Chóra - Vrachnoú - Pétrias - Fállika - Aladinoú - Vakóni

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 ****.
The walk in the sense Chóra - Aladinoú - Vakóni, takes about 3 hours (AWT), so it is unlikely that you will follow the way back to Chóra (see the hike Vakóni - Aladinoú - Fállika - Pétrias - Vrachnoú - Chóra)... A good solution is to take the bus in Vakóni, to return to Chóra so, you should ask for the bus schedules of the line Gávrio - Batsí - Chóra!
Another possibility is to retrace your steps, for example in Pétrias, or to continue from there on the walk [1], which returns to Messariá and then to Chóra this possibility will ask 2h07 in AWT, pretty about the same time as if you retrace your steps from Pétrias...
[The translation of this walk was made with some help of Google translate - so, do not mind the mistakes...]

Estimated time: The walk up to Vrachnoú takes about 45 minutes, in actual walking time; then you will need 1h15 until Pétrias where you cross the hike [1]. Finally, the AWT is 40 minutes until the bridge of Aladinoú and a little less than 20 minutes until the asphalt road in Vakóni. The actual walking time thus amounts to a total of almost 3 hours - 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) For all hikes leaving from Chóra you have to depart from the main street near the large church of the Panagía tis Kímisis – which is visible from all over this town (for more details you might have a look at the description of the small hike in Chóra itself). Today you should follow the main street to the right (facing the church) and soon you arrive at the big square of Vas. Goulandris, where you find an information sign of Andros Routes. You keep following the pedestrian street (little signs [1], [2], [3], [8a], [17] and [18]!). At the end of this street, after 70 meters, you keep to the left and continue obliquely to the right, in the direction of the parking lots (signs [3], [17] and [18]). You follow the concrete street on the left side of the parking lot and you keep to the left next to the second parking lot – where walk [17] goes right.

(0h07) You arrive at the bridge over the Megálos Potamós: you cross it to the right and continue to the right ([3] and [18]. A little later, next to the old bridge (now useless), you take a RIGHT on a small concrete road [18]. After another 2 minutes, you go left on a small road where you see a lot of garden machines (to the left, there is an advertisement for Yamaha...) - and you discover a big hiking sign and a trail marker, announcing the walk [18].

The rather impressive hiking sign for hike [18].

(0h19) A minute later, you have to make your way through the reeds, then you are continuing between 2 walls: after a straight stretch, you veer to the right - and on the left side you see the beginning of a staircase. You climb the 110 concrete steps [18] and then you follow a very nice trail that was cleared recently, with from time to time old steps. After 5-6 minutes, you go up to the left [18] and climb some 120 old steps - behind you, you can enjoy a magnificent view of Chóra.

The view behind you over Chóra.

(0h31) You thus get to the asphalt road that leads to Sineti ([18] on a small post) and just opposite, you go up the concrete stairs painted in white [18] and leading to a chapel, where another staircase starts to the right. After some 40 steps, you continue on a rocky trail or on old stairs. The trail starts to zigzag and while you veer slightly to the left, Chóra disappears behind you and Vrachnoú appears. Just next to a house, you veer left and you get to the asphalt road, where you take a right [18]. After 3 minutes, you arrive at the parking lot of Vrachnoú - again, you have a beautiful view here!

(0h44) You continue straight ([18] on a pole), and in the village you climb the many concrete steps. You arrive at a junction where a street leads on the right to Agios Dimítrios and an old source: you continue diagonally to the left ([18] on a pole). A paved street takes you out of the village and after some concrete steps, you still reach a junction: a nice hiking sign (Pétrias 3.2 km) + [18] send you to the right.

(0h50) A little further, a staircase goes up to the left [18], you pass a cistern and you continue on a beautiful trail between walls and under trees. It runs flat and then gently down on a carpet of leaves, sometimes with great views through the trees and the bushes on the valley, and on Vrachnoú and  Chóra.

View on Vrachnoú and Chóra...

You always continue straight ahead [18], a really beautiful stretch; after these nice minutes, you pass through the rocky bed of a small side valley, where you veer to the right [18].

(1h00) The views remain wonderful, you go up and down a little, then you take a sharp left [18] and continue as on a balcony. But then you descend suddenly to the right on a very steep slope, and you continue to the left on a flat trail [18]. Later on, you go down until you arrive underneath some beautiful oaks, you veer left again and after a flat stretch, you still go down quickly, sometimes between nice walls and you arrive next to a row of beautiful cypress.
(1h13) You now get for some moments to a difficult stretch, then you still go down to the right [18]: it becomes a steep descent on a rocky and difficult path, but suddenly you get to a small dirt road, where you go left ([18 ] on a small post).

