In and around Chóra

Evaluation: This is not really a hike, but rather a short introduction to Chóra and its surroundings. You walk up to the Panagía-church, where you have a marvellous view; you then walk through the kástro and over the pleasant little squares of Chóra, and for a short while you discover the trails to the north-west of the town – after this introduction you are ready to go ahead with the other hikes on this island. Obviously this hike gets an evaluation of ***.

Estimated time: You can stroll through Chóra as long as you want to, of course. To walk to Panagía takes 10 minutes and also the monopátia down to Chóra only takes about 10 minutes. 

Route description: On your arrival in Chóra and especially when this is your first time to visit the town, it is a good idea to first go to the edge of the bus square: over there you have a fantastic view on the rocks and on the deep sea. On the right, between the little monument and the school, there is a road leading up to the Panagía – it might be better to first climb up there, also to admire the panoramic view. A little higher up, near the cemetery, a concrete path meanders further up and after a lot of bends you reach the fairly modern church – after a climb of 10 minutes and 800 metres. 

The way  that meanders up to the Panagía.

Along the way you have a magnificent view on the staggering cliffs on which Chóra is built. Up there you can climb to the dome of the church, for an even better view. In this 19th-century-church there are still old fragments of pillars and there is also a statue which is converted into a clock tower.

Panoramic view over Chóra, from the Panagia-church.

You return via the same route and you then go into the actual village of Chóra. At the shaded little squares you can find plenty of nice restaurants and terraces, and the kástro is one of the most authentic spots of the entire Cyclades.

On this side of the first square you find the boat office Maraki and the ouzéri Folégandros. On the other side, between the old wells and the town hall, there are the beautiful terraces of Dounavis and Stamatis. Two little churches complete this beautiful whole. Immediately to the right, opposite the ouzéri, there is a narrow passage leading to the enclosed unity of the kástro. This kástro dates from the 13th century and it is actually composed of an ellipse-shaped street with houses with remarkable staircases on the outside (the same constructions can be found in the Kástro of Sífnos); in between these houses there are a couple of vaulted connections.

The picturesque central street of the kastro.

You walk back to the first square and from there you can go to the second, central square, I Piátsa. On this square you find a couple of truly beautiful churches and also the restaurants Piátsa and Melíssa.

Next to I Piatsa there is a third square, with the old facade of a ruined church and the restaurant O Kritikos in front of it.

Further on there is even a fourth square with the restaurant O Asygkrito, and a fifth square with the taverns Nikos and Araksovoli; this is also the neighbourhood with a lot of shops.

When you return to the first square, you can try out the beginning of one of the hikes. 

On the right-hand side of the town hall you can take the street that leads along the outside of the kástro; there is also a slope that makes up the second entrance to the kástro. After 50 metres, immediately past the bakery, the street continues straight ahead and it turns into a path that descends between the rocks.

The monopáti just outside Chóra.

You now walk on a beautiful old staircase, which goes down between the terraces. After some 3 minutes the staircase goes further down to the right – later on you will have to return to this spot to continue by keeping to the left. But first you can continue to go down a little further – behind you there is a magnificent view on the location of Chóra, with the Panagía above the town.

You then go back and you walk further away from Chóra on the broad, stony trail. Another 3 minutes later you do not take the vague trail off the right, but you continue in the direction of the houses in front of you, by going up slightly.

After 1 minute you get to a trail coming from the left: it is possible to go straight ahead here - and this is actually the route of the hike to Angáli (see for example the hike Chóra - Angáli - Chóra) - , but today you stick to your short introduction. You thus take a left and after some 10 minutes you arrive again at the first square, this time on the other side of the town hall.

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