At an altitude of 1,413m and only an hour’s drive from central Athens, Parnitha, Attica’s highest mountain, offers a green and gratifying getaway from urbanity, as well as magnificent panoramic views of Attica from above.
Throughout the week, but especially during the weekend, the 30,000-hectare natural expanse becomes an idyllic haven for anyone seeking fresh air and adventure sports.
Bring along a picnic and find a lovely spot to relax and soak up the views, maybe even spot some eagles, owls, vultures or falcons (there are 133 bird species here) or another animal (49 types of mammals including deer, foxes, squirrels, badgers, and hares) and definitely plenty of beautiful greenery (with over 1,100 species of flora – of the 6000 species that grow nationwide).
Otherwise enjoy the national park of Parnitha by being more active and organising yourself by taking part in any of the activities that take place there. Parnitha’s mountain shelters are a great way to start. Bafi Refuge offers accommodation, food, and a great variety of activities for people of all ages such as hiking, night hiking, mountain biking on Parnitha and nearby Tatoi, Cave exploration, and other activities.
Flabouri Refuge is another great place to stay and enjoy a great variety of activities and events. The Refuge organises various kinds of hikes as well as educational walks in which visitors can learn about flora, mushrooms, and orienteering. They also have events centred around storytelling, music, and games for all ages. The Flabouri Shelter also organises action-adventure sports like climbing, canyoning and mountain biking.
For hiking the less known eastern part of the mountain is suggested by hiking adventurers if you’d like to enjoy a greater variety of landscapes. There are marked trails on the mountain but you can also contact organisations like Trekking Hellas for organised excursions. Trekking Hellas organise activities on the mountain that include hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and even voluntary clean-ups. Climb Greece also organise excellent climbing experiences on the mountain. To get a solid understanding of a hiking experience on Parnitha, we suggest you read this blog account by Olympus Mountaineering.
Mt Parnitha is also a favourite action location for runners, both groups, and individuals. Every October the Parnitha Lake Run takes place at Beletsi Lake, at the foothills of Parnitha. Six and 10km races take place on October 20th in this particularly scenic spot.
Other popular running races that take place annually on Parnitha are the Salomon Mountain Cup, the Arma Parnithas and the Alpamayo Pro Trailrace.