In and around Chóra
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 ***.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.