Chóra - Apíkia - Steniés - beach of Giália - Chóra

Evaluation: This is a beautiful hike, especially because of the marvellous trail between Chóra and Apíkia, one of the longest kalderímia of the island and because of the great location of the villages of Apíkia and Steniés. It thus gets an evaluation of ***.
[Updated by Raymond on May 14th, 2011, on September 30th, 2014, on May the 1st, 2015 and on May the 6th, 2016.]

Estimated time: The hike till the Sáriza-well in Apíkia takes a little over one hour. It will then cost you 1h10 to walk to the beach of Giália, by passing underneath Steniés. In about 35 minutes you can then walk back to the beach of Nimborió in Chóra. The actual hiking time is 2h45; taking into account the breaks this makes all together for a hike of about four hours.

Route description: (0h00) For all hikes leaving from Chóra you have to depart from the main street near the large church of the Panagía tis Kímisis, which is visible from all over town (for more details you might have a look at the description of the short hike in Chóra itself). For the hikes in the direction of Apíkia and Vourkotí you have to follow the main street inland for a short while (to the right when facing the church). You then have to take the first street off the right, the Odós Stamátis Empiríkou. Via a staircase of about 50 steps you thus descend until you get to a promenade with a couple of restaurants; you are now close to the mouth of a small river, where the Nimborió-quarter begins. You cross the bridge – on the parking lot on the right side, there is an information board of Andros Routes – and  you follow the asphalt road for 1 more minute, between the palm trees. After 1 minute you take a left and you walk on the wide white stairs (walking sign to Apíkia 3,2 km / Bistis tower 5 km / Katakaléď 4,9 km / Vourkotí  7,1 km + [2]).

The hiking sign at the beginning of walk [2].

Then you continue straight ahead on the concrete ramp and follow the street [2], until you arrive at a cross street, where you go to the right (signpost to Vourkotí  2 1/2 hours + [2]). Almost immediately a beautiful staircase begins along a wall [2].

A look back, on the beautiful path from Chóra to Apíkia.

Later on, the really beautiful trail is sometimes 3-4 metres large and it climbs gradually above Chóra and the sea, for about 9 minutes.

Panoramic view on Chóra.

You then get to a concrete road and you follow it, while describing a curve to the left [2], but after about one minute this road becomes again a very nice trail. 

(0h13) Another 4 minutes later you get to an asphalt road off the right, but you follow the ancient staircase going up on the left [2]. You continue on a large staircase, overgrown with flowers. Some 4 minutes later this staircase crosses an asphalt road - on the left you can see a commemoration plate from 1907 for the "great patriot" Alkibiádis Empiríkos, “because he created a road from the town to there”. 

In Spring, a lot of flowers cover the path...

(0h21) You already have a great panoramic view on Chóra, but you have to continue climbing up on the staircase [2]; after 7 minutes you pass an (open) chapel with a terrace and stone benches, you cross the asphalt road and you continue, via a newly constructed staircase (hiking sign + [2]). You continue going up, towards the hill crest. Over here you can really admire the walls, built in a typical Andriotic way:  these walls are made out of regular stones alternated with large, flat schist-plates; this method of construction was probably used to save building materials and time, but it also resulted in a very aesthetic unity. Have also a look at the construction of the trail itself – with the foundation stones piled up vertically!

The typical walls on Andros.

The nice pavement of the path.

The side of the monopáti.

(0h36) After another 8-9 minutes, the stone pavement of the trail has basically disappeared – it is quite likely that the stones have been used to build the walls in the neighbourhood. You cross another broad asphalt road, leading to Agia Marína, and you go straight ahead (hiking sign and [2]). You are now on the crest of the hill and in front of you you discover the beautiful, green valley of Apíkia (with the remarkable Sáriza-hotel); all the way high up the mountain slope you can distinguish the village of Katakaléď, on the right there is the village of Steniés and on the far right the bay of Giália.

View on Apíkia.

Since the gravel road you crossed a couple of minutes ago, your trail thus has become a gravel road as well, which you follow for about 6 minutes – for some moments, you see above you and to the left the big monastery of Agia Marina; near the driveway to a house (gate), you keep to the left. Three minutes later, you get in front of an open gate, but the trail continues next to this gate (sign). Some 3-4 minutes later this beautiful trail splits up and you go down on the right (sign). 
For a short while you now walk above the road, which you then cross (hiking signs). You continue going down on the opposite side [2] and after 2 minutes you thus get to a really beautiful spot. Midst large trees you see an arched bridge over a deep river with streaming water.

The shadowed path, just before you reach the bridge underneath Apíkia.

The bridge near Apíkia.

(0h55) You then proceed on a paved staircase and a concrete ramp, you cross the asphalt road (sign) and you continue on the other side on a concrete staircase [2].
A little further down the trail splits up – straight ahead (on the right of the blue iron gate) hike [8] continues to Steniés and the beach of Giália
(hiking sign + [8]). Later on you will return to this spot!
For now you take a left first (the continuation of hike [2]) and via a staircase you arrive at the asphalt road, high up in the village.

[Here, you could continue to the left to the waterfalls of Pithára (hiking sign "Waterfalls" + [2a]) - see the walk Chóra - Apíkia - Pithára and back.]

