Chóra - Sinetí - Dipotámata-valley - Kochýlou - Ormos Korthíou

Evaluation: Also this hike is really a must on the island of Andros. The trails, amongst others between Chóra and Sinetí and in the Dipotámata-valley, are very beautiful; in this valley there are still lots of remainders of water mills, and also the villages of Sinetí and Kochýlou are quite interesting. For the magnificent panoramic view you can even make a small detour to the summit of the Apáno Kástro, and at your final destination you can go for a swim at the beach of Ormos Korthíou. The hike is very well marked by means of the number [3]. This hike deserves a maximum evaluation of ****.
[Update by Raymond on October 15th, 2013, by Dany Boute on April 18th, 2014 and by Raymond again on May the 5th, 2015.]

Estimated time: The hike till Sinetí takes 1h10 in actual hiking time and then it is another 1h15 to Kochýlou; continuing to Ormos Korthíou will take one hour – which makes for a total of 3h20. Taking some long pauses, we hiked from 10am to 5pm. At that time of the day there are not many busses anymore to return to Chóra, which means that you will have to catch a taxi.

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 Chóra, 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]). 

[In April 2014, the path was overgrown, but in May 2015 it was cleared again.]

(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.

View on a water mill...

(2h01) About 12 minutes past the bridge there is a junction: the trail straight ahead continues to Exo Vouní (see the hike Chóra - Dipotátama), but today we take a left towards Kochýlou (arrow + [3]).
The following climb on an ancient trail is very beautiful again; you can look all the way to the bridge you crossed a few minutes ago.

Climbing from the Dipotámata-valley to Kochýlou.

(2h10) After another 9 minutes you get to a gravel road – on the left you have a view on Paleokástro and in front of you, you can distinguish the beautiful bay of Kórthi.

[If you want to make the detour to the Paleókastro by following the gravel road to the left or by following path [3b] a little further - see the walk Ormos Korthíou - Paleókastro and back.]

The old trail marker on your way to Kochýlou.

The path continues on the opposite side  (there is only a little cairn - the large, flat stone with [3] on it, which formerly stood here, has disappeared…): it then veers to the right for a while and gets to an old staircase that bends to the left along a wall. Later on, you veer right again [3] and you arrive between 2 wall. This path was mowed recently, so the old pavement is still visible.
After a descent of 7-8 minutes, you arrive between some ruins – it is here that you toke a left on path [3b].

(2h17) You continue straight ahead between narrow walls and the nice pavement begins. Later on, the path is covered with concrete, with next to it a little gutter that has now been replaced by a water pipe. After a few minutes, you arrive at the concrete road, which you follow up and to the right for a moment. You reach the asphalt road, which you also follow down for a few moments, because almost immediately - and before you get to the parking lot - you take the concrete street to the right [3].
 
(2h22) You now follow the main street: a little later, you do NOT go obliquely to the right, but you continue straight [3] and soon, you descend the staircase to the left. You now continue to go down straight through the entire village [3]: you pass in this way to the right of the first church, Agios Georgios, and underneath the tower.
The nameless café on the left is often open after 5pm – do not miss it, this typical old village pub is really worth it and no one knows for how long it will still exist!

The typical old village café...

(2h27) You continue on the main street, passing on the left of the second church. Immediately past this church, a staircase goes down to the left (it is the Odós Vasiléoos Konstantínou) ([3] and blue mark). After 1 minute, you keep to the right (blue dot and [3] on the wall), you climb a little and you descend then slowly on a stony path; you keep going straight ahead - with a beautiful view on Kochýlou and on the Paleókastro in the evening sun. 

Kochýlou and the Paleókastro in the evening sun.

A few minutes later you get an equally stunning view over the bay of Kórthi and the entire valley! The path is very nicely paved, sometimes with large flat stones, sometimes with small stones placed vertically.


(2h47)
After another 9 minutes there is a junction where you take a left (blue dot and [3]). 

A long time ago, somebody left the date 1933, carved in the stone...

For several minutes now, the path is narrower because of the abundant greenery and some disturbing shrubs, but soon the monopáti gets better again as it is paved with large flat stones.
Suddenly, Ormos Korthíou seems quite close; you descend many minutes on a beautiful staircase, and later on by taking many concrete steps. In this way, you reach the concrete road after 17 beautiful minutes, under the mulberry tree and the Mediterranean maple.

(3h04) You take a left and you go down, after 3-4 minutes you cross the road to Tis Griás to Pídima and on the opposite side you find a very nice path again (blue and red dots). After several minutes the concrete stretch begins and so you reach the asphalt road. On the opposite side you find a very unevenly paved path, but later on the pavement gets better and the walls become very high.

(3h15) Finally, you end up in the valley, on a little concrete road. You go left and 2 minutes later you reach the bridge, where you go right into the pedestrian street.
Via this street you reach a beautiful little square – the Platía Alíkis Psálti – with the café-ouzéri Díporto and a nice outdoor terrace under the mulberry trees. A minute further you find a large square, with the school and the war monument, and slightly later on you get to a roundabout, with the café-bar Centro and the hotel Kórthi on the opposite side.(3h22)

At the roundabout you could walk back to the left along the sea, where you will find a couple of taverns and cafés.
Straight ahead along the sea you can also go to the beautiful sandy beach – there is no shade, however, and the water gets deep very quickly, which makes it rather unsuitable for children.

At the roundabout you also find the bus stop and the taxi rank (number 22820 - 62171). In May 2005 the final bus was at 2.15pm, so it is often a good idea to take a taxi for the way back.
Another solution could be to split up this long hike in two parts: see the walks Chóra - Dipotámata and back and Ormos Korthíou - Paleókastro and back.

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