1768 – The monopati from Cosma’s cave to Chilandariou (second day, third leg)

4041 arthos cosma monopatiThe first stretch of the monopati is densely forested. The small trees enclose the outside world with abundant foliage. A drizzle found its way through the leaves. There are many traces of wild boar along the path. The marks of a restless search for food underground. On both sides of the stone path the soil is churned for miles. 4043 athos milutin chilandariouAfter 3,5 kilometres the monopati hits a dirt road. The path ends there and the landscape opens up. In the distance the Milutin tower, close to the arsanas of Hilandariou can be seen. According to the legend the tower was build “by a Serbian queen at the nearest point to her son’s monastery so that from the top of it she could gaze in the direction of Chilandar”, as J.J. Norwich explains. The tower was built in the middle of the thirteenth century and named after a famous Serbian King: Stephen Uroš II Milutin (1281-1321). Pilgrim Wim took a closer look at the tower in 2013.4044 arapis athosThe landscape changes walking down from 300 meters to sea level. The vegetation changes as well. Instead of lower deciduous trees there are pine trees all over. In the distance the uninhabited peninsula of Arapis or Petrovouni appears, which is a still part of Athos. Behind that the Greek main land can be seen.4051 herman voogd monopati athosThe last stretch of the hike to Chilandariou is again a wonderful monopati. The millennium of foot and donkey traffic eroded the path. It simply sank away. Sometimes it is as if you walk between walls.4054 athos chilandariouAnd then at last after about ten kilometres from Zougrafou the tower of Chilandariou appears. We first went to the guesthouse. The quest house is situated outside the main gate just under the dirt road. It was loaded with pilgrims in a cave like room on the ground floor. We received a warm, traditional welcome; loukoumi, water, tsipourou and coffee. It was so busy that the monks didn’t have time to talk to the pilgrims. Nevertheless one of them found time to correct one of us. He was crossing his legs.4057 chilandariou serbia athosThe outside wall of the monastery has a couple of covered balconies in a bright blue colour. The next time we will explore the inside of Chilandariou that has been burned so badly in 2004.

Bas Kamps

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4 Responses to 1768 – The monopati from Cosma’s cave to Chilandariou (second day, third leg)

  1. Bro. Mark says:

    I just want to thank you so very much for sharing your journey with us. I am physically disabled and do not have the opportunity to get out at all so I appreciate you. I hope our loving and caring God will always be with you, right by your side, as you journey along. I feel as if I am right there with you. Pax et Bonum,
    Bro. Mark

  2. Goulven says:


    We are two french hikers who went in the Holy Mountain six months ago for a seven day journey. In spite of this short timing, we achieved the discovery of the twenty monasteries and the exhausting climbing of the summit of Mount Athos. We went from one monastery to another exclusively by walk with two exceptions: we took a bus between the Megisti Lavra and Karakallou, and an old truck driven by a monk between Filotheos and Karyès.

    Here were the seven stages of this journey:

    Day 1: Arsanas Simonopetras (arrival: 1PM) – Simonopetras – Grigorios – Dionisios
    Day 2: Dionisios – Agios Pavlos – Nea Skiti – Skiti Agias Anis – Panagia – summit of Mount Athos
    Day 3: summit of Mount Athos – Panagia – Prodromou – Megisti Lavra
    Day 4: Megisti Lavra – (bus) – Karakalou – Filotheou – (truck) – Karyès – Koutloumousiou – Iviron – Stavronikita – Pantokratoros
    Day 5: Pantokratoros – Vatopediou – Esfigmenou
    Day 6: Esfigmenou – Hilandariou – Zographou – Konstamonitou
    Day 7: Konstamonitou – Dochiariou – Xenofontos – Russikon – Xiropotamou – Dafni (arrival: 11PM)

    We get many photos of the court of each of thoses monasteries, sometimes – we know it’s the shame – without being allowed, and much more of the countryside betwwen them, with a special interest for its marvelous paths, the best we ever saw in five years of intensive hiking.

    We closely reach the total amount of 1500 photographies. If you are interested in putting some – are even all – of of them on this exquisite site, with of without the add of a little explaning text, just contact us at this e-mail adress: goulven7@hotmail.com.

    Goulven and Ivonig.

  3. Bertinos says:

    The problem is not so much that you cross your legs, but that by doing so, you (unconsciously) show the downside of one of your shoes. That is considered insulting by many people around the Mediterranean and Asia, not only by muslims.

  4. Bas Kamps says:

    Thank you Bro. Mark. What a pleasure to receive such a warm reaction. Sometimes I wonder about the posts I send into the virtual world. Is it worth the effort? Your reaction is an enormous stimulus for me to go on. I wish you many more virtual spiritual travels.

    What an impressive pilgrimage you had, Goulven. It sounds almost like a race. The webmaster will contact you. We are very curious about your experiences and stories.

    And thank you Bertinos, for you clear explanation. We thought is was the crossing of the legs itself that is considered offensive. But you teach that it is about not showing the sole of the foot of shoe.There is always something to learn.

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