The beach at Piso Gialia is a pretty, sandy bay with clear seas and intriguing rock formations. It's an accessible alternative to the Chora beaches, good for swimming or sunbathing. It's also a pleasant destination for a walk, even if you didn't want to spend time on the beach.
There is no road going directly to the beach, only steps. The hill behind it has some posh villas on it, but they aren't very intrusive, and out of season the bay feels very secluded and quiet. In season there is a small bar, with sunbeds and beach umbrellas. You might find a bit of shade from the cliff at some times of day, but there isn't a lot. When I was here in September 2011 it was significantly more sheltered from strong winds than the Chora beaches of Paraporti and Nimborio - presumably depends on the direction of the wind.
It takes 40 minutes to an hour to get here from the start of Nimborio beach. It's a reasonably energetic walk, as you go up the hill, then down into the valley and then up again. There's no shade.
Places to eat and drink
There's a taverna by the bridge in Gialia, and in season a beach bar at Piso Gialia.
1. The start of this walk is the same as for 'The church on the hill' - look at that for more detail. To summarise - you are aiming for Aghia Triada church, on the headland above Nimborio harbour. Walk along Nimborio beach until you reach the far corner. At the point where the asphalt road starts to go up hill, there’s a paved foot path on the right, which runs up the hill by the side of the Casa Del Mer bar. This path goes straight up the hill, crossing the road at a couple of points, eventually coming out on to the asphalt road near the top of the hill.
2. When you reach the asphalt road, turn right, and follow the road round, past the church of Aghia Triada, which is set back from the road on your right.
3. Continue past a run of recycling bins, and almost immediately the rocky footpath to Gialia goes down steeply on your right.
The top of the path is a little hard to see, and doesn’t look very convincing, with dollops of concrete and thorn bushes – but it gets better defined as
it goes on. It's steep and a little bit of a scramble, but only takes 5-10 minutes to get down. It comes out by a cluster of houses at the start of
This is a pleasant enough sand and pebble beach, although it is quite dominated by the road which runs right alongside it.
There is a taverna at the start of a big concrete bridge, crossing the river which empties out on to the beach.
4. It's worth taking the foot path up the side of the river for a few minutes, where you'll see big plane trees, and shady, calm pools of water with bulrushes and trees reflecting in them. You might also see ducks, turtles, jumping fish and kingfishers.
This path also takes you up to Stenies and Apikia, and is signposted at this point.
5. Continue along the road, which runs besides the beach for a bit, and then turns to the left and starts to go uphill.
After 5 to 10 minutes you’ll come to a skinny blue metal gate on your right, with some white steps leading up to a little church.
There’s a sign on the side of the gate saying ‘pros Aghia Foteinee’ (towards Aghia Foteinee).
6. Follow these steps up to the church, and cross the courtyard. Coming out of the left corner of the courtyard are steps going steeply down to Piso Gialia.
7. The steps come out on the bay, close to the beach bar. If you walk round to your left there's another little cove.
To get home you just retrace your steps.