Parnonas is a mountain range, or massif, on the east of the Laconian plain and the Evrotas valley, upon which Grant Parnon resides. It is visible from Athens above the top of the Argive mountains. The western part is in the Laconia prefecture and the northeastern part is in the Arcadia prefecture. The Parnon range separates Laconia from Arcadia. Its summit offers panoramic views of southeastern Arcadia and South Kynouria and much of Laconia that includes the northern and the central portions and reaches as far as the Taygetos mountains. It also views a part of the central Arcadia and the southern Argolis prefectures.
In the summer month of July and specifically the 20th there is a special celebration of Profitis Ilias (Elias) and in many Greek peaks there is a small chapel of Saint Ilias (Elias). On that specific day, we have decided to visit Parnonas mountain and try to reach the top. Initially we have moved on the highway that connects most part of Peloponnese peninsula with direction to the village of Aghios Petros. There, we had a short stop for a morning tea and later on we continued towards the beginning of the path that leads to the Profitis Ilias plateau.
The route from the refuge of Parnonas towards the Profitis Ilias plateau, is a very nice route with plenty of vegetation and a lot of tree shade. The walk through the woods makes the trekking very pleasant and once we reach the plateau we had an amazing view of the surrounding environment but also of the peak of Parnonas, Megali Tourla.
Once we reached the beautiful plateau, we set up camp just above the little church of Profitis Ilias (Elias).
We have had the chance to prepare some food and share some interesting stories between the group of friends. Later on that evening, a large group of gypsies arrived too in the plateau, they set up camp, light up fires and played loud folk music. Fortunately they where from the other side of the plateau and their “noise” did not disturb us during sleep time.
The next day, we woke up quite early and we start climbing towards Megali Tourla, the peak of Mount Parnonas. The weather, view and the company was great and we had an amazing day.
One of the highlights of the day was the “Mountain Sheppard’s tea” that is growing on this mountain. It is prohibited to collect this plant for commercial purposes, but all climbers might get a small portion for the upcoming winter.