Vakóni - Aladinoú - Fállika - Pétrias - Vrachnoú - Chóra

Evaluation: This is a recent hike, following some trails around Vrachnoú and Fállika, trails which a few years ago were often impassable because of the vegetation. There are some difficult sections, but in general, the trails and the views are great. In addition, the signaling with hiking signs and trail markers [18] is excellent. Deserves the maximum of ****.
This walk, which starts from Vakóni and continues through Aladinoú and Vrachnoú to Chóra, lasts approximately for 3 hours (AWT); the walk in the other direction requires as much time...
It is therefore unlikely that you will follow the walk in both directions - that is why we described this trip in two different hikes.
If you start from Vakóni, you can take the bus to the hamlet which lies just beyond Messariá - you will have to keep a good look-out in order to discover the hiking sign that announces the start of hike [18]...
[The translation of this walk was made with some help of Google translate - so, do not mind the mistakes...]

Estimated time: The stretch from Vakóni to Aladinoú, a walk that continues among many sources, lasts only a quarter of an hour, in actual walking time. It then takes 45 minutes (AWT) until Pétrias, where you cross the walk [1]. The long stretch to Vrachnoú requires about 1h15 and finally, it takes another 45 minutes to reach Chóra. The actual walking time thus amounts to 3 hours in total, but the total time (TWT) can rise up to the double – it will of course depends on the breaks for some rest and for picnic. We walked from 10.30am until 5.30pm, a TWT of 6 hours…

Route description
(0h00) Walk [18] starts along the road Chóra Batsí, between Messariá and Pitrofós, in the hamlet of Vakóni and not far from the church of Agia Triáda. There is a very visible sign.

The hiking sign at the beginning of walk [18].

You go down 95 steps painted in white, then you continue straight on a small concrete road [18] and you go down a little further on the concrete steps to the LEFT (sign and [18]) straight ahead, you could visit the source of Skadalórema...
You descend about 115 steps between the houses, and then you keep to the left until you reach a second source; to the left, you could walk to a third source and the church of Agia Triáda, but you descend to the RIGHT [18], in the direction of the Káto Vrýsi ("The source from below") [18]: so you go down 52 steps which are a bit overgrown, until that source. Later on, an old paved trail descends along an irrigation gutter and some water pipes; a narrow cemented path [18] then continues between and next to the houses and a concrete staircase descends to a small asphalt road, underneath the church of Agia Triáda - a clear sign + [18] points here to the right.

(0h10) You follow this road for a little more than one minute, then you descend the white steps to the right - some hiking signs show here the direction of another source, the Chamóvrysi (signs and [18]). You go down to the right, until you get next to a house and descend another 90 steps, down to the asphalt road. You go right and you thus arrive at the bridge of Aladinoú.

The bridge of Aladinoú.

The old bridge crosses the "Megálos Potamós" ("The Great River"), which has its source on the other side of the island, near the village of Zaganiáris. Downstream, there is thus also the famous bridge of Stichioméni, where the walk [1] that leads from Messariá to the monastery of Panachrántou, passes. The river flows into the sea near Chóra, on the beach of Parapórti.

The bridge of Aladinoú, from the edge of the water.

(0h16) You pass the bridge and you discover in front of you very visible signs (and an old road sign): by following the stairs up to the right, you could follow the little walk [18a] to the cave of Aladinoú, and possibly to the villages of Sasá and Kouréli - see the walk Aladinoú - Kouréli - Sasá - Aladinoú.
There is also a clear sign with the phone number of Mrs Kaladami, which could be your guide during the visit of the cave (693 969 68 35).

The old road sign and the new hiking signs for walk [18] in Aladinoú.

You go left on the small concrete road along the river, but you then climb the concrete staircase that goes up to the right, until it gets to a small concrete road: you go to the right for a few moments, then you follow the asphalt road to the left, but immediately you take the path on the right (2 X [18] on a small post). The beautiful rocky path climbs quickly between walls; after two sharp turns, the climb becomes even steeper you get a very nice view of the valley and you thus reach a nice bifurcation.

The nice path between Aladinoú and Fállika.

[It only takes a quarter of an hour to follow the beautiful path [1c] and a magnificent staircase in order to reach the bridge of Stichioméni, which is on the route of walk [1].]

(0h28) You continue to climb to the right [18]: this trail has been cleared recently, as it was impassable a few years ago! Sometimes it is dug in or it continues along a high wall, later on it has nice steps. After some concrete steps, you still get to the road, but the trail continues straight across [18]. About 3 minutes later, you keep to the left, you cross the asphalt road again and continue just opposite [18]. You arrive on concrete steps between the houses, you continue straight [18] on paved steps, then on many concrete steps again.

(0h43) After the culminating point ([18] on a pole), you go down for a short while until near the church; you go up a little bit [18], then you begin a long descent.
This beautiful staircase winds down and then it keeps descending beautifully, between a wall and tall cypresses.

The nice staircase underneath Fállika.

(0h48) After about 5 minutes you arrive at a nearly flat side-path where you take a RIGHT. This beautiful and clear path turns sharply to the left after two minutes; it crosses a small bridge and then it proceeds to the left under a beautiful row of cypresses.

