Greece // The East and North Aegean //

Mount Kérkis and around

A limestone/volcanic oddity in a predominantly schist landscape, Mount Kérkis (Kerketévs) – the Aegean’s second-highest summit after Mount Sáos on Samothráki – attracts legends and speculation as easily as the cloud pennants that usually wreath it. Hermits colonized and sanctified the mountain’s many caves in Byzantine times; resistance guerrillas controlled it during World War II; and mariners still regard it with superstitious awe, especially when mysterious lights – presumed to be the spirits of the departed hermits, or the aura of some forgotten holy icon – are glimpsed at night near the cave-mouths. Gazing up from a supine seaside position, you may be inspired to climb the peak, though less ambitious walkers might want to circle the mountain’s flank, first by vehicle and then by foot. The road beyond Limniónas through Kallithéa is paved all the way to Dhrakéï.