Chóra - Apíkia - Evrousés - Strapouriés - Mesathoúri - Ypsiloú - Chóra

Evaluation: This walk is a combination of hike [2] until Apikia, walk [10] until Mesathoúri and hike [1] that goes back to Chóra. You combine in this way three splendid stretches, which makes that this hike deserves the maximum of ****.
[6th of May 2016.]
[The translation of this walk was made with some help of Google translate - so, please, do not mind the mistakes...]

Estimated time: The walk up to the Sariza source in Apíkia takes a little over one hour (AWT), it then takes 45 minutes on path [10] until Evrousés and a little less than 40 minutes until Strapouriés and finally 1h10 back to Chóra, following for the most part walk [1]. The actual walking time (AWT) thus amounts to a total of 3h40, which means that this hike will take a fairly long day, if one takes into account the breaks - we walked from 10am to 5.30pm, a total time (TWT) of 7h30.

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 / Katakaléï 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 Katakaléï, 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]).
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)

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) Today, you first continue to follow walk [2]: you still climb, but after 62 steps (with to the right the school and 50 meters further the church), you do NOT proceed towards the church, but you keep to the left (a [2] a little further) and you continue to climb the concrete stairs while keeping to the left [2] - there are still 150 steps [2].

(1h08) You get to a bend of the asphalt road, you go right for a while and you see in front of you path [2] which goes right to Vourkotí (hiking sign - see the walk Chóra – Apikia – Vourkotí and back), while the continuation of your hike goes to the LEFT, on a small road - starting from here, it will be walk [10] (large sign Evrousés 1,7 km / Strapouriés 3,1 km / Mesathoúri 4,7 km).

The hiking sign for walk [10] to Evrousés.

This road comes to a dead end after 2 minutes, but there is a concrete path that goes straight between houses [10]; this trail soon becomes a long concrete staircase with an irrigation gutter next to it, where water flows abundantly.

(1h14) After another 5 minutes – pay attention – you have to climb to the right and left [10] You still go up a little, then you go down again and you come next to a gutter and a gate (which you close, as you are asked!) [10]. The trail becomes nice and flat, you pass a cistern with water flowing, then you go up again in order to cross the tub-shaped valley that lies in front of you, and you go up to the right.

(1h22) Later, you cross to the right a rocky riverbed with lots of water and you continue to the left [10] through a gate. The trail is a little overgrown now, but the stretch that follows is beautiful - you are still going through a rocky bed and you go up on a few sets of rocky steps - notice the many water pipes in this area with abundant water, and also the beautiful view behind you, up to Steniés and Giália.

The nice path to Evrousés.

(1h30) You reach an open slope with a beautiful view of the valley - on the other side, you already see the chapel of Taxiárchis. When you reach a small gate, you go up to the right [10] and you finally reach the top.
You descend on a nice trail, between a wall and some rocks, you still pass through a rocky bed [10] and you go up fast for quite some time.

(1h37) You finally get all the way to the top and you begin a long and fast descent on a rocky forest trail. After a steep end, there is a flatter stretch [10] - down and on your left you see the small chapel of Agios Ioánnis. You descend to the right, then you veer slowly to the left and the descent becomes faster, between walls.

(1h45) While descending, you arrive at the side-path to Agios Ioánnis Theólogos (hiking sign Strapouriés 1,5 km / Mesathoúri 3 km) - the church is closed.

(1h48) You still descend very quickly for 3 minutes and you reach the fast flowing river – this is Evrousés.

The river in Evrousés.

You can step over the water, a little to the left, you again go up and you get to the side-path [10a] (hiking sign Ano Evrousés 1 km). You continue on the main trail that climbs to the left [10] (sign Strapouriés 1,4 km / Mesathoúri 2,9 km). You climb quickly on a path that is most of the time rocky, sometimes stony - it continues between beautiful walls, especially towards the end. Soon, you see the chapel high in front of you and you have a very nice view of Apikia; after a climb of 10 minutes, you arrive at the top next to the chapel of the Archangel Gabriël or Taxiárchis - it is open and you enjoy a beautiful view of the valley that winds up to Apikia.

(1h58) You continue on a nice trail that climbs slowly between walls - after a little less than 5 minutes, you reach the crest of the hill, where you keep to the right to the asphalt road.


Two details of the path between Evrousés and Strapouriés: just before the chapel of Taxiárchis, to the right the path towards the hill crest.

(2h03) You cross the road and you continue on the right side of the cistern between walls [10]. There is some concrete for a while, then you continue on a stony path between walls [10]. The whole valley already extends in front of you, with Chóra to the left! After 3 minutes, there is a bifurcation where you take a left following the left wall, and you still veer left to go up again between walls, always with beautiful views of Chóra. You still veer left and after a few minutes you reach another beautiful spot, with lots of water, which flows next to the remains of a water mill.


The remains of a water mill.

(2h09) Pay attention: for the continuation of the descent, you should stay to the right of the water [10] - a beautiful descent right next to the water. You veer to the right [10] with the irrigation gutter, but a little further, you go left [10] on a concrete path and you step over the gutter. After a few steps, you are going right, then left again, and you still go down on concrete steps [10].

