Chóra - Maráthi - Ftélia - Ano Merá

Evaluation: This walks leads from Chóra to Ano Merá, the ancient capital of the island, while following some paved roads and a few trails. Deserves **.
The translation of this walk was made with some help of Google translate - so, do not mind the mistakes...]

Estimated time
: The actual walking time (AWT) for walking to the beach of Ftélia is about 1h50, and then it takes 40 minutes to reach Ano Merá. The actual time thus amounts to a total of 2h20 - we walked a little more than four hours (total time), from 10.00am to 2.15pm...

Route description
: (0h00) You can already see the Bóni mill from the square with the taxis, so you take the stairs towards the mill, which goes up between the restaurants located at the rear of the place. While keeping a little to the left, you ascend a beautiful old staircase, which eventually reaches the asphalt road, near a chapel with a red roof - a little to the right stands the Bóni mill, where the Museum of Agriculture is located. You enjoy a beautiful view of Chóra.

The Bóni mill.

Panoramic view from next to the Bóni mill.

(0h06) After your visit of the mill, you should retrace your steps for a while, in order to take the staircase in front of the chapel: it rises between old and new houses. You keep to the left, the steps become concrete and so you get to the upper road, next to the Shell petrol station.

(0h12) You go to the left, and continue straight on at the roundabout (direction Ftélia and Ano Merá). You should now follow this broad road for 10 minutes.

(0h22) A little beyond the Hondos Center, you take a small road to the LEFT (sign to Agios Aléxandros). Two 2 minutes later, there is a junction where you keep to the right; the little road veers left, but near the next junction, you again keep to the right - and you still continue between the houses. You descend into the interior of the island and close to a heavy wall that surrounds a beautiful house, you keep to the left. But at the angle of a wall, you do NOT go left, but you continue straight on a vague "path" strewn with construction waste.

(0h37) The trail becomes better, you go left at a bifurcation and you continue pleasantly for another 3 minutes – but then there is again a concrete road near other brand new houses - on the left, you see everywhere new constructions! You continue on the concrete road towards the lake you already are seeing. You veer left and you get to a crossroad: in front there is a useless path, you thus turn right. You continue straight on a winding road, but about 10 meters before reaching another crossroad, you can finally take a grassy path that begins on the LEFT side, between a wall and utility poles.

(0h44) You follow this rather nice trail for 3 minutes - there are flowers, but also a lot of plastic, and you again arrive on concrete, next to new houses.

Finally, there is a short stretch of a trail...

(0h50) You get in this way to the asphalt road that you follow to the right; after 4-5 minutes, you arrive at a crossroads next to the chapel of Agios Panteleímonas. You turn right here, but after 400 meters or 5 minutes, you go left, right to the artificial lake: here you discover another aspect of Mýkonos, with a landscape spoiled by trash, old and new buildings, concrete pipes, old trucks, etc.

A lot of trash, the ugly aspect of Mýkonos...

(1h06) You thus arrive next to the storage lake of Maráthi and you follow the gravel road to the right: it follows in wide turns the shore of the artificial lake, and this for about 1 km.
After 14 minutes, you take the small side road up to the right, just before some new houses with further a chapel with a red roof. But already after 20-30 meters, you find in a bend a wide trail that starts on the left between walls, straight to the beach of Ftélia. This trail is sometimes so overgrown with grass (spring 2013), that you are obliged to continue to the right of the trail, on the terraces. You describe a few turns left and right and you pass an old and a new well.

(1h31) After a little more than 11 minutes, you arrive between a small square building and a chapel with a red roof: here there is a narrow trail that continues straight, but we prefer to keep to the RIGHT along the chapel, in order to follow a gravel road which becomes further concrete. You may not take a left too fast, but only after 4-5 minutes, where the concrete becomes gravel, you should take the trail that starts on the left between walls.

(1h35) Now you can finally follow a grassy and nice monopáti for 8 minutes.

A nice trail ... for 8 minutes!

Halfway, you pass through a gate in reinforcing steel, and towards the end, you pass through two other gates, the second of which is very difficult to open. You veer left and you get to a small asphalt road, which you follow to the left of course. The road becomes sandy, and after 2 minutes, there is a junction where you keep to the LEFT (to the right, a sign indicates the beach bar Alemagou).

(1h50) You reach the beach that is dirty and not very appealing - maybe it will be better in summer?

The beach of Ftélia.

You follow the beach to the right for 3-4 minutes, until you come to a small rocky cape: here you take the sandy road to the right, which winds through piles of sand, sometimes strewn with rubbish - and you continue towards the beginning of the paved road.
You follow this road uphill for a few minutes, then you get in a right turn.

(2h05) Fortunately, you can take a small gravel road on the left – it passes a few houses and a chapel. Just past the last house, you take the wide path that goes up between walls, in front of you.
This steep trail gets after 5 minutes again to the asphalt road and so you continue up to Ano Merá.

Just beyond the war memorial, you should take the street diagonally to the right: it leads up to the famous monastery of Tourlianí, with the big platía to the right. (2h18)

The monastery of Panagía Tourlianí is located along one of the long sides of the square. At first sight this monastery looks rather insignificant, hidden behind a heavy outer wall. But behind the wall and the fortified gate you find an elegant church dating from 1767. In that year the church was rebuilt after the destruction of an earlier monastery from the 16th century.

The fortified wall of the Tourlianí-monastery.

Inside, the monastery contains a lot of cells and it is much bigger than expected; also the elegant campanile, built with marble from Tínos, is remarkable.

The bell tower of the Panagía Tourlianí.

The richly decorated and baroque ikonostási is striking as well – it is made by craftsmen from Florence and it dates from the year 1775.

The beautiful ikonostási in the monastery of Tourliani.

[In April 2013, there were buses back to Chóra a little after 1pm and 5pm.]


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