Karya to Profitis Ilias (M4)

Brilliant climb from the excellent hiking base of Karya up to the main peak above the village. There is a church on the top called Profitis Ilias. Warning – there are hundreds of churches on peaks in Greece called Profitis Ilias. This is the 1,009 metre peak just SSW of Karya that provides fantastic views. It is one of the best hikes on the island.

550m ascent
Moderate difficulty

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Bus to Karya from Lefkada

Plenty of tavernas and accommodation in Karya

Links to trails down to Eglouvi

Start from the town square in Karya, with all the nice tavernas and the shade of the plane trees. There are coffee shops too, so either fortify yourself now or take note for your return.

Start of trail up hill between spring and bakery

This trail is marked as M4 from Karya – with red markers and arrow signs for most of the way. Go up the steep path/ narrow lane in the north west of the square, by the drinking well. There is a good baker as the path starts where you can get cheese pies for the top.

Follow M4 red arrows

Follow up through the steeply climbing streets going straight up – but bear a little left at first and then a little right. The path narrows and reaches a turning right up stairs. The M4 red arrows show you the way.

Turn right up stairs

At top of stairs you reach a road. Turn right and go a short distance to a monopati heading up the hill left.

The first section of monopati leaving the road.

The monopati zig zags up the hill passing through ruined stone buildings and past a small church. The path then goes left to meet a road on a sharp bend. Go up the road until a T junction where you turn right. Very soon a monopati starts up the hill on your left.

Second monopati leaving the final bit of road out of Karya

The path is well marked by red-yellow paint marks.

As you come to the top of the hill another path joins from the right. The markers now become red-yellow-blue. At the top go left following the markers (there is a less distinct path continuing straight on down to Eglouvi direct).

When you reach the top of the ridge the vista west will open up. Below you is a quarry and over beyond that to the left is the old American communications base. Follow the red-yellow-blue markers up along the ridge until you reach a road heading up the mountain. Go left up the road.

Old American communications base with “Micky Mouse” ears.

Climb the twisting road up towards the top of Profitis Ilias. The odd car ventures up here, but it is being undermined by the quarry, and difficult to pass. As a walker you won’t have any problem. Half way up is a path to the right that is an alternative route across a few of the hairpins. But the hairpins of the road are the easiest.

Reach the mountain top and the very pretty church of Profitis Ilias with its amazing views in all directions. Many describe this spot as being close to heaven. You can see all of the Inland Sea from here – on a clear day to the entrance of the Gulf of Corinth.

Church of Profitis Ilias looking back over the last half of this trail

Note that this peak is a drone-free zone. And you can see why many would fly drones here if permitted.

Looking down to Eglouvi and Megalisi beyond from Profitis Ilias

After looking at the views (and eating those cheese pies) reverse your route back to Karya. Alternatively take the trail down to Eglouvi where there are infrequent buses back to Karya, or walk back along the Eglouvi to Karya monopati route making a truely great loop.

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