On October 1st we started climbing down the Holy Mountain at 8 o’clock in the morning. We were not in a hurry, after climbing to the top earlier that day. To reach Agiou Pavlou monastery took us 6,5 hours, including a quick visit to the Agia Anna skete. The first part, from Panaghia to Stavros, is relatively easy. At first you walk through the green valley with lots of trees. Going up with luggage and big cameras is easier, if you rent some mules, as this German pilgrim did.
The path down leads through a forest with oak and pine trees and is covered with many loose stones.
At a certain point, where the valley stops and where the path turns to the South-West, the landscape gets more open and dryer, with less big trees and lower vegetation.
Near the Stavros junction the dense forest with large oak trees starts again. We took the right turn going North, to take the quickest path to skete Agia Anna. Although the hike took us a bit more than one hour, the length of the path to Agia anna skete is only 2,8 km long, but be aware, the hike is difficult and steep (more info on Wikiloc).
Not far from the skete we pass an old stone avalanche, but soon after concrete steps appeared, making the last part easier to walk.
From now on the path to Agiou Pavlou gets a lot easier. The first part above Nea Skiti is easy to walk. Here you will have to decide to choose the lower or the higher path. The first leads over a monopati and to the coast, the second goes up again over unpaved roads and they lead directly to monastery itself.
Above Agiou Pavlou: the new Agiou Markos chapel, build in 2010.