Aïdónia - Ráchi - Agios Ioánnis and back
This hike in the very desolate southeast of Andros offers you some
marvellous panoramic views. It will also bring you to the lonely beach
of Agios Ioánnis or Kremmýdes, which you can in fact only reach on
foot. Therefore, this hike gets an evaluation of ***.
[Update in June 2010 by Jean-Paul Ovigne and Georges Roubaud.]
It will take you 50 minutes to hike from Aïdónia to the top of the Ráchi,
a mountain ridge of almost 700 to 400 metres high. You then get to a
long descent, first 25 minutes to the gravel road and then another 30
minutes to reach the beach. For the return route you can count on the
same span of time, which brings you to a total actual walking time of
3h30. This will thus turn out to be a fairly long hiking day, with a
picnic down at the beach, or, as we did, on the magnificent spot between
beautiful walls, after a descent of some 20 minutes from the Ráchi...
[In order to leave from Aïdónia you can take a taxi from Ormos Korthíou,
which is a short, so rather inexpensive trip. Or you can come on foot,
which is a walk of 1.8 km along the asphalt road.
For this walk you
leave from the roundabout with the mast in Ormos Korthíou. Over there
you take the left-hand asphalt road, on the right of hotel Kórthi, and
midst a lot of reed you walk past the petrol station. After some 800m
you take a left (there is a signpost to Aïdónia) and in this way you
climb for another 900m on the asphalt road. At the village you go up on
the left again and some 100 metres further there is a parking place with
a concrete slope on the left and a white staircase on the right.]
take the white staircase at the parking place under Aïdónia
(100 m) and this staircase will soon become a narrow street. At the end of this
street you go left and then left again until you arrive at the church
– a good identifying mark. Under the arch on the right of the church
you then take the white staircase going up; you walk underneath a second
church and you thus get to a concrete slope which you follow up on the
right. Above the second church you take yet another staircase which
takes you higher and higher through the village. You walk horizontally
for a short while and then you go up again, along a metal water pipe.
Almost eight minutes later, just past a fountain without a tap, you find
a small street descending on the right. However, you go up on the LEFT
until you reach the point where a small concrete road gets to a dead
end. Over here, on the right, you see the beginning of the staircase
which marks the actual trail.
go up quickly now, on a crumbled staircase and after three minutes you
get to a trail coming from the left – you continue straight ahead and
up, on stones that have slid down. Thereafter the path becomes fairly
good again and after one minute you go up on the right.
Panoramic view on the gulf of Kórthi.
A little while later you have to clamber over a faggot – a primitive barrier against the goats you will encounter a little further on the trail. The steep and rocky trail becomes really beautiful and also fairly broad, running on the left of a wall. Some five minutes later you walk on the right of a few aerials and further on the trail gets narrower again.
The beautiful climb to the Ráchi.
go up on the left, along a metal and a black water pipe. You climb over
a metal gate and you continue up between the ruins of stables
– the water pipe indicates that some of these stables are still being
used. Past the ruins the monopáti becomes flatter and after another
five minutes you get to a small concrete road, which you follow to the
right and past a little chapel.
(0h31) The trail goes up quickly now and after 6-7 minutes you reach a first hill crest – from now on the trail becomes much flatter. Another 9 minutes later you keep to the left and now you gradually describe a curve to the left, following a nice trail. This trail still seems to be used quite often, as is indicated by the traces of donkey manure. After staying on the trail for a little over 15 minutes you arrive at a very windy crest, between wonderful walls. In this way you finally get to the gravel road which follows the entire Ráchi. The Ráchi is the name of the tall mountain ridge located in the southwest of Andros. It starts at the 684-metres high summit called Profítis Ilías – again, and it gradually descends to the northeast, right across the width of the island, until the cape of Orgínou. You are now at an altitude of about 480 metres.
across you take the right-hand path that goes down.
After two minutes you keep to the left and you keep descending with a
great panoramic view on the island of Tínos and the narrow strait.
The beginning of the descent to Agios Ioánnis.
Very soon you will now get a marvellous view on the beach of Agios Ioánnis, your final destination.
The beach of Agios Ioánnis.
Some four minutes later your trail curves to the right and it continues between the corner of a nice wall and a stable with an alóni (threshing floor) next to it.
by little this beautiful trail will now describe a large curve to the
left and arrive at the crossing of gravel roads that you can already see
down in front of you.
A nice alóni with, far beyond, Agios Ioánnis.
The broad trail
continues between walls, with a view on Tínos – if you would rather
not descend to the beach, you can have a great picnic over here.
The very esthetical path to Agios Ioánnis.
After this descent
of some 21 minutes you will reach the gravel road.
(1h15) The trail continues straight across and the gravel road running on its right-hand side curves to the left a little further down. This means that the trail and the road will cross each other all the time when going down. But you' ll have to follow the gravel road all the time, because the path is covered by a very dense vegetation.
The sandy beach is really beautiful. (1h45)
The beach of Agios Ioánnis (photo by Jean-Paul Ovigne)..
(1h45) During your way back, you follow first the same road.
the gravel road you can of course follow the same beautiful trail up to
Instead, we decided to follow the mountain side, since we wanted to walk
a little out of the wind. Therefore, our return route took a little
longer than the way out.
32 minutes you
reach a crossing on the extremely windy Ráchi: the road on the left
follows the Ráchi (there is a signpost to Iera Moní Zoödóchou Pigís).
On the right there is another road going down – most likely, this road
goes all the way to Ormos
Korthíou by describing a whole lot of curves. You go straight ahead.
two minutes later you have to climb over a wooden barrier and then you
get to the beginning of a very steep descent, over some bumpy terrain.
After yet another two minutes you have to climb over a metal fence. The
path gets more beautiful again, running between walls. On the right you
notice the aerials and in front of you, you can already see Aïdónia. After 3-4 minutes you go straight ahead, along the black water
pipe and slightly further you have to clamber over the faggot. The trail
gets somewhat sloppy and a little later you have to keep to the left,
towards the village. You thus arrive at the spot where the small
concrete road runs to a dead end: you go left, onto a concrete staircase
next to a blue rail.
go down all the time, by keeping to the right (when reaching the blue
dogs). After another four minutes you reach a little lane where you take
a right, until you get to the church. Before the church you follow the
staircase on the left and going down,
but then you keep to the right. In this way you arrive at the parking
place again. (3h37)
[Possibly, you can
still follow the asphalt road to the right, leading to Ormos Korthíou.]