This walk goes through the
interior of the island along a beautiful monopáti on the slopes of the Profítis
Ilias (519 m); then we climb to the top without following a real path. The
descent follows gravel roads for about 2.5 km or 35-40 minutes (AWT). A
beautiful trail then takes us down to the picturesque monastery of Agios
Prokópios, located in a leafy valley. The return route follows at the beginning
a narrow path that is rather difficult to find, but after about 20 minutes, we
come to the beautiful path that takes us back to Chóra all along the slopes of
the Profítis Ilías. Most of the time, there is a good signposting by means of
red and white trail markers .
[Updated in May 2012 by Jean-Paul Ovigne
and George Roubaud.][The translation of this walk was made with the help of
Google translate - so, do not mind the mistakes...]
It takes about 1h10 (AWT)
to reach the top of the Profítis Ilías; we then follow some gravel roads during
a little over 35 minutes. The beautiful monopáti to Agios Prokópios demands
about 25 minutes.
The difficult climb from the small monastery lasts 25 minutes, and finally the
very obvious trail back to Chóra, that we followed during our way there for most
of the time, takes 55 minutes. The actual walking time thus amounts to a total
of 3h30 - our total time (TWT) mounted up to about 7 hours, with a picnic break
of an hour at the monastery.
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 a nice little square – 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 it will take you
some 5 minutes to get to the foot of the beautiful and broad staircase leading
to the mills.
The staircase to the mills.
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. You
descend a few steps to the asphalt road, with in front of you the 4th mill.
Splendid views from the mills over Chóra and its
Between the 3rd
and the 4th ruin of a mill you find a three-forked road, where you go
up the asphalt road in the direction of the other mills (signpost to the theatre
and hotel Skala). The road
climbs quickly past the hotel Skala, and the views over the bay, the port and
the island of Síkinos become more beautiful. Further, you continue straight on,
on the right side of the mills 5 to 9, 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.
By following those steps and a
rocky slope you get to a concrete little road, next to the first chapel.
But first you should
continue to the right 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 small theatre of Chóra.
The chapel near the theatre.
You return, you go past the chapel, and you follow the rocky slope and the
staircase until you have also passed the second little chapel – with next to it
the impressive building of the new archaeological museum Gaïti-Simosi.
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
red dot on a rock.
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 to Chóra...
The beginning of the monopáti to Agios
Prokópios and the Profítis Ilías.
After some 7 minutes this view on the town of Chóra, the entire bay and the
island of Síkinos is absolutely marvellous.
Panoramic view over Chóra, the bay and Síkinos.
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
After 6 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 (red dot), and after another 3 minutes you arrive at a small
building where you continue on the right. The walls move away from each other,
but two more times you are guided by red dots. Finally, the walls approach each
other again, on the left-hand side of another small building.
Shortly thereafter you reach yet another triangular and rocky spot, where you
keep to the left. You then arrive at a pass:
in front of you, you notice two modern windmills and on their left is the island
You now continue on an easy and flat trail, while spotting a small chapel with a
flat roof underneath.
The nice path towards the Profítis
Pay attention now: just before arriving at the chapel, and then again 3 minutes
later, shortly after the chapel and a small dark building a little further on
the left, your path passes between beautiful walls. Here you see twice red lines
on the rocks to the right of you: they indicate the route to mount directly to
the top, often without following a trail.
The red marks on the wall and the ridge show how to
go up to the summit...
We went up close to the second spot where we saw the red lines.
First, you have to climb to the left or to the right of the rocky ledge that
goes up - sometimes you continue on the ridge itself. After a little more than 4
minutes, the ledge with the red lines ends and you zigzag now all the way up to
the antenna, with no visible trail. The easiest route climbs slightly to the
right of the summit – besides, you have the most beautiful views there.
(1h06) You continue if possible on
the rocky ridges, where there is less vegetation, and after a rather painful
climb of 18 minutes - because of the bushes, the famous frýgana - you arrive at
a more gentle green slope. You veer a little more to the right and you reach a
fairly clear path that leads straight to the antenna.
Just before you get near the antenna, you enjoy the best view over Chóra, the
bay, Síkinos and the beautiful beach of Mylopótas.
You climb until you are just below the antenna, you follow the small gravel road
that runs around the top, and you thus arrive at the road you will follow down
within a minute.
But first, you go up to the right and you climb the stairs leading to the chapel
- it was hitherto invisible, and it seems very small because of the
antenna and the archi-ugly building next to it.
(1h12) The little geodesic pole
stands at an altitude of 519 meters. You have a beautiful view of Síkinos – with
to the left the silhouette of Santoríni, and Náxos at the other side.
The chapel of Profítis Ilías.
Next to the geodetic pole...
(1h12) You descend to the road -
first there is a concrete slope, then there is the gravel road - in front of you
you see the high peak of the Pýrgos.
