Chóra - Skárkos - Elliniká - Agia Triáda - Agios Prokópios - Chóra

Evaluation: This hike leads you first of all to the very interesting excavations of the acropolis of Skárkos. Then you continue with a beautiful trail (marked by trail markers [1]) through the interior of the island of Ios. You arrive at Elliniká, from where you should follow the paved road to the chapel of Agia Triáda. A gravel road then leads you up to the monastery of Agios Prokópios and finally you can return to Chóra by following walk [2]. Deserves ***.
[The translation of this walk was made with some help of Google translate - so, do not mind the mistakes...]

Estimated time
: It takes only 20 minutes to reach the site of Skárkos, then you follow for a little more than 35 minutes some beautiful trails to Elliniká. The walk up to Agios Prokópios requires half an hour, and finally you need 1h05 to return to Chóra (always in AWT). The actual walking time thus amounts to a total of about 2h30 – as for us, we walked from 11am to 16pm - a total time (TWT) of 5 hours.

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 of the platía Sp. Valetas – in the morning this is a very peaceful spot, but at night there is a lot of noise coming from the bars…
Further on, you get to the platía
Ioannis G. Stinis with a rather big church with a blue dome: there is an archway or kamára to the right and in front of you, you see a second small church and a telephone booth. You leave here the main street: you go left for a few moments, but in the corner of the square you go to the right (there is a hiking sign and a [1].

The hiking sign at the beginning of walk [1].

(0h04) The paved street goes down and becomes a concrete monopáti leaving the village. You always go straight and and therefore you do NOT go down to the left – the concrete alternates with a beautiful pavement.
Arriving down, there is a staircase on your right - you veer to the left and a little further, you still hold to the left (red mark).

[The path to the right is walk [2]: it goes also to Agios Prokópios and you will follow this path during your way back.]

The hiking sign at the bifurcation of walks [1] and [2].

(0h08) You descend now on the right side of a wide valley. Your path describes a sharp turn to the left, then right, and you go down on well maintained steps. After 5 minutes, you keep of course to the left, continuing on the main trail - and after another 4 minutes, you arrive between high walls [1].

The splendid pavement of the path to Skárkos.

(0h17) You get a beautiful view of the hill of Skárkos and by following a staircase you come to the right of the entry.

General view of the hill of Skárkos.

[This archaeological site dates from the beginning of the Bronze Age, and more particularly of the Kéros-Sýros civilization, which was at its peak in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. The acropolis was very well located, near a sheltered harbour and the fertile land near Káto Kámbos.
The site was discovered in 1984 and excavations began only in 1986. The site was completely renovated in the years 2002-2008, when, among other things, the circular walls that support the acropolis were built. In 2008, the restoration has received the "European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage".
You can see 11 small squares, with 6 groups of houses and 35 houses in total. The objects which were discovered are to be found in the museum of Ios.]

The excavations of Skárkos.

(0h20) When leaving the site, you continue of course to the left (there is big hiking sign + [1]). The path is still well paved, but a minute later, it becomes a normal monopáti, which continues on earth or rock. A little further, you keep to the right and you remain on the main trail: the view of the fertile valley and the continuation of the trail becomes very beautiful.
A little more than 4 minutes later, you arrive more or less in the bed of the river, with many oleanders in bloom (18 May 2010). You keep again to the right at a bifurcation – you thus remain on the right of the bed.

(0h31) After a beautiful stretch, you reach the Pertesis-bridge and you continue on the other side
[1]. The climb that follows is really beautiful: the hill is planted with olive trees and the pavement of the rocky trail is sometimes very nice.

The path continues between nice fields with olive trees...

You describe a few turns and you climb faster now, with the result that you get behind you a beautiful view over Chóra and the row of windmills.

Looking back towards Chóra.

(0h39) At the top, you reach a small gravel road, which you follow up to the right ([1] a little further). You pass on the right side of a chapel and some stables, then the road veers left and then slightly to the right.

[In the second curve, there is a path on the left which seems to lead straight to your goal, the (small) Profítis Ilías - do NOT take this path, because it is completely overgrown by vegetation after 6-7 minutes! ]

(0h44) So you continue on the gravel road, and after 3 minutes, next to a wall with a large green gate ([1] on the wall), you also continue to follow the road.

