The Bliss of the Greek Mediterranean Wonderland

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A walk from Limani to Valmas and back to Chora that provides a perfect introduction into the charms of Ios

Our first walk in Ios, and – of necessity – a short one. Such is the nature of the busy schedule that the municipality of Ios has prepared for us.

In the morning, we were chauffeured around the sights of the island (more of that in some later post), and we had to squeeze our walk in between a magnificent, home-cooking-style lunch in the Enigma restaurant right at the port (more of that later, too) and a visit to Dimitri’s tea and vegetable garden. We had met Dimitri the night before when we had diner in the restaurant he manages with his brother, and not only did he serve us some of his tea, he insisted we came to see his own plantation the next day.

It surely does not take long to make friends on Ios. (Whenever you sit with a local in an open air taverna or bar, within one hour you will have been introduced to half the island’s population. After a couple of days, you will be greeted by people in the street with whom you will already feel familiar. Stay for a week, and you will have met nearly everyone. Mind you, the island has only about 2000 permanent residents.)

So one hour and a half after lunch – the Greeks eat late, so it was already almost four when we finished – was all the time we had, and that was just right for our walk from the port of Ios (Limani) to the bay of Valmas and back to the Old Town (Chora).

"View of the port of Ios from the trail"

To follow us on our trail, here is what you do: Climb the stairs on the left hand side of the harbour …

"its churches are one of the charms of Ios"

… and make your way past St Irene church (through the gate) …

"St Irene church overlooking the port in Ios"

… to step over the wall where the trail continues a little higher on your left hand side.

Almost immediately, you will find yourself in some Greek-Mediterranean wonderland, with fields of wild flowers adding colourful dashes to the blue background of azure skies and the Aegean Sea.

"wild flowers along the trail in Ios"

Turn around the small cape and walk down when you have reached Valmas beach.

"Valmas beach in Ios"

Continue past the house on the beach and turn left into the dirt road which you climb until you reach the asphalt road.

Turn right here and continue for about 15 minutes – by now, you should already see Chora appear on the horizon. Continue in a right-ish direction to enter the town on the southern side.

To proceed to the town centre, make your way to the left.

For us, however, it was a to turn to the right in the direction of the Avanti Hotel, the perfectly located base for all our excursions on Ios.

"another church in Ios near Avanti Hotel"

We were just in time for our appointment and even had time for a brief rest.

And, by the way: Dimitri’s garden – where he and his brother produce all the herbs they use in their restaurant – was a true sight. We were certainly glad we had stepped it up a little during the last stages of our walk – that was something we would not have wanted to miss.

"Herb garden of Dimitri in Ios"


Follow our hikes and discoveries in Ios as guests of the Municipality of Ios (under the wings of the town Mayor Mr Michalis Petropoulos and Mrs Antzela Fakou) as we explore and enjoy the Cyclades Islands.

Get our free updates via email, or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter by watching out for the hashtags #LoveCYCLADES #LoveIOS.

14 comments to The Bliss of the Greek Mediterranean Wonderland

  • aaah all these posts about Greece make me want to go so badly.

  • You better get to the islands of the Cyclades, Jeff. You’d love it!

  • Okay, I really need to book a trip to Greece. This is the 3rd post I have seen and they just keep getting more enchanting each time!! Take me away!

  • What a gorgeous island. I have used the word a lot today, and I’ll use it again…magical! I’d love to eat some of the herbs from Dimitri’s garden.

  • Lovely photos! The Greek islands are so beautiful that I don’t think I could ever tire of looking at photos of them. Would love to visit again! Hope you’re having some down time to really enjoy the island!

  • Wow, three generations of hikers on Valmas. We loved the hike, too Ray. Though on that day, even in April, it was very hot. Thanks for dropping by!

  • Ray McCullough

    Thanks for that Marlys and Michael. Have made the walk to Valmas many times. Many years ago wheeled my daughter, Emma to there in her pram and last summer helped carry my grandson Ewan to the ‘house’ on the beach at the bottom of the dirt track. It’s actually, I think the best taverna on Ios to spend the day.

  • This looks like the idyllic Greece I have always pictured. These pictures and scenery are beautiful.I’m so glad you’re both enjoying yourselves and like Leigh, you’re making me jealous too of all the food and fun times :)

  • Our days in Ios will soon come to an end but despite the tight schedule, we enjoyed it tremendously, Leigh. One more island in the Cyclades to go, then off to Greece for a few days.

  • You’d love Ios, Cathy. And yes, it’s without doubt, the people here are very friendly and quite fun really.

  • I like that you call Ios a Mediterranean wonderland, because that’s exactly what it looks and sounds like to me. How nice to be among such friendly people, too.

  • You’re making me jealous. It looks like a magical place but I do always long for a little more down time when you’re on a trip like this. How many more fabulous days do you have in Greece?

  • And safe travels to you, too, Jackie and Joel. It was great meeting up in, of all places, Greece!

  • We should have joined you on this one – it looks lovely! Safe travels if our paths don’t cross again today or tomorrow.

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