Prina is a traditional Cretan village 18 km south of Agios Nikolaos on the route to Ierapetra. The mountain scenery is complete with olive and pine trees and there are a few local tavernas and shops in the area. This is the starting point for the E4 trail that crosses through Messeleri village and finishes at the Monastery of Vriomeni following an eastward direction.
The route from Prina to Vriomeni Monastery
From the southern entrance to the village of Prina, next to the bus stop, a downhill dirt road (1) begins which leads south-eastwards. We take this road and after approximately 500 m we reach a point where two streams join (2). We pass onto the southern bank and follow the main dirt road, which meanders along a slope with olive groves. Poor route marking and many forks make the distinction of the main dirt road (which we must constantly stick to) a bit tricky to navigate. After approximately 2,5 km, the road leads us to a small saddle, just east of Prίna. On the saddle the path divides (3); we take the left branch of the unsurfaced road, which skirts around a low mountain to the south and after 950 m leads us to the main road (4). This will bring us before the eastern entrance to the settlement of Messeleri (5).
East of the village, next to the cemetery (6) the main dirt road begins, which goes eastwards. We ignore any side roads on this uphill road, which initially passes through cultivated land and then through a small pine-forested valley. Deep inside this valley, in a rocky area, the Monastery of Panagia Vriomeni (7) can be seen. The monastery is not active anymore but there is a service in celebration of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary on the 15th of August, one of the most significant Greek holidays. The monastery dates back to the 13th century and played an important role during the resistance against the Ottomans. The total route from Messeleri to the monastery is 3,5 km long. Next to it, you will find a drinking fountain; a cypress tree thicket completes the beautiful landscape of this deserted monastery. A great place to rest and prepare for the next part of the E4 route that leads to the village of Vassiliki.
|Path Length||7.5 km|
|Hiking Duration||2 hour|
|When to hike||Spring, Autumn, Summer, Winter|