The green valley underneath Fállika.

High left behind you, you see the church of Fállika and much higher also the monastery. You pass a house, further on also a newly cleaned gutter and then you walk to the left of a small chapel that is open.
The monopáti continues slightly rising and after another 5 minutes it reaches the main trail that leads from Messariá to the monastery.
Here you find yourselves between the ruins of the abandoned village of Pétrias.

(0h59) You follow the main trail for a short time to the left ([1] and [18]), but soon, in a sharp bend, you go to the RIGHT again [18] and you leave the route of walk [1]. After some nice minutes, you descend into a small valley with a little water; you go up on steps and you continue under overhanging rocks [18].

A nice stretch under overhanging rocks, just past Pétrias.

(1h06) A little further on, you keep to the left [18]: at first, you go up, then you continue for quite some time more or less flat, next to numerous water pipes and sometimes along a high wall. You then begin a steep climb, and after again an easy stretch, you get to a ruin, where you have to climb to the RIGHT, pay attention [18]. You thus arrive alongside some other ruins and later too, when you keep to the left at a bifurcation [18], you still pass some ruins. You now follow a beautiful shaded path and so you reach the chapel of Agios Rafaël. This is perhaps the moment to take some rest, as the continuation will be difficult...

The path is sometimes shaded...

(1h21) You start indeed a very long and steep descent, sometimes on loose stones, on rocks, on a subsidence. After 6 difficult and cautious minutes, you reach a rocky river bed, where you go up  again [18] - not for long, because after a short flat stretch, you still descend to cross a second bed, which is more or less at the end of the deep valley you will discover now on your left.
You still pass under overhanging rocks - notice the small stable that is really embedded in the rocks - and further, there is an obstruction made of branches.

Under the overhanging rocks...

(1h31) You continue without problems ([18] on a wall) on a nice trail between walls - you are already seeing the two chapels, a little to the left, toward which your path will slowly veer. The next part is very nice and easy, with at the end a splendid wall, topped with stones piled vertically.

A splendid wall!

You go up a bit and at the top, you keep to the left [18]  - now, you will go down straight to the chapel of Agia Triáda. You pass on the right side of another, smaller chapel, and while descending, you veer to the right and so you get to a small gravel road, 60-70 meters to the right of Agia Triáda.

(1h42) You follow this road to the right ([18] on a small post), but at the lowest point, you take the "path" that goes up to the right ([18] on a small post and on the corner of a wall): it will be a hard and steep climb, passing on rocks and on a rocky slope, until you arrive after 6 minutes to the left of a row of cypress trees. It takes a bit of climbing to cross some rocky ledges, and then you go up again. It  is only after another 6 minutes that the climb becomes easier - you already enjoy a splendid view of the valley, with all those cypresses around Livádia once arrived almost at the top, you keep of course to the left [18].

(1h54) A little further, you keep to the right and right away, you still go up to the right! You keep climbing and after 3-4 minutes you reach a spot, from where the view is amazing. A little later, you go to the right under overhanging rocks, and the climb becomes steeper again [18] - a last effort.
You zigzag right and left, then you descend into one last side valley, following a shady forest path: in the bed, you turn left on a huge flat stone [18].
You now will follow most of the time a beautiful forest trail that continues flat on a thick carpet of leaves - and you enjoy a very nice view of Chóra and Vrachnoú.

A real forest path...

Panoramic view on Vrachnoú and Chóra...

After beautiful minutes, you pass underneath some nice oaks; you come to the left of a water tank and you go down on concrete steps, while first you keep to the right [18] and further to the left (sign + [18]). Finally, you follow a lane to the right of the houses; near a bifurcation, you could go left towards the church and a source (signs), but you have to take a right [18]. You still go down many concrete steps and you thus reach the parking lot and at the beginning of the asphalt road.

(2h17) You follow the road for 3 minutes, but near the corner of a wall, you turn left ([18] on a small post): you find here on the right a beautiful trail that descends slowly next to a wall - again with a splendid view of the Livádia cypress forest.
You veer right towards Chóra, the trail alternates with a nice staircase and goes down - always with that beautiful view until you arrive next to a chapel and get to the asphalt road.

The path that descends from Vrachnoú to Parapórti.

You continue your descent on the opposite side ([18] on a small post): after a few minutes, you keep of course to the right [18], you still go down and after another 110 concrete steps, you arrive in the valley.

The view on Chóra.

(2h36) Here you come between walls and next to cypresses: you veer right and left, and then you continue straight ahead - for some moments, your passage is blocked by reeds. Finally, you veer to the right and you get to a small cemented road next to a lot of garden machines (hiking sign) – this is the official end of walk [18].

(2h40) You follow the road to the  right and, soon enough, you get to a larger concrete road, next to an old bridge; you follow the road to the right, until you discover, to the right of the Parapórti tavern, the start of the walk [3].

(2h45) You continue straight ahead, past the sports fields, towards
the beach of Parapórti. You walk to the left along the beach, you cross the estuary of the small river and you go up the steps to the square of Kaïri. By going left it will only take you a short while to reach the church... (2h59) 

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