Chóra - Livádia - Petriás - Moní Panachrántou and back

Evaluation: If one wants to walk up to the monastery of Panachrántou, one follows mostly the route [1] which describes a wide curve via Ménites and Messariá - but this hike [1] requires in actual walking time not less than 3h30, and this only for the way out. This hike will follow an alternative path from Livádia until the route of the trail [1] near Petriás, and is much shorter - but it is also very nice. At first it runs through the green valley below Livádia, then there is a nice climb until you arrive next to Petriás and finally it follows the well-known route [1] up to the monastery. Deserves ***. There is a good signposting with [17], [17a] and [1].
[9th of May 2016.]
[The translation of this walk was made with some help of Google translate - so, please, do not mind the mistakes...]

Estimated time: The way out requires, in actual walking time, 1h10 until the route of hike [1] and then another 40 minutes to get to the monastery. The return takes a little less time, about 1h45, and this always in AWT.
The actual walking time thus amounts to a total of 3h35, but the total time (TWT) can easily amount to the double, if one takes into account a long visit to the monastery and some breaks.

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, but BEFORE you reach the second parking lot you should go right and follow a beautiful trail (hiking sign "Livádia circular route 5.5 km + [17]). You follow this path always straight and so you pass underneath the theater - and the alley with the beautiful pavement again arrives between the houses. [17]. The pavement becomes concrete, you climb some steps and you continue in this way above the green valley. The concrete becomes a nice pavement again and finally, you get to the bend of a concrete road, where you go RIGHT [17].

(0h10) After a little less than 2 minutes, you keep to the left [17], you are continuing between nice houses - the lane continues straight between high walls and then becomes a dirt path along a beautiful row of cypresses. You veer to the left, you pass through a gate in reinforcing steel [17] and you continue next to a large meadow on a grassy path - you hear from time to time water lapping.

(0h19) You arrive near a small building, where you veer left and right; you still meander right along the same large meadow, then left again [17] - in the wall, you see an inscription from 1874, again about K. Empiríkos. The pavement of the trail is now really beautiful, it continues between walls.

The nice path [17] to Livádi.

(0h23) You arrive in front of the gate of a large house with a beautiful garden: you go left, between the house and a wall [17], and then you cross the valley by following a path that continues straight. You still pass next to a meadow surrounded by walls - remember that the  name "Livádia" means "meadows" ...
You veer to the right, the old paved path now runs along a small river and reaches a splendid spot, near the old bridge of Livádia, between rows of cypresses.

An old bridge in Livádia.

You descend some steps, then you go left to cross the water on stepping stones. On the other side, you follow the small concrete road to the right [17]. It continues in the valley between two rows of huge cypresses - and you thus get to the asphalt road.

(0h29) Over here, you cross the bridge to the right [17] - Livádia lies on the left -, but you then continue diagonally to the left on a small concrete road that starts between a paved road and a marble yard (hiking sign [17] and [17a] Mon. Panachrántou 4.2 km).
You still follow the course of the river, you cross the concrete bridge to the left and you reach, on the other side, the bifurcation of hikes [17] and [17a]: hike [17] continues straight while your hike [17a] continues to the right (sign [17] 400 m Káto Chorió / [17a] Mon. Panachrántou 3,9 km).

(0h32) So you are following the road to the left of the river; after 5 minutes, this road crosses the water and you continue to the right of the river bed; the asphalt becomes gravel, you still cross the water on stepping stones, and again a few minutes later – so you continue to the right of the river.

(0h43) Pay attention: a little later, when the road goes left to cross the water, you continue straight on a path that was recently mowed (no signposting yet!). You arrive again next to the water and you see sea turtles on some big rocks - a beautiful spot with water lapping! A little further, you follow the road again, while you keep to the right; you come to a clearing where you still keep to the right, the road becomes a trail along the reeds, and, next to a plane tree, you cross the water to the left (picket [17a]).

(0h48) It is here that begins an old staircase between walls [17a]; above, you continue on a beautiful trail that runs almost flatly between walls, a "stení".


An old staircase and another nice path!

Some 4 minutes later, you cross a small dry river bed, you go left for a while, then right [17a] and you see in front of you a nice staircase [17a]. At first, it climbs in the shadow, then it continues on many old steps on a more open terrain. You zigzag ever higher and higher and the view behind you becomes also more and more panoramic - Chóra lies to the far right, right in front of you you see the line of the houses of Messariá with the Kaïri tower, and you also distinguish the bends of path [1] that descends from Messariá to the (still invisible) bridge of Stichioméni.

(1h07) After a long climb of 15 minutes, you reach the crest of the hill on which trail [1] goes up too. You still continue on a flat path for 3 minutes - the monastery and Fállika appear in front of you - and so you get to path [1] (hiking sign Panachrántou 1,8 km / Petriás 420 m - even Aladinoú via hike [18] and Zagorá via hike [7] are mentioned ...).

(1h10) You take a left [1], at first you continue flatly or on a gentle slope - 2 minutes later, you pass on the right side the lower path, a little overgrown, that leads to Fállika. You continue straight ahead [1] and the climb starts again, on a splendid staircase with rocky steps.


The monopáti with, still far away, our goal, the monastery.

(1h20) After 10 minutes, you get to the route of hike [18], which comes from the left from Vrachnoú (hiking sign Vrachnoú 3,2 km / Livádia 4,7 km). You continue up to the right ([18] and [1] + hiking sign), but soon you reach the junction where the path on the right goes the ruined village of Pétrias and where walk [18] takes a right too – see the hike Chóra – Vrachnoú – Petriás – Fállika – Aladinoú - Vakóni. You go up to the left and the following climb is very nice again. After yet another 4-5 minutes, in one of the many curves, you can stop for some moments to enjoy the marvelous view; there is an obvious trail marker [1] on a beautiful, upright stone.


