Messariá - Ménites - Lámira - Chóra

Evaluation: This hike is a variant of the hikes from Chóra to Ménites, but it leaves from Messariá, which turns it into a fairly short one. Also this hike combines two aspects: you discover one of the most watery areas of the island with the marvellous valley of Ménites, and you have a great view on the large valley above Chóra. All the way back you get beautiful panoramic views on this little town. This hike gets an evaluation of ***.

Estimated time: The hike from Messariá to Ménites takes only 25 minutes in actual walking time (AWT); from there to Lámira you will walk for about 35 minutes and the way back to Chóra takes another 50 to 55 minutes. This actual hiking time of 1h55 means a hike of about half a day: we took the bus to Messariá at noon and we hiked till 6pm, taking into account a break of almost 2 hours at Ménites – this is thus an total walking time (TWT) of 4 hours.

Route description: The busses from Chóra to Batsí and Gávrio or to Ormos Korthíou also pass in Messariá. Usually, but not always, they follow the road running underneath the village. You should ask the bus driver to get off at the trail that goes up, leading to the centre to Messariá in a couple of minutes ("Boríte na stamatísete kondá sto monopáti pou paï stin Messariá?").
In any case, you have to walk to the church and then you have to keep following the asphalt road until you get to the large outdoor terrace of the tavern of Diónysos; a little further down you can see the residential tower of Kaïri.

The residential tower of Kaïri in Messariá.

Just past the tavern of Diónysos you find a narrow street going to the right- over here you also see the trail marker [1] of the hike to Ménites. You go down the staircase and after one minute you take a left on another trail (note the blue dot): the concrete path runs along a small water shoot, above the green valley and with the village of Ménites in front of you. After some 3 minutes the trail turns into gravel and slightly further you go straight ahead twice ([1] or a blue dot) – the trail has turned into concrete again.

Soon thereafter you reach a curve and you notice the trail marker [1] twice, just before two small bridges. You continue straight ahead, across the first bridge, but BEFORE the second bridge you take a green trail off the left (no indications!). This trail leads you through a green valley and it goes up. After a little under a minute you see a small water fall, on your left and on a very shaded spot.

A lot of water in the valley underneath Ménites.

You climb up on a rocky staircase, you cross a small gutter and you keep going up between lots of bushes and streaming water. After another 2-3 minutes you arrive at the corner of a house and you keep to the right [1]. You get to some concrete steps, you then cross another gutter and you walk for quite a while on the right-hand side of this gutter.
Some 6 minutes later you move away from the gutter, following a narrow earth path. You cross the gutter once more and you climb up again. Watch out now: about one minute further, in a curve where you notice the trail marker [1] twice, you should go up the staircase on the left – definitely BEFORE the bridge a little further down. This is a point where you will return later today.

Slightly further you keep to the right on a concrete stretch, but a little later you take a left, between houses and a tall and thin water fall. You keep going up on concrete steps and at the house with the no. 37 you go left; later on, when you reach a lot of water pipes, you take a right. By means of a few white steps you thus get back to the main street , underneath the church of Ménites. On the opposite side there is a beautiful well with five spouting lion heads and on the right you see the great terrace of the tavern of Pigés Karidhiés. 



The famous well in Ménites.



One of the spouting lion heads at the well in Ménites.

Despite the rubbish on the terrace, this is a marvellous spot to have a rest, under the large trees, midst the gurgling of the water of the wells and of the river in the deep valley. If you feel like eating something, you should try the fourtália, an omelette with potatoes and sausage...

After a break you can also climb to the church to admire the beautiful bas-reliefs dating from the year 1808.  

The church of Ménites.



A nice coat of arms on the wall of the church of Ménites .

You then descend again and on the opposite side you continue going down the staircase. At the house with no. 53 you go straight ahead, but a little further you take a left sharply. Slightly further down you take a right and then you follow the staircase going down all the way. Finally, you get to the concrete path besides a water shoot. After about 4 minutes you arrive at a small waterfall, a little further down you take a right at a balustrade. Thereafter you DO NOT proceed straight ahead on a flat trail, but you take a sharp left onto a staircase.

