Chóra - Agia Theodóti

Evaluation: This hike at first follows a very nice trail through the real interior of Ios, on the slopes of the Profítis Ilías (519 m) and on the right side of the monastery of Agios Prokópios. The path, signposted with trail markers [3], continues until the gravel road that descends from the Profítis Ilías. Further on, you will have to follow the main road Chóra – Manganári and later the asphalt road that goes down to the beautiful beach of Agia Theodóti – there is indeed no path that descends to that beach. Deserves the evaluation **.

Estimated time: For the stretch until the asphalt road, you should count about 1h30. If you want to descend to the beach, you will have to follow the asphalt roads for about one hour! This means a total actual walking time (AWT) of 2h30 – our real walking time (TWT) took about 4 hours - we had some friends who came by car to the beach, so we could return to Chóra by car... 

Route description: (0h00) You leave from the little square at the Mitrópoli, the main church with the blue dome. You then take the Odós Syndésmou Iítoon on the left, on the left-hand side of the shop Theros, and you follow this paved main street for about 5 minutes. Thus, you do NOT take a left immediately (which would lead you upwards, to the three chapels dominating the town of Chóra), nor do you go right into the small street. Further on you go right twice and after about 2 minutes you arrive at the nice little square Sp. Valétas – in the morning this is a very peaceful spot, but at night there is a lot of noise coming from the bars. You keep following this main street, you walk on the right-hand side of the small library of Ios and you also pass a pantopolío and a bakery. In this way you arrive at a second square (Platía Ioánnis Stínis), with a rather big church with a blue dome.

The square Ioánnis Stínis.

Walk [1] starts here in the left corner, but you should continue straight, and soon you will get to the foot of the beautiful and broad staircase leading to the mills.  

The staircase leading to the mills.

(0h05) You go up on the right and you thus arrive at one of the most famous spots of Chóra: the row of mills, where you can still find the ruins of 12 mills, on top of a very windy crest. You walk across the terrace, with a nice panoramic view behind you, on the hill with the small churches.

A nice view on Chóra with its churches.

(0h06) You keep to the left on the terrace, and you descend to a little asphalt road, that veers left and right between the 3rd and the 4th ruin of a mill. You go up to the left on this road and soon cross the main road to Manganári.
You continue straigjht on the little road that now goes up on the right side
of the other mills (hiking sign, signpost to the theatre and [3] a little further).

The hiking sign at the beginning of the walks to Agios Prokópios and Agios Ioánnis.

Later on you proceed straight ahead and after about 6 minutes you get to a curve, at a staircase leading to a chapel, on the right-hand side of a house [3].

The chapel next to the theatre.

(0h12) On the left of the chapel there is a paved slope and a staircase going in the direction of a second chapel – but first you should continue on the concrete road for a short while, to have a look at the modern little theatre. You also have a wonderful view on the bay and the beach of Mylopótas.

The little theatre, not so far from the mills in Chóra.

(0h14) You return, you go past the chapel, and you follow the staircase in the direction of the second little chapel. You continue, passing in between the huge building of the new museum and the chapel and along the wall of the museum [3]. You thus arrive at a third chapel (with an inscription of 15 October 1894 above the door), where you find the beginning of two trails. The first path goes straight ahead between walls (next to a heavy black water pipe): it goes to Agios Ioánnis (see the hike Chóra - Agios Ioánnis and back).
Your path takes a left immediately, between walls as well; you can also notice
a [3] on a rock and a red dot on the right side.

The beginning of the path to Agios Prokópios and the Profitis Ilías.

(0h17) You thus take a left, following a very nice and rocky trail; it goes up and it provides you with a great view behind you.

Looking behind you - a view of Chóra...

The monopáti, at the beginning of your hike to Agios Prokópios.

After some 8 minutes this view on the town of Chóra, the entire bay and the island of Síkinos is absolutely marvellous.  

Panoramic view on Chóra, the bay and Síkinos.

(0h29) About 12 minutes later the trail becomes almost flat. You arrive at a large valley, in the shape of an amphitheatre, and your trail seems to continue nicely on the other side of this valley.

(0h35) After 6-7 more minutes the monopáti curves to the left sharply, indeed – in earlier times there used to be a lot of cultivated terraces and fields over here, but now everything lies fallow. You walk around the tub-shaped valley, but a little later you reach a triangular and rocky spot, where you go right (red dot). Slightly further you get to a junction where you take a left ([3] and red dot), and after another 3 minutes you arrive at a small building where you continue on the right [3]. The walls move away from each other, but later on they approach each other again, on the left-hand side of another small building. (0h43) Shortly thereafter you reach yet another triangular and rocky spot, where you keep to the left (cairn and [3]). You then arrive at a pass: in front of you, you notice two modern windmills and on their left is the island of Náxos.

(0h44) You now continue for quite a few minutes on an easy and flat trail, while spotting a small chapel with a flat roof underneath.

[Just before the chapel and again 3 minutes later, you could go up to the right in order to climb to the summit of the Profítis Ilías - there is no marking at all! See the walk Chóra - Profítis Ilías - Agios Prokópios - Chóra.] 

After 11 minutes on this flat trail you can distinguish the monastery of Agios Prokópios, on your left-hand side and down.

(0h58) A couple of minutes later you start to descend gradually and some 2 minutes further down, at a large boulder in the middle of the trail, you notice a narrow trail going to the left sharply - this trail goes down to the monastery of Agios Prokópios. This happens just before the lowest point of your trail  and we left a cairn. See the hike Chóra - Agios Prokópios - Chóra.

(1h02) You continue STRAIGHT, while going up again. After a slight descent, you ascend again - the trail is easy, but it is in some places a little bit overgrown.

The nice trail on your wat to Agia Theodóti.

(1h17) You thus arrive at the gravel road that comes from the Profítis Ilias. You continue to the left, you arrive immediately at a fork where you take the right road [3]. You follow this rocky road for 11 minutes, while approaching the asphalt road very slowly.

(1h28) You finally get to this road ([3] on a pole) and you follow it to the left.

[Walk [3] continues here sharply to the left on a gravel track ([3] on a wall), which continues farther alongside a trail, to the left of a fence. See the hike Chóra - Profítis Ilias - Agios Prokópios - Chóra).

You now should follow the paved road for 19 minutes, passing first under two windmills, and later on with a beautiful view of the beach of Agia Theodóti and of the islands of Náxos, Irakliá, Kéros and Amorgós. Páros lies to the far left.

Panoramic view on the bay of Agia Theodóti.

[The trail mentioned on the map of Terrain Maps, which should lead to the chapel of Agii Anárgyri - which could let you avoid this long passage on the asphalt - is not to be found ...]

(1h47) Once arrived at the junction, 700 meters away, you turn right. You should now follow this road for 2.7 km or 40 minutes! The beach is beautiful, but there are only a few trees that provide some shade ... (2h27)

[To avoid the long stretch of paved roads, you could retrace your steps or you could follow the continuation of hike [3] to Agios Prokópios, and then return to Chóra by following walk [2]. See the point (1h28) above and the hike Chóra - Profítis Ilías - Agios Prokópios - Chóra].

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