A wonderful ascent from the Red Church up to Kollyvata following a superb tree lined monopati and through the forests and ravines of Skaros. This route combines with the trail Alexandros to the Red Church to make an easy but interesting circular route. For a longer trail it combines with Red Church to Skaros and Kollyvata to Skaros to make a large circular loop for fitter hikers. All paths explore the woods, streams, ravines (and shade) of the Skaros Forest.
The trail is marked with red-orange markers along the whole route. At times you have to watch for them carefully. Don’t confuse with red lichen rings that can be similar.
Start with your back to the entrance to the Red Church. Go 50m across the open area directly out from the entrance and then turn right to follow the path. This path soon crosses an unsurfaced track to enter a thick forest.
The forested section is a wonderful monopati that weaves between and under the thick woods. There is a fork where you turn right to ascend the hill. Follow the twist and turns of the path as it climbs up.
When you emerge from the thick forest section you come to a “T” junction with a track. Follow the track right as it ascends up the left side of a gorge. The gorge gradually shallows and, just after the path turns left to cross the steam at the bottom of the gorge, take the turn off right. Pass a brick block building on you left and continue up the track keeping right at the fork.
The track fords a stream (dry in summer) and turns into a monopati. Cross a clearing ignoring paths to left and right and head up over the steep rocks. The monopati climbs up and over the rocks. After a short but easy scramble enter a flatter tree lined section. Keep going straight on ignoring several paths diverging left and right.
As you pass the first houses of Kollyvata climb the concrete and stone ramp up into the tiny Kollyvata main square. On the right you will find Maria’s taverna. If you are lucky she will be open serving drinks and food. Eating at Maria’s is like visiting an aunt that can cook very well – and loves to do so. If you phone and give her warning you are coming you will get more choice. This is a special place to sit and watch the sun set over Profitis Ilias across the Alexandros plain.
When you have finished at Maria’s you can retrace your steps back to the Red Church. Alternatively take the short walk along the quiet road to Alexandros and then follow down that variation of the trail to the Red Church. If you are feeling fit you can take the montpati up to Skaros and then down to the Red Church. This is quite a hike but does get the fantastic views from Skaros of the eastern side of the island.