[Here there is a path on the left-hand side , to the right of an electricity pole - this is the path that you can follow during the walk from Chóra to Agios Ioannis and the small Profítis ilías.]

The road passes the few houses of Elliniká, continues meandering above the fertile plain of Kámbos and then passes next to a lot of cactus - it is not until after 8 minutes that you find the first trail marker [1].
Two minutes later, there is a bifurcation where you keep to the left, and you get in this way to the asphalt road, next to a house ([1] and hiking sign to Skárkos and Chóra).

The hiking sign for walk [1] near Elliniká. 

(1h00) You follow the road to the right for 400 meters: first you pass a chapel with a small side road to the left, but you should continue until the second chapel of Agia Triáda - another gravel road starts here to the left, in a curve of the road to the right.

(1h07) This pretty pleasant road meanders above a valley full of oleanders, and already after 8 minutes, you discover in front of you the buildings of Agios Prokópios. After a climb of another 5 minutes, there is a surprise waiting for you: after an open gate there is another closed gate, preventing you from continuing. The red arrows on the right lead nowhere and so you need to bypass the gate: a few meters before the closed gate, you descend to the left through some pallets onto a terrace. You go to the right and a little further, you climb the wall on the right, so you get again to the road - and behind the gate...

(1h20) This road finally arrives below the church and winds to the left.

The terraces underneath Agios Prokópios.

You can now mount a concrete staircase towards the buildings. There, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the green valley, full of cypress. A nice spot for a picnic!

The green valley next to Agios Prokópios.

(1h26) For the continuation of your hike, you should follow walk [2], so you go down the stairs through the terraces to the south – to the left with your back to the church (no marks!) and after 1 minute, you keep to the far left on a narrow terrace, and a little further, there is a path arriving from the left (you can follow it during the walk Chóra - Profítis Ilías - Agios Prokópios - Chóra). You continue straight, then you cross the river bed on a concrete path. You keep here to the far right and you arrive in this way at the beautiful trail that goes up between walls. It is not until after 5 minutes you see a trail marker [2].

(1h32) Next to the angle of the wall, where you arrived
on your way out, you continue of course straight ahead.
This trail was once difficult to follow and required a detailed description, but since 2011, the path was cleared and marked with red and white plates with the number [2] - the path is much easier to follow now ...
You go up for a little more than 2 minutes and above you see very well the Profítis Ilías with the antennas - on its slopes, you distinguish clearly the line of the path [3] you have followed
a little while ago. You continue some time almost flatly, but the trail is sometimes quite narrow because of the vegetation. You veer to the right and, after 10 minutes, there is a side path where you continue straight of course.

(1h43) A little further on, you begin to descend on large flat stones: you see very clearly Síkinos in front of you, with to its right the vague contours of Folégandros, Sífnos and Antíparos. You still go down, sometimes on beautiful stones or steps.

The nice trail [2]. 

The trail is obvious and goes up and down slightly, and soon you get a beautiful view of Chóra. After the descent follows a beautiful and almost flat stretch, with on your right side a nice view of the round hill of Skárkos: on this place, findings from 2800 BC have indicated a very old settlement, dating from the early Bronze Age.


The excavations of Skárkos.

The monopáti arrives at Chóra...

(2h15) You finally arrive at a small road next to a large metal gate and you follow it to the right and down. The gravel becomes concrete and you get to the asphalt road, next to a chapel [2]. You follow the road to the left for 2 minutes, then you take BEFORE the turn a concrete street that goes right between the houses (red marks).

(2h22) After a few minutes you get to a side-path, next to a chapel - this path comes from Skárkos. You take a left naturally, the concrete path veers to the right and becomes a paved staircase-path [1]. You continue now straight - the trail that goes to the left leads to the mills ... -, first on concrete, then on a paved street that finally gets to the Platía Ioánnis Stínis.

(2h27) You take a right here to follow the main street: twice you should keep to the left (almost immediately next to the Sweet Corner and further on next to the Blue Note), in order to keep following the main street. You thus get to the square Sp. Valétas, with its 2 trees and 4 bars...
You can now continue until next to the church and even proceed on the opposite side of the road on the path that descends to the harbour... (sign). (2h31) 

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