Chóra - Agios Ioánnis and back
This long hike offers a wonderful path, with basically all the time a
marvellous panoramic view on the coast and the bay of Mylopótas. During
the second part of the hike, when climbing up the side of the Pýrgos,
it is rather difficult to find the trail. This hike gets an
evaluation of ***.
[Updated by Raymond on April 27th, 2013.]
To hike to the asphalt road to Manganári takes about 1h15. After
walking on the asphalt for 9 minutes, you have to climb up by following
sometimes vague trails and this will cost you another 40 minutes.
Route description: (0h00) You leave from the small square near the Mitrópoli, the main church with the blue dome. You then take the Odós Syndésmou Iítoon to the left, on the left of the small shop Theros, and you follow this paved main street for about 5 minutes. You DO NOT go left immediately (this would lead you up, to the three chapels dominating Chóra) or right into the small street. Further on you keep to the right twice and after 2 minutes you thus arrive at a beautiful square – in the morning it is very quiet here, but at night there is a lot of noise coming from the bars... You continue on the main street, you pass the small library of Ios and you also pass a pantopolío and a bakery. After some 5 minutes you reach the foot of the beautiful and broad staircase, leading to the mills.
[You could also continue straight ahead - in this
case, you will get to the little asphalt road, between the 3rd and the
4th ruin of a mill.]
The staircase towards the row of mills.
(0h05) You now go up on the right and you pass one of the most famous spots of Chóra, the row of mills, with ruins of 12 mills, situated on a windy ridge. You walk over the terrace, with a beautiful view behind you on the hill with the churches.
A beautiful view on the chapels of Chóra, from the mills.
(0h06) You should keep to the left on the terrace and go down to a little asphalt road, that veers left and right between the 3rd and the 4th ruin of a mill. You then go up on this road that soon crosses the broader road to Manganári. You follow the little road going up on the right side of the other mills (there is a hiking sign and also a signpost to the theatre + a  a little further).
The hiking sign for the walks to Agios Prokópios and Agios Ioánnis.
Further on you continue straight ahead
and after 6 minutes you arrive at a curve, near steps, on the right-hand
side of a house, leading to a chapel.
The chapel near the theatre.
(0h12) On the left of the chapel you find a rocky slope and a staircase, running in the direction of a second small chapel – but first you can keep following the concrete road in order to have a look at the beautiful and modern little theatre. From here you also have a nice view on the bay and the beach of Mylopótas.
The little theatre, situated near the row of mills of Chóra.
return past the chapel and you take the staircase
chapel. You continue
on a rocky slope, between the
new museum and the chapel, and along the wall of the museum .
In this way you reach a third chapel
(with an inscription of 15 October 1894 above the door). This is the
place where the actual trail begins, straight ahead between walls (next
to a heavy black water pipe). There is another trail off the left, but
this leads to Agios Prokópios (see the hike Chóra - Agios Prokópios -
proceed straight ahead on a
trail; this trail
goes up for the
first 5 minutes –
far away in front of you, you can distinguish the 714-high Pýrgos, with
aerials on top of it, and you can already discern a small tip of the
monastery! Very soon you will also see the island of Síkinos behind
you. You really walk on a kind of balcony now, on a flat path with a
nice view on the beach of Mylopótas.
Panoramic view on the beach of Mylopótas.
Later on you go
down on a rocky trail until, after 11 minutes, you cross a small and
rocky bed of a river.
(0h28) You continue easily with still a really nice view on the beach; after 5 minutes you have to leave the trail because it is overgrown – for another 5 minutes a more recent path then continues on the left-hand side of the old trail between walls. But then you get to the old route again, still guided by the black water pipe. After a few minutes you arrive at a rocky crest and you can nicely see your trail continuing to the left, on the left-hand side of a wall.
The monopáti on your way to Agios Ioánnis.
(0h55) All together some 38 minutes after the beginning of the actual trail you get to a small valley and the bed of a river again, with a few oleanders. You keep following the rocky trail + the water pipe on the left of the wall and going up. After about 8 minutes you reach yet another crest, and from this point you can already distinguish the main road, on the side of the mountain Pýrgos.
View on the Pýrgos, with the asphalt road on his slope.
You now have
to clear your way through the vegetation and then you arrive between a
wall and a fence in reinforcing steel. You go up a little and then
you have to watch out:
trail veers to the left, but you should not follow it anymore
you have to climb over the small wall on the right
(we left a cairn here)
and descend to the curve of the asphalt road – if you were to continue
all the way to the end of the trail, it would be impossible to still go
down to the asphalt road!
having followed the beautiful path for about 58
minutes you arrive at the broad and rarely used asphalt road. You take a
left, until you find a possibility to climb op the Pýrgos.
