Chóra - Sinetí - valley of Dipotámata and back

Evaluation: By hiking up and down, leaving from Chóra, this hike makes it possible to walk through the magnificent valley of Dipotámata in both directions. The trails, amongst others the one between Chóra and Sinetí and the one in the valley of Dipotámata itself, are really beautiful, and in the valley you come across some interesting remains of water mills. The hike is well signposted with the trail marker [3]. It gets an evaluation of ***.
[Update by Raymond on October 15th, 2013 and by Dany Boute on April 18th, 2014.]

Estimated time: The hike to Sinetí takes 1h10 in actual walking time and then it will take you another 1h10 to reach the restored water mill at the far end of the Dipotámata-valley. For the return route you can count on the same span of time, which means that the total actual walking time is 4h40. Depending on your rest and picnic breaks, the total walking time will be quite a bit longer.

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 this town (for more details you might have a look at the description of the small hike in Chóra itself). Today you should follow the main street to the right (facing the church) and soon you arrive at the big square of Vas. Goulandris, where you find an information sign of Andros Routes. You keep following the pedestrian street (little signs [1], [2], [3], [8a], [17] and [18]!). At the end of this street, after 70 meters, you keep to the left and continue obliquely to the right, in the direction of the parking lots (signs [3], [17] and [18]. You follow the concrete street on the left side of the parking lot and you keep to the left next to the second parking lot – where walk [17] goes right.

(0h07) You arrive at the bridge over the Megálos Potamós: you cross it to the right and continue to the right ([3] and [18]). A little later, walk [18] goes to the right on a smaller concrete road (next to the old bridge, now useless), but you should continue STRAIGHT for hike [3]. The road veers to the left in the direction of the football ground, but just BEFORE the tavern Parapórti, you should take the concrete path on the right – hiking sign Sinetí 3km / Dipotámata 5,5 km / Ormos Korthíou 10,5 km and the trail marker [3].

The old hiking sign at the beginning of path [3], near Parapórti.

(0h14) You follow a concrete alley, then you go up for some 8 minutes on a nice meandering staircase, with a view over the entire valley; you can see Chóra with the villages of Ipsiloú and Lámira beyond.

 

The monopáti to Sinetí.

After 8 minutes the staircase is destroyed and you go up on the left in the direction of a chapel. After one minute you thus reach an asphalt road.

(0h23) On the opposite side and slightly to the right the trail continues [3]: it will lead through a small valley and you already can see the trail continuing on the opposite slope. Some 5 minutes later you cross the small valley – the water is bordered with oleanders and there was still water (with little crabs) on October 15th 2013! You now get to a marvellous climb on a very beautiful, but slightly overgrown staircase, with about 350 steps. Have a look at the way in which large, flat stones have been used here, in contrast with the vertical and smaller stones on the trail to Apíkia. 

 

The huge flat slabs are sometimes more than 2 meters large!

Another 8 minutes later you cross the asphalt road.
You continue  by climbing by three sets of steps: first 70 steps, then a rocky stretch that leads you down to a tiny bridge, which consists of one large flat stone; a second series of 100 steps, which brings you to a rocky plateau, and finally another 40 steps, arriving at another rocky plateau, from where you have a wonderful view of Chóra and the entire valley.

View on Thóra, during walk [3].

(0h46) You go down a little - Chóra disappears -, you climb again during some minutes and then, there is a bifurcation - just past a nice threshing floor - where you should keep to the right, and 1 minute later another clear bifurcation.

[The right path is also very nice: it rises firstly for 3 minutes, then it continues horizontally to the right, farther to the left. It is here that you have a splendid view of Chóra, and the walls with sharp stones are just as beautiful. There are vineyards on the left and the rocky trail ends near some fields...]

View on Chóra, taken from a side-path of walk [3].

(0h51) You keep to the left and it will take now only a few minutes to descend to the asphalt road, which you follow towards the right – there are no trail markers at this point! After 5 minutes you get to a junction: you go to the left/straight ahead in the direction of Sinetí (there is a road sign) and you continue on the asphalt road for a few minutes. As is the case for most villages on Andros, also in Sinetí the houses are very much dispersed. As a result it is difficult to orientate yourself, although the church is visible from far away. You descend quite a lot in a few turns, and follow the road for 6 more minutes.

