“Being one of the most important trails of Kythera, it connects Chora, the capital of the island, with its seaport, Kapsali. The route starts from the central square of the village, descending through the main alley passing by old mansions and listed monuments, such as Markato, the old municipal market, and the metropolitan church of Estavromenos.
At the fork which leads to the imposing Castle of Chora, which is also known as “the eye of Crete”, the path starts descending from the church of Agioi Pantes. The western side of the castle has a view of the southern seascapes: the cape of Trachilas and Chytra, the gigantic rock in the middle of the sea. In spring, the slope seems to be in flames, due to the deep red color of “galatsides”, the bushes which take up this colour after flowering. The downhill footpath leads to the impressive cave church of Agios Pavlos, right above the small bay of the same name. You should have the keys, in case you want to visit the chapel.
Carrying on from there, the view of the distinctive twin bays of Kapsali accompanies the path up to the wild beauty of Sparagario beach. From the other side of the bay, the narrow trail ends at Kapsali. On the way back to Chora, after the stone bridge, the route follows “meses”, the trails that cut through the sharp turns of the road. These fast connective footpaths have never been abandoned by locals. The shade of trees and the tiny old pavilions, which serve as resting spots, render the uphill route feasible, even during summer.
While entering Chora again, after the Secondary School, the route traverses the whole neighbourhood of Mesa Vourgo, where 14 byzantine churches are located as well as impressive mansions, such as the one where Rosa Kasimati, the mother of Lefcadio Hearn, lived.
Chora is designated as a traditional settlement and along with the castle they comprise a uniform architectural monument. We recommend walking the picturesque alleyways and discovering the hidden neighborhoods, manifold listed mansions, “fosses” (archways), and old churches.
If you decide to visit the cave church of Agios Pavlos, you can hire a hiking guide, who will also make sure to have the keys. Alternativelly, you can also participate at the celebration of Agios Pavlos, when the church is open during vespers (June 28) and liturgy on the saint’s feast day (June 29).
|Technical difficulty||Light Scramble|
|Highest point||163 m|
|Lowest point||1 m|