Yesterday I received two recently published Athos maps by Filathonites. The maker is Peter Howorth from New Zealand. The map is also compiled by Roland Baetens from Belgium, a FoMA footpaths specialist and Dimitris Bakalis from Greece.
John Arnell of FoMA told me already last October that a new map was about to be published, so I have looking foreward to get hold of this map, hoping that it be the ultimate map for pilgrims who like to walk the monopati’s of Athos.
Two maps are published: one booklet (35 pages) with Gazetteer (20 pages), with a scale of 1:25.000, and a flat map, scale 1:40.000 – see pictures above.The Gazetteer contains a list of all the features of the Holy Mountain, and locations of these.
Lets start with my opinion about these maps, and especialy the booklet: this is what we have been watiting for for so many years! Finally a detailed and acurate map is available for us pilgrims who like to wander over the beautiful Athos landscapes and NOT get lost everytime! The main monopati’s are drawn in a clear red color, while the dirt roads are in modest white tone. The maps show many details and almost every kelion is named, as the individual houses in the skites and in Karyes.The booklet was a handy format. The additional advantage of the gazetteer has to prove itself when walking on the Holy Mountain. Maybe telephone numbers can be added a version 1.2?
By showing the same area (right from Vatopedi) on different maps I want to give our readers a possibility to judge themselves, so I will show you the examples of Athos maps I posses:map 1: Lectus, 1:66.000, comes with a booklet with a description of the pathsMap 2: Road Editions 1:50.000
Map 3: “the golden oldie” Zwerger map, 1:50.000Map 4: Mount Athos by Terrainmaps, 1:50.000, 2015 editionMap 5A: Filathonites/FoMA, the flat map 1:40.000Map 5B: Filathonites/ FoMA, the booklet 1:25.000
Need I say more? These last two maps clearly overclass all previous Athos maps, both in details, information and layout, no doubt about it!
There is one thing I have to be critical about: the booklet will cost you € 38,00 and the flat map (wthout Gazetteer) € 23,00 (with € 29,50), so the prizes are relatively high. But hey, you spend three nights including meals for only € 30,00 on Athos, so who can complain? And if it means you will never get lost again, than the prize is really OK.
There are some minor details that I noticed: at page 27 of the booklet 25 names of Nea Skiti are mentioned, but on the map you can see 33 houses, so 8 are missing.On the new maps the Athos-border houses are missing and Zygou lies at the other – wrong – side of the road. This is how it should be (picture from Google).The Chromista vinery and buildings could have some more detail.and the short cut we took in post 1696 on our walk from Lakkou skiti to Provata is missing, but again, this is a minor detail and work is in progress, because this is only version 1.1! (Roland says in a comment: “The errors you have found will be attended to immediately! This is the advantage of ‘print on demand’, and comments from users on and off the Holy Mountain will enable the map to be improved all the time”).
Dimitris, Roland and Peter, keep up the good work and if need assistence with something, just ask!
You can order the book here. And rumour says that a cheap version of the map be made available on the Holy Mountain itself ??
Wim Voogd, 18/2/2016