(1h04) Just past a shelter and just before a bench, you take the concrete path to the RIGHT (red mark). You keep to the right and you follow this more or less flat "alley" in the direction of the church; after a little more than 4 minutes, you descend to the LEFT, near a small source (red dot), until you get to the terrace of the church. From the terrace in front of the church you continue in the south-west direction, you descend to the left and while keeping to the right, you reach the kafenío I Vrýsi: there is a pleasant outdoor terrace, with on the left a well ("vrýsi") with the sign "18 July 1892".

On the terrace of café I Vrýsi, in Sinetí.

(1h09) To continue on this hike you take, following the advice of some kind people from I Vrýsi, the staircase that goes up on the left of the well. You then take, halfway the stairs, the first street on the left (red mark) and after a couple of minutes you keep to the right in order to follow the concrete steps – these steps bring you to the top of the rocky valley. After many steps and some 6 minutes after your departure you arrive at a concrete road; at this point this road runs to a dead end at the water tank. You follow the concrete road to the left, it goes up quite steeply and after 7 minutes you reach the asphalt road once more - you have to follow this road now towards the left for about 1 km.
You pass a first gravel road, which turns back sharply, and after 700-800 metres or 10 minutes you notice another gravel road on your left-hand side. However, some 15 metres PAST this gravel road you also find the beginning of a trail between walls. This trail runs parallel to the gravel road (there is hiking sign “Dipotámata”  and a trail marker [3]). 

[Pay attention: in April 2014, the path was overgrown - in this case, it is better to follow the little gravel road, until you discover a blue arrow + cairn, where you can go up again to the proper trail.]

(1h33) Gradually, you now proceed deeper into the Dipotámata-gorge, via a marvellous trail with beautiful walls, with gurgling water underneath and midst blooming broom (May 2005). Even in September 2007, after a very dry summer, there was still water in the valley! The gravel road comes to an end after 6 minutes, but you continue on your marvellous path [3].

The path that goes down in the Dipotámata-valley.

After some 15 minutes all together you cross the small river on a nice bridge – next to it you notice the ruins of a water mill. In earlier days there used to be more than ten water mills, upstream from here towards Exo Vouní! 

The bridge over the Dipotámata-valley with, to the left, the water mill.

(1h49) On the other side of the bridge, a wonderful kalderími climbs higher and higher; now and then you have some great views on the right, on the gorge with the multitude of terraces and on the ruins of water mills. After a while the trail becomes narrower, slightly overgrown and also wet as a result of some streaming water. Thereafter it turns into a very nice staircase path again. About 12 minutes past the bridge there is a junction: the trail on the left continues to Kochílou and Ormos Korthíou (arrow + [3]) – see the hike Chóra - Sinetí - Ormos Korthíou.

(2h02) But today you have to proceed STRAIGHT AHEAD, on a beautiful trail with nice flat stones on the side.

Down in the valley, there is another water mill...

(1h49) On the other side of the bridge, a wonderful kalderími climbs higher and higher; now and then you have some great views on the right, on the gorge with the multitude of terraces and on the ruins of water mills. After a while the trail becomes narrower, slightly overgrown and also wet as a result of some streaming water. Thereafter it turns into a very nice staircase path again. About 12 minutes past the bridge there is a junction: the trail on the left continues to Kochílou and Ormos Korthíou (arrow + [3]) – see the hike Chóra - Sinetí - Ormos Korthíou.

(2h02) But today you have to proceed STRAIGHT AHEAD, on a beautiful trail with nice flat stones on the side.

The nice wall, to the right of your path to Exo Vouní.

Right in front of you, on the other hill and running between walls, you can already see the continuation of the path. After 5 minutes you get to a T-junction, indeed, where you take a sharp right.

The obvious continuation of the path...

The trail is more overgrown now, and after one minute you have to continue on its left-hand side; a little later you can walk on the old path again. Some 3 minutes later you get to an obstruction made of stones.

[On the other side of the obstruction the trail continues and it descends into the valley – almost immediately you notice a nice taffoni, on the other side of the wall on the right -, but this runs to a dead end after only 5 minutes...]

