Fállika - Panachrántou and back

Evaluation: This hike is a variant of the long walk from Chora to the monastery of Panachrántou via Ménites and Messariá, or of the shorter walk to Panachrántou starting in Messariá.
This walk begins in Fállika and it is the shortest way to get to the monastery at the summit: it takes only one hour, indeed, while the walk from Messariá lasts 1h20. The second part - from the place where the path gets to the main trail that comes from Messariá - is well marked with a trail marker [1]. We give this hike an evaluation of ***.

Estimated time: From Fállika it will cost you only 15 minutes to arrive at the main path [1], the stunning climb to the monastery then takes three quarters of an hour. The actual walking time is a little less than one hour and for the descent we count approximately 50 minutes.
This actual walking time of 1h50 refers to a total hike of half a day: at about 10am we drove to Fállika and we were back down at about 2pm – this means thus a total walking time of 4 hours.
[Keep in mind that the monastery is closed from 1 to 5pm!]

Road description: [Fállika is only reachable by car, there is no bus: on the ring road of Messariá you take the turn to Aladinoú and Fállika. In passing, you can take a look at the beautiful bridge of Aladinoú - see the short walk around Aladinoú; further on, you take the side road to the left and then the first little road left to arrive down in the village of Fállika. You leave the car at the small parking lot, where the road comes to a dead end.]

(0h00) At the end of the parking lot there is a little paved street that continues, but already after 1 minute you take the stairs that descend to the left; a little further, you go sharply to the left again, on an older staircase. This beautiful staircase winds down and then
it keeps descending beautifully, between a wall and tall cypresses.

The nice stairs below Fállika.

(0h05) 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 below 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 (trail marker [1] and a signpost).

The hiking sign next to the crossing of the paths to Fállika and Messariá.

(0h16) You go right and a beautiful rocky path with steps leads you higher and higher: you keep going straight, following the marks [1].


The monopáti with in the background (to the left) the monastery, your goal.

 Sometimes you have a nice view of Chóra on the left; shortly thereafter you keep to the right and after 9 minutes you get to a clear crossing where you take a right as well [1]. A little later, you keep to the left - the path on the right goes the ruined village of Pétrias . The following climb is very beautiful again. After yet another 6 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!

(0h31) Beneath you, you notice the ruins of the deserted village of Petriás, to the left and nearby you see Fállika, 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 Chora to the far right!

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. 

This photo was taken in Spring - a lot of flowering broom...

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! (0h58)  

The courtyard 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 wooden 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.

View from the dome of the church. Chóra lies down under.

(0h58) 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].

(1h23) 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 should bring you back to Fállika.

[A little more than one minute further along the main trail, there is the obvious crossing between walls: the path straight ahead goes to Messariá - see the walk Chóra - Ménites - Messariá - Panachrántou and back -, while the path to the right leads to Livádia and Chóra (
[17a] and hiking sign Livádia 2,4 km / Chóra 4,5 km)
) - see the walk Chóra - Livádia - Petriás - Panachrántou and back.]

(1h36) Today, you take a LEFT, the trail is easy and flat; after 4 minutes you pass the chapel. You can now see the monastery high in front of you; you pass next to the house, and after another 5 minutes you get to the bridge, where you continue sharply to the right.

Note the well-maintained trail (with ditches to allow drainage) and of course the beautiful cypresses.
After 1-2 minutes you take the stairs up to the LEFT and 265 nice steps bring you to the first houses of Fállika. One more white staircase that climbs to the right and then finally the little paved street that leads you to the parking lot.


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