This hike first leads to the very interesting excavations of the acropolis of
Skárkos; the path then continues through the beautiful interior of the
island of Ios. You arrive at Epáno Kámbos, where you first go to the chapel of Agios Ioánnis, then to that of Profítis Ilías – the view over there is really
Since 2011, the walk is well signposted with trail markers .
[Updated in May 2012 by Jean-Paul Ovigne
and George Roubaud
and by Raymond on April 28th, 2013.]
[The translation of this walk was made with the help of
Google translate - so, do not mind the mistakes...]
[Note first of all that in this walk, your goal is not the top of the high
Profitis Ilias (519 m), but the lower top
of the hill (210 m) which lies at the end of the valley of Gialós!]
It takes only 20 minutes to reach the site of Skárkos, then you follow most of
the time beautiful trails to Agios Ioánnis, which will cost you a little over 40
minutes (still in AWT). The walk up to the chapel of Profítis Ilías does not
need more than 10 minutes - the actual walking time for the way there thus amounts to a total of
approximately 1h10 (AWT). The way back takes about the same
time, that is to say 1h15.
The AWT thus amounts to a total of 2h25 – as for us, we walked from 11am to
4.30pm - a total time (TWT) of 5 hours and a half.
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
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 .
The hiking sign at
the beginning of walk .
(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
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 :
it goes to Agios Prokópios.]
The hiking sign at
the bifurcation of walks  and .
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
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
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 + ). 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
. 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
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
( 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
[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, but after 3 minutes, close to a wall with a large green gate, you do take
this time the path on the left, at the right side of an electricity pole – and
you don’t follow anymore the walk .
Soon, the trail veers to the left, and then it winds to the left again and to
the right, while you cross the bed of a small river. After another 5 minutes you
get to a small gravel road, between the houses of Apáno Kámbos.
(0h52) You follow the small road to
the right (red mark) and already after one minute you reach a wider gravel road,
where you take a left. After another 4-5 minutes, there is a bifurcation, and
you go left again. You are now facing the hill of the (low) Profítis Ilías, with
behind you the summit of the “real” Profítis Ilías (517 m).
[The main gravel road that continues straight ahead – your will follow it on
your way back -, surrounds the
hill of Profítis Ilías from the west and could be a quick and easy - but rather
monotonous – return to the bay of Gialós, situated not far from the harbour.]
(0h59) Pay attention now: soon enough, you
take a very stony path
that goes up to the right (a few red marks). Once in a while, this steep trail is
dotted with typical Greek rubbish, it passes next to a farm and
ends next to the simple chapel of Agios Ioánnis, which is closed.
The chapel of Agios Ioánnis.
(1h03) A gravel path continues winding between terraces: as soon as you
see the chapel of Profítis Ilías, you know what direction you must pursue.
There are some steep sections and you have to step over some walls, but you finally reach the chapel Profítis Ilías without major
[If you want to avoid the climb to Agios Ioánnis and the the quite indistinct
path, you can go straight at the point
(0h59) above: in this way, you also will reach the top of Profítis Ilías by
following the main gravel road.]
From above, you enjoy a wonderful view: you can see (from the left to the right)
the summit of the Profítis Ilías (the "true" summit, 519 m high), then Chóra,
the whole valley of Kámbos, the sharp top of the Chondrí (244 m) and the island
The place is ideal for picnic: there are two stone tables, benches and ... a
little shadow of the lonely tree.
The chapel of Profítis Ilías.
(1h08) To avoid the vague trails and
the difficult descent from Agios Ioánnis, we preferred to go back by the gravel
This road begins on the west side of the chapel, behind a low wall. After 2-3
minutes, you veer to the right, you describe a very long turn and you get in
this way after 9 minutes to a wider gravel road in the valley - you veer right
After a few minutes, you keep of course to the right and you thus continue on
the main road that goes around the entire hill. After a total of 18 minutes, you
reach the junction where you took a left earlier this day, in order to get to
the steep path that leads to Agios Ioánnis.
(1h26) You continue of course to the
left, but after 4-5 minutes, you take the side-road on the RIGHT (blue lines on
the little wall), towards a house. You pass to the left of the first house and
to the right of the second, and so you find the beautiful path that cuts
a wide bend of in the road. After 5 minutes, you get again to the same road,
where you RIGHT. In fact, you are back in Apáno Kámbos and from here, the route
is marked again by trail markers .
(1h37) About 3 minutes later, you
pass the path that is overgrown a little further, and 6 minutes later, just
before the road comes to a dead end near a small farm painted in white (with a
blue water tank on the roof), you see on the LEFT the beautiful path that you
will follow for many minutes (red lines). During the descent, you again can
enjoy that splendid view over Chóra.
The nice descend between the fields, with Chóra in
(1h46) A rocky path and steps lead
you in 7 minutes until the bridge you saw from afar. The next 3-4 minutes are
beautiful, because you continue along the river bed covered with oleanders. Your
path continues for another 6-7 minutes, always with the magnificent view over
(2h03) The nice pavement of the trail
begins just before reaching the site of Skárkos.
Another general view of Skárkos.
You climb for many minutes - behind you the chapel of Profítis Ilías is still visible!
(2h16) About 13 minutes after Skárkos,
you arrive on the concrete near the first houses of Chóra. You continue
straight, but after another 2 minutes, you reach a fork: to the left, you could
go to the mills, but you continue to the right and the center of Chóra. You
reach first the Platía Ioánnis G. Stinis, next to a small church. You go left
for a few moments, then you continue to the right, near the cafe, and you follow
the Odós Syndesmou Iïtoon. The main street goes down, first to the Platía Sp.
Valetas (with the café Ios Blue) and finally you arrive next to the main church.
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