(2h10) Just past the obstruction you can take a vague trail going up on the LEFT, until you arrive at the asphalt road – there is even a cairn, left behind by Pierre Songis, an ardent French hiker. You take a right on the asphalt road and you have to follow this road for about 700 metres or 10 minutes – until you get to a sharp turn at the end of the valley.

(2h21) About halfway the curve you find a small gravel road off the left – a signpost points to the "nerómylo n° 5". You can indeed follow the gravel road for a short while and take the steps going down on the left to reach a restored water mill. On the right of this mill you can climb onto the roof, to find out how the water supply used to work: a reservoir was made of upright stones and through a whole, with a bung and a lever, which was operated from below, the water was streaming on the flat and rotating wheel.

The reservoir on top of the roof of the water-mill.

(2h25) For the return route you follow exactly the same road.
This means that you walk back on the asphalt road and after 10 minutes you have to look for the trail: past the second sign announcing a curve, and some 10 metres before a large electricity post with supporting cables, you notice the cairn of Pierre Songis - fortunately. A vague trail goes down and you thus get to a beautiful trail, which you have to follow to the right for quite a while. You first step over an obstruction made of stones and then you get to a part of the trail that is rather overgrown – you even have to continue on its right-hand side for a while. About 5 minutes further on you arrive at a three-forked road; going up on the right would bring you to Kochílou, but you have to descend straight ahead, into the valley. From this point onwards, the trail is really straight forward, so a few short indications will be sufficient:

(2h44) You first keep going down and after 10-11 minutes you reach a nice bridge. The marvellous trail then goes up slightly, with sometimes really beautiful walls alongside it. Some 16 minutes later you arrive at the asphalt road again.

The paths and walls in the Dipotámata-valley are really beautiful.

(3h10) You take the road to the right and after 10-11 minutes you follow the small concrete road off the right to Sinetí. Where this road runs to a dead end, at the water tank, you go down the steps until you get to the concrete cross-path, where you taje a left. After a little more than one minute, you descend the staircase to the right and you get in this way to the little square in the centre of the village, next to the café I Vrýsi – this might be a good spot to take some rest?

(3h33) You go left and go down a bit, and near a pole, you go up the first staircase on the LEFT; you veer right and you thus arrive at the right side of the church.
Beyond the church, you veer to the left and climb the stairs - and you thus arrive at the cross-street in front of the little spring, where you take a right. About 4 minutes later, you go left on the stairs coming from the right, and so you get to the asphalt road.

[If you take a right here, you can go down to the beach of Sinetí: you should therefore keep to the left at the next junction (sign "Paralía Sinetíou") and just beyond the house under construction, there is a concrete staircase that descends to the right...]

(3h40) To return to Chóra, you take a sharp left here, you go up for 6 minutes and you keep of course to the right at the crossroads. After almost 6 minutes or 400 meters along the road, you will find on the left side the staircase-path to Chóra (sign Chóra).

(3h52) The continuation of the path is obvious: after 2 minutes you keep to the right at the junction and very soon Chóra will appear - from now on, you will go down most of the time...
After a few steps, you reach a plateau and then you descend 40 more steps to reach the second plateau [3]; a little more than a hundred old steps, and then you pass the small bridge [3]. After again 70 steps, you get to the asphalt road.

(4h07) The trail continues almost opposite (next to a road sign) ([3] on a stone). After 350 steps, which are sometimes very large, you arrive in the river bed. You go up for 6 minutes - a pavement with large flat stones - and about 110 steps later, you get again to the asphalt road. Next to the chapel and especially late in the afternoon, you have a magnificent view on Chóra all the way.

View on Chóra, during your descent from Sinetí.

(4h20) You continue on the opposite side [3] and you descend for about 8 minutes on a nice and winding staircase with old steps. You get to the little concrete road and next to the tavern, where you take a right to the beach of Parapórti. You walk along the beach, you cross the estuary of a small river and you go up the steps to the square of Kaïri. By going left it will only take you a short while to reach your point of departure. (4h42) 

In order to get the printer-friendly version
with only the text
in one column,
click here.