Mt. Parnitha is located in Attiki province,25km N from the city of Athens.It is one of the 4 mountains(the others are Immitos, Penteli and Aigaleo) that surround the circular plain,in which the city of Athens is built. Mt Parnitha is the talllest and more impressive among the mountains that surround Athens.
Despite its proximity to Athens,it has a much different climate,with lots of heavy rain,many days of snowfall and annual average temperature 5-10degrees C lower than Athens depending on the altitude and the part of the mountain.
Mt Parnitha, is the only mountain around Athens plain,that counts weeks,even months(depending on the elevation)of snow coverage.In the upper part of the mountain(above 1000m)the temperature even in summer afternoons,never exceeds 30 degrees C.In Winter,on the other hand we have lots of days of snowfall resulting even in 0,5-1m height of snow in some slopes and the temperature hardly exceeds 0 degrees C at the higher part of Parnitha. Most of the snowfall in Parnitha,happens January and February.Usually most of the snow melts until late March but in the northern slopes of the highest peaks,especially Karavola,it can be kept until mid to late April,depending on the winter.
We started our route from the cable car which is situated nearby Thrakomakedones. This is a 24/7 free of charge service provided by the Mont Parnes Casino which is located on the top of Mount Parnitha. Is just a 7 minute ride with a spectacular view towards the city of Athens.
Our first view from Mont Parnes was plenty of snow and we were very excited to initiate our hike through the fresh powder like snow.
While ascending towards Bafi Refuge, we came across a very pleasant surprise, which was a real Christmas Tree!
Once we reached Bafi Refuge, we had our first short stop and we enjoyed our home made sideritis tea, while enjoying the surrounding views.
After the short stop at Bafi we continued our route towards Mola, St. George Church and the military camp which is located in Parnitha’s peak.
Once reached that point, we have soon started our descent from the north-west side of the mountain towards Mesiano Nero location. From that side of the mountain the snowfall appears to be heavier and therefore we had to walk in deep snow. It was a great and lovely experience and we have really enjoyed every single piece of the entire route.
From Koromilia Spring we continued our final descent towards Thrakomakedones and we reached the parking lot where we initially started our ascent.
The major and more distinctive peaks are:
- Karavola (1413m)
These 2 highest peaks are full of military installations and antennas so they are not reachable.
- Plati Vouno(1171m)
Among them the most impressive ravines are Chouni, Agias Triadas, Gkouras, Mavrorema and Charadros ravine.The upper half of the mountain is covered with snow for at least 2months,usually mid-January to mid March but in the northern slopes of Karavola peak remains of snow can be found even in late April.The snow is usually soft and never icy,so special equipment isn’t needed to ascent Parnitha in winter,apart from a solid trekking boot and a pair of gaiters.There is not a danger of an avalanche.
From were paths and routes start:
Usual starting points to ascent Mt Parnitha are:
The valley Makrichorafo(570m)
The town Afidnes(300m),if there isn’t a car to proceed to Makrichorafo
The town Thrakomakedones(400m)
The parking of the cable car(480m)
The town Fuli(250m)
The village Avlon(180m)
The village Sfendali(290m)
The town Varibobi(300m)