(1h23) After 11 minutes, there is a
small path coming from the right and you describe a long turn to the left – with
in front of you the islands of Irakliá, Kéros and Náxos. After a turn to the
right, you continue down while zigzagging. The road passes through a metal gate
that is open and you now have a beautiful view over the bay of Theodótis with
the small island of Irakliá.
(1h30) A little further on you get to
a cross road, where you take a sharp left. Your path now continues just above
the asphalt road and slowly goes down.
(1h38) After another 8 minutes, you
keep to the right - the little road that goes left, is not on the map of Terrain
[Just before this side-road, there is a clear path that descends to the left. It
is signposted with  and continues on the left slope of the valley of Agios
Prokópios - the small road also goes down in that valley. After no more than
10-11 minutes, this trail arrives at point
2h35 below - it thus could be a
shorter alternative route, but in this case you miss the beautiful small
monastery of Agios Prokópios.]
(1h49) Finally the trail gets to the
asphalt road, but do not continue until the road itself! There is a sign that
says "Profítis Ilías 2km."
To the left, there is a wired fence, very difficult to get through – you have to
follow this fence to the LEFT without crossing it. There is a vague path that
follows the fence and after 3 minutes, you get to a clear path, between the
fence and a wall. A cairn indicates that point, but soon the beautiful old paved
path becomes still more clear. Here it is well marked with trail markers  and
the Profítis Ilías is now right in front of you.
A little further you descend on beautiful stairs, built with large flat stones.
The clear path that runs straight to the Profítis
Big flat stones and beautiful curves...
(2h01) After 4 minutes, you reach a
vague bifurcation next to two small olive trees - you follow the main trail to
the LEFT. A little later, you go left again and you have a beautiful view of the
cypresses next to Agios Prokópios. A staircase descends until you get behind the
church and you reach the trail that comes from Chóra and is marked with  (see
the return of the hike Chóra - Agios Prokópios - Chora).
But first, you take a right in order to go up to Agios Prokópios : you pass
through a gate made of pallets and after climbing several terraces and stairs,
you arrive near the church. Beyond the church, there is a house with a terrace
and shed, a stone table and benches - ideal for picnics.
General view of Agios Prokópios..
The green environment of Agios Prokópios.
(2h11) For the continuation of the
walk, you do not go down to the road, but you retrace your steps to the left, to
return to the crossroads of walks  and . There, you follow the walk 
down behind Agios Prokópios, you cross the bed of the river upstream of the
chapel, and then you climb the beautiful stepped path.
After exactly 5 minutes, you see a path on the left, at the corner of a wall.
Straight ahead, the path  continues to Chóra, see the hike Chóra - Agios
Prokópios - Chóra. This is an easier way back, which is well signposted until
the center of Chóra with trail markers .
(2h16) This time however, you have to
take a left here; the path on the left is quite nice at first, but soon it is
overgrown with vegetation. When it becomes too difficult to move forward, you go
up to the right and continue over a terrace until you reach a house. Next this
house, you follow the wall to the left and you see in front of you a path which
climbs gently through the bushes to the left of the long wall. When the wall
ends, the trail becomes very vague, but you continue in the same direction, that
is to say in the direction of the antenna at the top of Profítis Ilías that
arises from time to time.
You pass just next to a small stable, and after 12 minutes, to the left of a
ruin of a small church. You keep the same direction, a little to the left of the
antenna now. You approach in this way the valley on your left side and finally
you reach the main trail - a few red marks mark the intersection. It is
impossible to miss the trail!
[This beautiful trail goes up to the left towards the crest of the hill, where
you see an electricity pole - the little brown road also winds from below in the
valley up to the same point (halfway there are many hives ...). The trail goes
up in 10-11 minutes to the top of the pass and to the gravel road that leads
until the top of the Profítis Ilías - you have followed this road this morning -
see above point (1h38).]
(2h35) You continue of course to the
right and you walk more or less horizontally, with a beautiful view over the
valley over Agios Prokópios. After exactly 12 minutes, you pass the rocky ledge
where you got up earlier this morning.
(2h47) You climb a little, but after
6-7 minutes, you start the final descent. From time to time, the walls diverge,
but the general direction ifsclear of course, as you have already seen Chóra in
front of you.
(3h00) After 12-13 minutes, you
arrive at a kind of T-junction, where you go right, of course. The descent is
beautiful, with the spectacle of the evening sun, which is shining on the
churches of Chóra and the bays behind it.
The evening sun shines on Chóra and the bays.
(3h17) After another 17-18 minutes,
you arrive at the left of the upper chapel, where your trail joins the other
monopáti. You descend to the left of the museum and the second chapel, and you
arrive at the right of the lower chapel, where you get to the small concrete
road that comes from the theater.
(3h20) You descend across the rocky
slope and then on the steps to the left of the house. You reach the asphalt
road, which you follow straight. You descend alongside the upper mills, you
cross the road to Manganári and Agios Theodótis, and you continue in the
direction of the terrace near the three lower mills.
(3h27) You finally need another 5 minutes to descend through the old
quarter of Chóra until you reach the Mitrópoli.
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