(2h14) You arrive at a cross-trail where you go right [10], then you descend while keeping to the left [10] on many steps.
Pay attention: after a little less than 4 minutes, you have to climb three concrete steps to the right [10] and then, the descent continues, next to a pond. You descend to the left [10] and you keep to the far left [10] on a paved path that runs along an irrigation gutter. Further, you keep to the right [10] on a dark staircase that ultimately gets to a cross-path under a huge tree and next to a source with a washing-place.

(2h22) You take a right on a paved path [10] and you go down between the houses of Strapouriés until you get to the asphalt road (hiking sign to Evrousés 2 km / Apíkia 3,4 km). You go right (sign walk 9 190 m / Mesathoúri 1,3 km) and after 2 minutes and just beyond the sports field, you see on the right the beginning of hike [9], at the foot of a huge rock (hiking sign Ano Pitrofós 4,1 km + [9]).

(2h26) Almost opposite and thus to the left of the road, hike [10] continues (sign Mesathoúri1,1 km). After the concrete path, you follow a paved stepped street which continues to the right [10]. Next to a house, another staircase descends to the right [10]: this staircase, which is paved or concrete remains to the right of the houses and later becomes a nice staircase that descends between the terraces with olive trees.

(2h31) Pay attention: when you arrive again near some houses, you should take a LEFT before the first house (you do NOT continue going down) [10]; you veer right and down and you continue to go down near a chapel, to the right of that chapel and a house [10]. Below, you get to a small concrete road, which you follow to the left [10]. You walk along the walls of a huge domain and a row of cypresses: you pass a first staircase, but at the end of the wall, you follow a shady path to the right [10], yet next to a beautiful row of cypresses. Further, you continue straight [10] and you still arrive between houses, where the lane turns left - with a beautiful view of Chóra.

(2h38) You go left on a side street ([10] on a staircase); soon after, the paved street veers right [10] and again you get to a small concrete road, where you turn left again [10] - you enjoy a splendid view of Chóra! After 10 meters, you take the concrete staircase leading down to the right [10] and after about 15 steps, you still go RIGHT [10]: you descend, you veer left, but after a few minutes, you keep to the right between the houses of Mesathoúri [10], always following a paved stairs leading down. Soon after, there is a bifurcation in Y, where you go left [10]; later, you veer right on a concrete path [10] and, finally, you go down until you get to the route of the hike [1] - just before the small square of Theodóra Keráni. You continue straight (signs Chóra 3,2 km + [1]), you pass a strange building with a source and you get to the white main church of the Panagía of Messathoúri.

(2h46) Near the tower of the church, you keep to the right [1], and a little later you get to a concrete road that you follow to the left. You follow this road for a few moments, but after 2 minutes, you continue to the RIGHT on a staircase (sign Chóra 55 minutes and [1]) - and right now, you arrive next to the first source of Ypsiloú (date 1763).

The inscription on the first source of Ypsiloú.

At the next crossroads, you turn RIGHT onto a narrow concrete path [1], but soon you follow a nice paved staircase. Close to the house with the high white chimney, you keep to the LEFT [1]. You pass above the church with the blue dome of Ypsiloú, and further, still near a white house, you take another left (blue park and [1]).

(2h54) You thus arrive at a T-junction in front of a neoclassical house: you go left again ([1] on the steps). You climb and, while keeping a little to the right, you get to the second source, dating from 1842. A little later, next to the white house, you keep of course to the right [1]. You finally begin the long descent in a very green environment. You pass a small bridge from 1929, where you continue straight and descend beside gutters and a splendid garden.
You veer left [1] and follow a beautiful stretch next to a nice row of cypresses.

(3h02)At the end of it, you descend while keeping to the right [1], and so you reach the last source of Ypsiloú, dating from 1818. You veer to the right on a beautiful little bridge - the inscription mentions the date 1891 and the name of G.K. Empiríkos.


The last source of  Ypsiloú and an old bridge of benefactor Empiríkos.

You get to the road again, where you continue on  the opposite side (red and blue marks). You continue straight and shortly after, you veer left on the concrete path along a gutter and again next to a nice row of cypresses [1].
Pay attention: a few minutes later, next to 2 houses, you descend the stairs to the right ([1] and blue mark). A little later, you descend of course to the right on concrete steps [1], and you continue to descend while meandering, sometimes between high walls – here the path is a little bit neglected and subsided. After 4-5 minutes, you go down to the right on a larger cross-path ([1] and blue mark).

(3h16) About 4 minutes later, you arrive at the side of a chapel with a ruin, and you descend to the left ([1] and blue mark). You veer to the left, but past an old bridge, you veer to the right again. You now follow an forest trail, later on a paved path that finally leads straight to Chóra.

Chóra in the evening sun.

(3h23) You cross a small concrete road [1] and - while enjoying magnificent views of Chóra, bathed in the evening sun - you finally arrive, after a splendid stretch of 6 minutes, in the valley and on the road [1] that leads straight into the river bed with the wooden bridge.

[You can possibly turn left to continue in and next to the bed towards the bridge and the beach of Nimborió. (following path [1a])

(3h32) If you want to follow the walk [1] until the end, you continue on the opposite side on the steep concrete little road [1], next to the big hiking sign. You cross the asphalt road after 2 minutes and continue straight ahead on the stairs [1]. Above, you take the concrete street to the left [1], until the end, where you climb the stairs to the right in order to reach the beginning of the pedestrian street. You go left and you need now another 2 minutes to get near the church, your starting point. (3h40)

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