12km (to both masts and back), 400m ascent and descent. Easy- steep dirt tracks


Figure 1: Vigles above Paleochora, from the Elafonissi ferry


Vigles is the hill that rises just north of Paleochora, topped by television masts, and giving the best views of the town. According to Nicolas Pyrovolakis in “Paleochora (a look into the past)” this was topped by a German searchlight during the second world war. Chios is ringed by 50 watchtowers called vigles, dating from 11th to19th Centuries. These were manned by Viglatores who would look out for approaching ships and light smoke or fire signals as a warning. Other hills in Crete have the same or similar names.


Access is from the East-West road that joins the Voutas and Koundas roads out of Paleochora. From the Voutas road side, head East past what are currently the last houses. Fork left (N35 14.240 E23 40.755) on a road which immediately turns left straight up towards the masts. Follow this past a couple more residential streets on the left, to a gate leading to moorland. The track, sometimes dirt, sometimes concrete, leads straight up for a while, accompanied by power lines ascending the same valley, before turning to switchbacks that come out at a small plateau with a sparse olive grove where there is T junction. turning right leads up a rough track to the single, lower mast (N35 14.474 E23 41.049). Shortly after the junction this track crosses a path, which crosses the olive grove, possibly descending to the Koundas road?


Alternatively, turn left and follow switchbacks to the higher pair of television masts around 320m (N35 14.733 E23 40.756). Here goat tracks, but apparently no real path, lead off along the ridge to the North.


Back to index

All pages and photographs copyright © Andrew Senior 2005 Not to be reproduced or published without permission.