Pédi to Agía Marína to Horió
Agía Marína island and monastery are situated just off the tip of the barren grey limestone peninsula which divides Pédi bay from Yialós bay. Facing them is a tiny artificial beach of the same name, which has a seasonal bar-restaurant that runs the sunbeds and umbrellas on the concrete platforms around it. Water-taxis offer day-trips to the beach, but it is very small, often crowded, and – to my mind -unattractive. The restaurant is just under30 minutes' walk from Pédi. From the beach, the onward path to Horió, through a desert mountainscape, takes about I hour to the easten outskirts of the village. Much of the path is stony to very stony underfoot.
The walk can be done in reverse, although locating the start of the path near Pontikókastro can be slightly difficult. It is marked with a mixture of red blobs and cairns, but other, stronger, false trails can mislead initially. There is less climbing in the reverse route, but the final descent to Agía Marína can be stony and uncomfortable.
From the Pédi kiosk, facing the bay and jetty, turn left (north) along the waterfront and follow the shore route past a taverna. Where the secondary road comes down to the bay, go right along the waterfront road. At the end of the area used for mooring boats, where the coastline swings around to the right, your narrow road swings a little into the left and goes uphill. About 8 minutes from the kiosk, the road swings left by a house and ends. Before it turns left, go straight ahead, by the red dots, on a fenced path corridor. This leads you between landscapes of grey barren rock.
About 15 minutes from the kiosk, at the top of the slope, the path runs around to the right of a group of enclosures with scattered fig-trees. Moments later, it swings over to the right, back towards the sea. Agios Nikólaos beach comes into view on the far side of the channel.
The path again climbs a little, and you enter another fenced corridor. The path runs down across a valley, with the fence on your right and grey limestone on your left. Cross a ridge of yet more grey stone, then come into view of Agía Marína beach and its little monastery island about 24 minutes from the kiosk. Continue, downhill beside the fence, then through the gate to the beach. The island is a short swim away, but be aware if so-minded that naturist sunbathers near the monastery have caused considerable offence to the locals.
When you are ready to leave the beach area, head through the gate at the far end of the beach enclosure. Go forwards, then around the right-hand end of a fence, before turning left and up. Follow the stony path steeply uphill to arrive at a level saddle between two areas of mountain, with a dramatic view ahead. For a moment there is no sign of any habitation whatsoever, despite the luxuries of Yialós being comparatively near.
Head onward and the sea-level Análypsis monastery comes into view, then the Diápori strait between Sými and Nímos island. Off to the right, on Nímos, is the Panagía Ypakoï monastery, to the right of which are the huge cliffs of Psilá Kremnária. Below you on the peninsula are old fields in a little plateau, but your path stays up on the hillside to the left. Cross the next outlier ridge about 17 minutes from the beach and there is just a little more vegetation among the stones up ahead. The path gains height gently between the rocks, then swings left into the top of a small but broadly flattened valley, where it climbs to the skyline.
The skyline when you reach it, is north of the peninsula's 249m (815ft) summit. Continue with the red-marked path, and the hills behind Yialós come into view. After the limestone desert, there is another fairly straightforward section running through an area of old terraces that slope down to the right. A short climb across another ridge then brings you, about 33 minutes from the beach, to a further view of the town. Descend a steep rocky hillside and then join a slightly
more level, though gradually ascending path. Climb to the ridge and the rough path goes to ak left of the rocky crest, before dropping a little. You reach a circular structure on the left Pontikókastro ("mouse castle"), possibly an ancient tumulus.
Go through the metal gate immediately beyond and into the slightly more luxuriant vegetation of the sheep-free zone. Pass some of the ruined windmills of Horió and join a concrete read at just under an hour from the beach.
This road descends to meet the bigger asphalt Yialós-Pédi road. Turning right here would make a very long loop down to Yialós harbour, but you go left. At the next junction, going back left and down with the asphalt is the quickest route back to Pédi, but – for Horió – you continue ahead along a narrow ridge road between more windmills.
Turn off left shortly afterwards, by the second windmill, to join a concrete path. This winds downhill to join a left-right path. Go right, and then 3rd left at a cross-streets to reach a small square just below. Take the exit road, far right, out of the square, going down then left to reach the main junction by the Horió (Village) Hotel. Immediately right of the hotel, then right again just beyond, goes to Horió square and the Kalí Stráta. Emerge by the Geórgios taverna. Left is the square; right and down leads to Yialós.
Pédi to Ágios Nikólaos beach
Ágios Nikólaos is a popular beach, with an eponymous monastery, shady tamarisk trees, sunbeds, beach umbrellas, and a taverna. Water-taxis run to and from Yialós, but the walk there from Pédi is comparatively short and takes about 20-25 minutes.
Starting from the Pédi kiosk, facing the sea and jetty, turn right along the waterfront. Pass the large Pédi Beach hotel on your right, followed on the same side by a taverna with a seafront extension. Pass a concrete street (the end of Walk 5) on your right, and enter the open area by the waterfront Kamáres taverna and cardphone, which is where the bus will drop you if you have come in from Horió or Yialós. Follow the shoreline route. This will bring you around the south side of the bay to the belled entrance gateway of the small church of Ágios Thomás. Go through the entrance, then left across a little causeway. Pass in front of a block of seafront houses and walk along the shore.
Go through a metal gate and follow a stony sea-level path past a bright terracotta-coloured building. After a few minutes, the initially concreted path starts to climb the hill slope. Later the route is rocky, but well marked with red paint blobs. Look back for a good view of Horió at the top of the Pédi valley. Ahead, the opening of Pédi Bay comes into view with the Turkısh mountains beyond. Agios Nikólaos bay itself then comes into view– gritty sand, tamarisk trees, sunbeds and umbrellas. A rocky descent leads you fairly quickly down to beach level, near the small jetty. The taverna here has food and refreshments.