[If you follow the asphalt road to the right for about 20 minutes, you
will arrive underneath the chapel of Pétros and Pávlos; after the chapel,
you will discover a vague trail, but we thought it was to difficult to
[If you follow the asphalt road to the right for about 20 minutes, you will arrive underneath the chapel of Pétros and Pávlos; after the chapel, you will discover a vague trail, but we thought it was to difficult to follow...]
difficult minutes on the asphalt road, you get to a curve to the left.
Over here, on the right of a dug out slope, you find the vague
continuation of your trail. You proceed on the left-hand side of a very
small gorge and three times the red dots help you to follow the vague
path. Eventually you go more to the left, in the direction of a metal
fence and after 5 minutes you find a clearer trail, which you follow by
going up and to the right. You can already see the aerials on top of the
mountain, which can be regarded as your aim.
(1h29) Which is very annoying from this point is that there is indeed a trail all the way to the summit, sometimes indicated by means of red dots, but that this trail is very hard to describe.
An obvious part of the path, indicated by red dots.
A rock serving as a beacon ...
you have crossed the bed, you soon notice the highest tower of the
continue in that direction, on a yellowish trail – if it comes to a
dead end you should return in order to find another and better way.
later you get to the summit: the monastery is a very quiet spot, with
tables and benches in stone – there is still some construction going
on. This is a nice picnic spot...
You arrive near Agios Ioánnis.
On the inner court of Agios Ioánnis.
You have a
magnificent view on Mylopótas, on the bay of Ormos and on Síkinos.
Panoramic view from Agios Ioánnis.
monastery you find a gravel road, which you can follow to go down. You
should then describe a large curve to the left and once you have reached
the asphalt road you should take a left again. You will then get to the
sharp curve where you took the vague path going up earlier today. After
another 7-8 minutes on the asphalt road you will arrive at the place
from where you can follow the obvious trail to the right, back to Chóra.]
Hikers who know
how to orient themselves can take the same way down as when coming up
– but first you should have a good look around, standing on the edge
of the platform in front of the monastery. In this way you can see which
marks in the landscape you will use in order to descend. You will
first walk to the yellow spots of the path, below and on your left. Thereafter
you will continue to a couple of rocks, among which the large rock
consisting of several large blocks (see the picture above). You
will then follow the trail running halfway between the crest of the hill
and the valley. You
can already see this trail from here: a line going in the direction of
the curve in the asphalt road (with a large goat farm above, in the
middle of a big circle of walls).
You leave by
taking the trail in front of the entrance gate straight ahead and down,
and you descend towards the yellow spots in the landscape. You thus get
to a more obvious trail, already after 3 minutes. You follow the yellow,
worn away trail, until you see the valley in front of you, some 6-7
minutes later. You can now proceed towards the large rock consisting of
several large blocks. On the left of this rock, and only there, you can
cross the bed of the river. In the meanwhile you still had a great view
on a number of islands: Síkinos on the left and beyond Sikinos, to the
left, the island of Folégandros; very vague you can also distinguish Kímolos
and Mílos, then Sífnos, and even more to the right the group of
Despotikó - Antíparos - Páros and finally Náxos.
the bed you rather go to the right, on an obvious trail. You pass on the right-hand side of a rock, but you
should watch out because the trail is slightly overgrown before and
after this rock. You keep following this trail, halfway the crest and
the bed of the river, in the direction of the curve in the asphalt road
– you can already hear the noise of the goats and the shouting of the
farmer at the goat farm above the road.
You descend on the slope of the Pýrgos.
later you should keep to the right in order to pass next to a worn away
rock face (there is a red dot) and then you follow the worn away trail,
which is very clear now.
minutes later you see a metal fence in front of you and then you should
definitely go more to the left. In this way you go further down, halfway
between the small gorge and the fence.
You thus arrive at the asphalt road fairly smoothly,
where you take a left. You follow this road for the next 7-8 minutes.
When reaching a curve to the left you have to try and find the trail, on
the right and through the debris (there is also a red dot). You can in
fact already see the wall of the old trail in front of you.
above, you reach the beautiful old trail and you take a left,
between the wall on the left and a fence on the right. From then onwards
it is easy to find the way back, a few short indications will suffice.
you walk through a metal gate; from then onwards you will be guided by
the black water pipe
after your departure from the road you reach the highest chapel again.
You continue for a few minutes to the little concrete road past the last
chapel; you take a right and then a left onto the concrete road. In this
way you get to the square again, between the last mill but one and the
last one – quite likely, you will truly enjoy a cool beer on the
terrace of The Mills!
(3h51) It will then take you 5 more minutes to descend through the old part of Chóra, until you reach the Mitrópoli. (3h56)