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).
To follow us on our trail, here is what you do: Climb the stairs on the left hand side of the harbour …
… and make your way past St Irene church (through the gate) …
… 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.
Turn around the small cape and walk down when you have reached Valmas beach.
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.
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.