A nice spot to have some rest, with a good view on the ruins of Petriás.

Beneath you, you notice the ruins of the deserted village of Petriás, to the left and nearby you see Fállika, on the plateau nearby you distinguish the obvious bifurcation of hikes [1] and [17a], from where you come, and far away, across the wide valley, you can see Pitrofós and its church, high up and to the left; a bit lower there is the village of Aladinoú, then Menites among the many cypresses; more to the right you notice the row of houses of Messariá (with the blue dome and the residential tower of Kaïri), further on there are the villages of Lámyra and Ypsilou, with Chóra to the far right!

(1h26) You continue your climb for nearly half an hour – the monopáti is exceptionally beautiful; sometimes you walk amidst the yellow broom (in spring), usually straight towards the monastery. After 16 minutes there is a turn to the left, and then to the right [1] and then you continue straight up again, often with a beautiful view of the monastery.

The yellow broom in Spring...

After one last turn to the left and to the right you arrive at the new asphalt road - it used to be a gravel road and now there is also a large parking lot.
You follow the road on the left of the wall of the monastery, and you see the entrance with the modern white arch on your right. You descend the stairs and you reach the beautiful terrace with two magnificent plane trees. An ideal picnic spot! (1h52)

The inner yard of the monastery.

The Iera Moni Panachrántou - sometimes also called Agios Panteleimonas – is located at an altitude of 500 m; one of the 6 monks who live there receives you with fresh water and loukoúm and shows you around. He says that the monastery dates from the 10th century, but the oldest historical evidence goes only back to the 16th century. In the church you can see a beautiful icon and a beautiful wooden ikonostási, dating from the 18th century. In the courtyards there is flowing water from the wells and also the large dining room and the old kitchen are very interesting. Unfortunately, the rich library is not accessible.

The beautiful ikonostási in the monastery of Panachrántou.

When walking around, you definitely have to climb to the very top: the view on top of the terraces is really beautiful.

The dome of the church, with, deep and far, Chóra.

(1h52) For the return route you take a left sharply, beyond the entry arch, in order to follow the asphalt road along the side and the back of the monastery. In the curve of the road, with a well on the right, the path continues straight on, under the trees (hiking piquet [1] and an old sign Fállika 45’ / Messariá 1h25)
From now on the way back is quite obvious thanks also to the good signposting [1] – the gravel road to the left is new and descends to Fállika.
You first go down 480 unequal, sometimes small steps, until the first viewpoint, and then you follow 6 beautiful curves with 85 steps – until you reach the most beautiful viewpoint, with the upright stone with the trail marker [1].

The viewpoint with the beautiful panoramic view of Fállika.

(2h17) After another 135 steps you arrive at the first side path on the left, which leads to the ruins of the deserted village of Pétrias – hike [18] also starts to the left here, to Fállika and Aladinoú (hiking sign). Of course you continue straight ahead – your path [1] thus follows for a few moments the route of hike [18] –, but
after only 10 steps there is a small path to the right – walk [18] continues here to the right, to Vrachnoú and Chóra (hiking sign). You make here a sharp turn to the left (dots and
  [1]) and you now follow a rather long stretch with 225 steps which brings you to the overgrown side path off the left that also leads to Fállika.

(2h30) About 2 minutes later, you get to the obvious bifurcation between walls: the main path [1] straight ahead goes to Messariá - see the walk Chóra - Ménites - Messariá - Panachrántou and back -, while you should take a right here ([17a] and hiking sign Livádia 2,4 km / Chóra 4,5 km).

The hiking sign at the bifurcation of paths [1] and [17a].

The first 3 minutes, you follow a beautiful trail between walls, then you reach the edge of the plateau where you descend to the right on a staircase that goes zigzagging down for 11 minutes, with some 460 uneven and sometimes very small steps.

The splendid path back to Livádia.

While descending you see on the left and in front of you, on the other slope, the trail [1] going up from Stichioméni bridge to Messariá. After a beautiful descent on this old rocky stairs, you arrive down and you go right to cross the small bed [17a].

(2h44) You go up a little, then there is a nice end flat end between the walls, after which you descend to the left to the brook.


A splendid stretch between nice walls...

(2h49) You cross the water on stepping stones and you continue to the right on the other side (piquet [17a]). The grassy path quickly becomes a dirt road that you follow a little less than 4 minutes down to the water: you remain to the LEFT water - you continue a little more than a minute, until you get again to the road.

(2h56) You keep to right at a junction and you still cross the water on stepping stones; a few minutes later, you still cross the river to the left and you arrive on the asphalt. Shortly after you cross the river for the last time and you follow the road for another 7 minutes.

(3h06) Where trail [17] arrives from the right (hiking sign), you pass the concrete bridge to the left and you go right [17] to follow the water. You continue in this way straight until you get to the main road: you go right to cross the bridge, but you immediately turn left on a small concrete road along the river ([17] and road sign to Parapórti).

Cypresses, magnificent plane trees and other trees provide shade; after 16 nice minutes, the road veers to the right (small sign [18] and [3]), while you turn left [17] crossing the wooden bridge of Baxédes.

The wooden bridge of Baxédes.

(3h25) The concrete path becomes paved and  after another 2 minutes, you take of course a right [17] and you follow the road straight for another 7 minutes - and so you arrive in Chóra, between the 2 parking lots. You go up obliquely to the left, but at the top of the upper parking, you keep to the right, then you go left towards the beginning of the pedestrian street. Here, you take a right and so you get first to the big square and then to the church. (3h36)



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