A little church called Agios Taxiyarchis is nestled in the hills south of Magganitis.
Many trailheads in Ikaria are difficult to track down, and without actually travelling with a local, it can take a little while to find the right path.
After looking for this trailhead unsuccessfully for weeks, I discover it by accident while out walking one day.
This canyon of boulders is also riddled with streams and pools. The red dots are extremely difficult to locate in this area, and the boulders are wet and slippery.
I finally cross the boulder canyon, and find the red dots again. But then I realize that the church I’m trying to get to is on the side of the ravine I just came from! It is visible from a distance, but where is the path?
I go back to investigate. Sure enough, there is a tall fence separating me from the church.
I retrace my steps back through the gate I opened over an hour ago when I was so confidently following red dots. As it turns out, there is a short path to Agios Taxiyarchis on the other side. Within five minutes, and close to sundown, I am standing at my destination.
Saint Taxiyarchis is one of the patron saints of the Aegean islands. “Taxiyarchis” is translated literally as ‘commander,’ but the more commonly known English translation is ‘Archangel.’ More specifically, Taxiyarchis is often equated with Archangel Michael, leader and most powerful of all angels.