera Rachidi, the route becomes a footpath and arrives in the Katapola olive groves and it ends in the orchards near the beach at Xilokeralidi, the north part of Katapola bay.
Supplies: Only a bottle of water since there are a lot of possibilities for provision in the villages.