You go right for a short while (hiking sign + [2], with the big hotel Pigí Sáriza in front of you, and on the left-hand side of the hotel you go up the shining white staircase (hiking sign Vourkotí 3,9 km + [2]) until you see the famous Sáriza-well on the left in front of you. One still can read the date 1787. The water of this well is famous and it is bottled in a small factory a little further down in the village. (1h04)

[Straight ahead, hike [2] continues to Katakaléď en Vourkotí.]

The Sáriza well in Apíkia.

[Opposite the hotel, there is since August 2013 the café-restaurant "Tou Parianoú", with nice music and a very good espresso...]

(1h04) You return along the same way: slightly to the right on the asphalt road [2] you go down the steps again (hiking sign and [2] + [8])  until you get to the curve, not so far from the asphalt road. Next to some pine trees and the blue gate you turn left - this is the beginning of walk [8].

The bifurcation of walks [2] and [8]

You follow a concrete trail and then you descend to a beautiful spot underneath some cypresses and maple trees. On the right-hand side of this spot you descend to a small bridge - the lowest bridge -  and you continue on a flat concrete path, above a couple of small gardens. Some 2 minutes later the path becomes broader [8].

(1h12) You descend to the right - this is the Odos Bouboulínas - and a little further, you must take a sharp right down [8]. You cross a little asphalt road ([8] and red dot) and soon, you find an old paved road. You descend a lot and at the end of the old path you take a left [8]. Beyond the chapel a long descent on concrete steps begins [8], while you keep to the left [8]. After many winding steps you reach again an old path (with vertical stones), later on concrete steps again [8] and so you arrive at a concrete road.

(1u21) The marking [8] on a pole sends you to the left. You cross some water and the little road ends after 3 minutes in a dead end, next to some cypresses: you go right on some steps [8], but immediately you turn left and you follow again a concrete lane (2 X [8]). It runs alongside a gutter or a rill and you follow it for 4 more minutes. You cross a narrow valley on a bridge and in a very slight depression, you have to go down a staircase on the right – there is a [8] and a red dot.
The old path continues next to a valley with lots of water, and after about 3-4 minutes, it takes you to a place with some wells underneath high trees, with a source in front of you - there is water everywhere! A trail marker [8] sends you left up the steps. You follow a concrete path for about 4 minutes and just before you would get to a concrete road, you descend a staircase on the right [8]. A steep path passes a house, you arrive again on concrete and you veer left and right next to another house. The nice trail between walls passes underneath a chapel and gets to a cross-staircase.

To the left and higher, you see the dilapidated living tower of Bísti-Mouvéla.

The living tower of Bísti-Mouvéla.

Panoramic view on Steniés.

(1h42) You should descend to the right [8] and after 1 minute you cross the asphalt road that leads to the left to Steniés ([8] on a pole). A little later you arrive at a junction: the trail on the left leads to Steniés, but you have to go down the steps sharply to the right. After some 3 minutes you cross a nice arched bridge – this is the "gefíri tou léontos" or “lion bridge”. To the right of a tree you find a narrow earth path that continues to the left. A couple of minutes later you get again to a bifurcation: walk [8] continues to the left, a variant [8a] goes right and also leads to the beach of Giália.

[If you turn right, you already arrive after a minute beside the large building with the water mill Empiríkos: just opposite a source (1952) you have on the left side a nice view through a small gate on the huge waterwheel!]

(1h52) To follow walk [8], you should take a left here: you pass a bridge, situated beneath a magnificent plane tree, with a large inscription saying that the bridge was built at the expense of Geórgios K. Empiríkos in 1895. You continue to the left next to the water, but a little further, after 10 steps, you take a RIGHT (2 X [8]). Again, you have behind the wall a beautiful view of the large building with the water mill.
After some white steps, you pass between a wall and a house, you go up a little and you arrive at a beautiful spot under trees, with water everywhere.

(1h57) You veer to the right, you continue on concrete and after some concrete steps, you reach the asphalt road. You follow it while keeping a little to the right and you go down the stairs after 4 minutes. You now get to numerous steps; at the bottom, you follow the wall to the right, then there is again a staircase [8]. At the end of the concrete alley between walls, you turn left and follow the standing water - you already hear the sea, the bridge appears in front of you and you reach the big bridge with the beach of Giália in front of you. (2h14) (hiking sign Chóra Nimborió 1,1 km)

 


The beach of Giália.

The nice tavern "Ta Giália" lies to the right; opposite the restaurant, there is a staircase, that descends to the beach.

(2h14) In order to return to Chóra you first go to the end of the beach (to the left, standing with your back to the sea). A concrete staircase brings you to a little gravel road, and this road climbs steeply on the left of some houses. Past the rubble next to the last house, you continue to climb on a rocky slope or a rocky path, that is rather nice - this is quite a difficult climb of 9 minutes.

View on the bay of Giália, while you climb to the hill crest.

(2h23) You arrive mid some concrete fragments and you get to the bend of the asphalt road: you go left, but just one minute later and  just past an electricity pole, you continue to the left on a vague trail – in this way, you can cut a large bend of the main road. You keep following this small path for some 5 minutes, while enjoying the view on the town of Chóra – maybe in the evening sun? You then continue on the asphalt road for a couple of minutes; via another path you can then again cut a bend of the road. You thus arrive at the far end of the Nimborió-beach.

(2h34) If you have to go back to the centre of town you have to follow the beach for about 8 minutes. You then cross the bridge on the left and via the restaurants and the staircase of 53 steps you thus reach the main street of Chóra. (2h47

 

 

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