(1h19) A few minutes later and 60-70 meters before reaching the chapel of Agia Triáda, the trail continues diagonally to the left [18]: the beautiful climb will sometimes be very rocky and will last for 5 minutes. You pass another chapel, and once arrived at the top, you keep to the to right, with the wall [18]. You go down a little in the direction of a side valley, but fortunately you veer to the left in order to continue around the valley - the walls are really beautiful, topped with stones piled vertically - an admirable stretch with a deep ravine on your right side.

The trail between Vrachnoú and Pétrias.

You go up and arrive in front of a pile of branches, underneath a Mediterranean maple - but the trail continues...

(1h31) You pass the obstacle [18] - notice the taffoni on the left! - and as you continue below the rocks, you get to the spot where the side valley ends more or less: this spot seems mysterious and you veer right, between the rocks and under the trees.

A nice, rather mysterious spot...

After a flat end, you still go down a bit to cross the rocky bed of the side valley - but you then begin a difficult climb [18] that will be extremely steep: after 2 minutes, you should step over a low wall to the left, then the climb becomes really hard,  passing over loose stones and a kind of subsidence, until you arrive at the top, to the left of the chapel of Agios Rafaël.

(1h41) The trail becomes nice again and rises gently, sometimes next to ruins. You reach the top and discover Fállika and the monastery in front of you, again with to the right a beautiful view of the valley. Near a bifurcation, you keep to the right [18]: the trail continues flat at first, but you then descend among the ruins - you alternately proceed flat or on a gentle slope, with the monastery right in front of you and next to several water pipes.

(1h57) You arrive next to overhanging rocks, then go down again - for a few moments on a beautiful staircase - and you cross a valley with a little water.

A nice staircase, not so far from Pétrias.

You go up on a shaded path, and after another 2 minutes, you finally get to the main path of walk [1]. For some moments, walks [1] and [18] continue together to the left, but then you reach a crossroads, where the path [1] continues its climb to the monastery - see among others the hike Chóra - Ménites - Panachrántou or Messariá - Panachrántou.
In the neighbourhood lies the abandoned village of Pétrias...

(2h03) You take a right here ([18] to the right on the wall)
and go up a few steps; you get to a grassy path (in Spring) that ascends slowly, but after 8-9 minutes, you begin to go down again and to veer to the right in direction of Fállika.
You cross a brook, you go up a little, then you veer again to the right and cross some water. Later on, you cross a nice little bridge that spans a narrow crevice with murmuring water. A concrete path and a staircase [18] bring you near the first houses of Fállika and you ascend some steps to the first height. You go down again until you arrive next to the church, then you go up on some 30 steps until you get to the highest point ([18] on a pole).

(2h16) You go down and from now on, the descent will be long [18], first on 75 concrete steps, then on almost 170 paved steps. You pass two fountains, and after another 40 concrete steps, you leave the village on a trail. You cross for the first time the asphalt road and continue your descent straight across [18], on a rocky trail or on steps. You cross the road again and continue your descent [18], first on steps or on a rocky path, later on a path that has was cleared recently - it will cost some effort to maintain this path!

(2h31) You thus reach a junction, where the right path leads to the bridge of Stichioméni (hiking sign and trail marker [1c]).

[You will need not even a quarter of an hour to follow a beautiful trail and a magnificent staircase, to arrive near the bridge; it is also on the route of the hike [1], and so you could go to Messariá.]

For now, you take a LEFT [18]: the trail is initially steep, sometimes with uneven steps, but after two sharp turns, the descent becomes slower, always with a beautiful view of the valley with cypresses. Finally, the rocky path still gets to the asphalt road.

(2h39) You go left for a very few moments, then you turn right on a concrete road, but immediately, you go down the stairs on the left side (2 X [18] on a small post): after 140 steps you arrive next to the river and you thus reach the bridge of Aladinoú.
On the left, you see the hiking signs that mark the walks that pass here: on the staircase to the left, 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.

The old sign ant the recent hiking signs for the walk [18] in Aladinoú.

At the other side of the bridge, the walk [18] continues to the hamlet of Vakóni, located on the asphalt road between Messariá and Pitrofós.

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 spot is very picturesque - do not forget to go down, until under the bridge.

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

(2h42) So you go over the bridge and after 2 minutes, you go up the white staircase on the left, next to a large gate (hiking sign "Vakóni" and [18]). After some 150 steps, you come next to some houses (2 X [18]) and get to a small asphalt road: the hiking sign to the right show the road to the source of Chamóvrysi, to the left to Vakóni.

[A short detour of 200 meters following first the asphalt road, then a small path next to some houses, can lead you to the restored source (dates 1896 and 1902).]

(2h48) You go left and you so you arrive underneath the church of Agia Triáda: here, do NOT go down to the left, but you better go up to the right, towards the church and two sources. You then continue (sign "Vakóni" and [18]) and after 115 steps [18], you get to a small concrete road (sign). There is still a source on the left, you turn right [18] and after following a small road and 95 steps, you finally get to the asphalt road. (2h58)

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