 

A little further you thus reach the path of hike no. [1]: you DO NOT take the trail on the right (which leads to Messariá), but you go left again ([1] and a blue dot). You thus cross the large bridge, you walk on a nicely paved stretch alongside a house and along some water where you can even spot little crabs. You then pass a pigeon tower and you continue on a beautiful and flat trail running above the valley.

A beautiful spot on the path [1] under Ménites.

A pigeon tower on the path from Ménites to Lámira.

You keep following the signs [1] and gradually you get closer to the houses of Messariá, on the opposite side of the valley. When you get to a trail off the right, you proceed straight ahead and further down, at a kind of crossing between walls, you go up on the left [1] – you have now been walking for 9 minutes since you crossed the large bridge.

One minute later you go through a metal gate and 4 minutes later through another small metal gate. After a horizontal stretch you now climb up again slightly; you get at the height of the Kaïri-tower and then, all of a sudden, you are really overwhelmed by the view on the village of Chóra, although still far away. The following stretch is marvellous again, sometimes between nice walls, until you reach a great spot, after another 5 minutes. You are now near a small bridge and underneath two beautiful maple trees and the trail curves to the right. On the left you notice an old stone with the inscription that this road was constructed by a certain K. Eilpeïri in 1912.

You now get to some depressions in the trail, but you can continue straight ahead without problems until you reach a concrete trail midst the first houses of Lámira. Some metres further you get to another path where hike no. [1] goes to the left – there are quite a bit of water pipes and straight across the original white and blue chimney is really striking – the trail on the right descends to Messariá, but we go to the left.

About 3 minutes later you cross a gravel road, but on the opposite side a concrete staircase continues ([1] and blue dots). After 2 more minutes you arrive at an asphalt road which you follow upwards until you get underneath the church of Lámira a little later on. Over there your trail continues via a staircase on the right of a new house (there is also a little bench with a stone of remembrance dating from 1969). You now walk on a nicely paved path again between beautiful houses and you pass a nice well from the year 1840. After one minute you reach the Platía 28 Oktovríou with straight across the nice Parthenagogío, a former institute for young girls. You go up the staircase on the left, you take a sharp left after 2-3 minutes [1] and you then cross the asphalt road.

Panoramic view on Chóra from Lámira.

The following climb is fairly steep and some 8-9 minutes after the church of Lámira you go right between houses and then you take a right again immediately – slightly further you arrive at a nice well, painted in yellow. Over here you have to watch out for a moment: you should continue straight ahead (blue dot) and you proceed on the right-hand side of the church of Ipsiloú. You walk above the road for a short while and then you get to the road, which you follow for 1-2 minutes. At that point you find the trail [1] again on the right-hand side. Shortly thereafter you get to the first well of Ipsiloú, dating from 1763.

Later on you go to the right [1] and you go down steeply; one minutes thereafter, at the corner of a white house with a tall chimney, you take a left (there is only a blue dot). You are then guided by the dots and the figure [1], also at the point where you have to go up on the left again. You reach a well again, now dating from 1842. A little further you take a sharp right again. You then walk alongside a streaming water shoot for quite a long time, until you arrive at the final "paradosiakí kríni Ipsiloú" (traditional well of Ipsiloú). This is a beautiful spot, shaded by a large oak tree; according to the inscription this old well dates from the year 1818.

A well in Ipsiloú.

You get to the asphalt road, but you continue on the opposite side. You still walk alongside a water shoot until, after 2-3 minutes, you go right, moving away from it – you now go straight towards Chóra. Sometimes the trail becomes narrower and rockier until you go down steeply on the left, some 10 minutes after the last well and before a wall with a small white house. When you get down you walk across a bridge with streaming water and thereafter you take a right (note the blue dot).

After going down for some 10 minutes on a sometimes sloppy path you get to a concrete road, where you take a right. Some 3 minutes later you thus reach a bed of a river, with a large wooden pedestrian bridge.

At this point you can go straight ahead – higher up, at the gymnásio, you will then get to the main street of Chóra. 
You can also take a left at once and walk on the right-hand side of the small, usually dried up river. It will then take you 7 minutes to reach the Nimborió-beach.

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