In 2017 we walked around the mountain from Megistis Lavras monastery via Katounakia to Nea Skiti (not on this map by Peter Howorth but located between Sk. Anna and Paulou monastery). It took us the whole day, no roads only very nice footpaths. First from Lavra to the Chairi Pass (S) at app. 400 meters.At point (R) on the map we took the higher path in the direction of Kerasia. The lower path, on the left of the picture, is also very worthwhile and goes to house of Nelios (the map says Vasiliou, but thats wrong) and the little village of Kavsokalivia.
The path is on, the sometimes steep, south slope of the mountain itself. Occasionally rocks will fall from the mountain. This one got stuck between two trees.The trees alongside the path have the strangest forms.Slowly the paths will reach a height of 7oo meters. The impression is more of a walk through an old forest then a walk on a mountain slope. There is a lot of shadow and on both sides of the path are trees. At some point there is a kind of secret path (not on any map) downhill to Kavsokalivia which we saw a monk take but we were to late to photograph him sitting on his mule. It was the only encounter we had on this part of the path.
The signs are helpful but is almost impossible to get lost.
The trees become even more spectacular. Most of them are oak trees.Then we reached the point Stavros where we rested for a while. Here the only path to the top of the mountain starts. But we went down, a very steep descent to Katounakia. See also the post of fellow traveller Bas Kamps.
A holy place that has had an impact on my life and beliefs. The five day visit to Αγιον Ωρος
was both trying and rewarding.