It has been quite some time since the last post here on Olympus Mountaineering, and the reason was the full blown lockdown that was imposed in Greece due to the Covid-19.
Many people that enjoy the outdoor activities were forced to stay indoors, basically in their homes for almost 2 months. Though, since few days, the severe lockdown measures have been partially lifted and therefore I did not loose the chance to go and enjoy the mountains once again. My first choice was Artemisio mountain, which offers stunning landscapes a nice trail to the peak and also some fun if one goes via the Arête of Artemisio.
Artemisio mountain is on the border between Arcadia and Argolis, in the Municipalities of Argos-Mycenae and Tripolis respectively. It forms part of the mountain range that connects the Argolic Gulf with the Corinthian, and as such, it borders with Lyrkeio mountain on the north and with Ktenias mountain on the south. On its west is the plateau of Mantineia. Its tallest peak which is called Malevos is 1,771 metres in height.
See previous ascents on Mount Artemisio here:
Hikers and climbers usually depart from Karya, on the east side of Artemisio. Two trails of different difficulty begin from there, one requiring special knowledge and equipment. In general, Artemisio’s trails are through the canyons and on its slopes, and are a popular destination for both mountain climbing and hiking; though hikers who don’t want to climb or don’t have the knowledge and equipment, should choose the easier trail from Karya. Both trails have good signals to aide the travellers.
Our aim for this ascent was to reach the top via the well known scrambling path called “Chtenia Artemisiou” (Arete of Artemisio). Artemisio’s arete is a fish-bone type ridge with several exposed passages and is a great location for III – IV degree scrambling. For experienced climbers, the Arete of Artemisio can be a nice playground, though for beginners can be a bit overwhelming, thus some protection gear might be required.
After about an hour of hiking through beautiful pine tree forest, we have reached the west col of mount Artemisio. On that point, we have had a short break in order to get some refreshments and some snacks. It is on that point that the spine ridge (arete) of Artemisio starts and therefore we also wore our helmets. The arete of Artemisio is a very nice and fun route that combines easy scrambling but also some more technical and demanding climbing.
In addition, for winter mountaineering fan, the Arête of Artemisio is a great playground for training in winter conditions. If you are interested to see more, please check an older post from Olympus Mountaineering here: Winter Ascent on Mount Artemisio
As soon we reached the peak of Artemisio mountain, we had some snacks and we enjoyed the beautiful views to the surrounding peaks of Peloponnese, such as the following:
History of the mountain
According to Pausanias, a sanctuary dedicated to goddess Artemis, patron of hunters and wild nature, used to sit on its peak. The Roman traveller mentions the sacred grove of Itamoi, a European Yew that is very toxic, and according to mythology, the goddess used it to poison her arrows; unfortunately, the grove has not survived. Today, very few fir trees survive. The river Inachos has its spring on the mountain, its mouth in the Argolic gulf, and is one of the few springs that can be used for those who decide to climb the mountain.
Details of the Hike:
- Location: Artemisio Mountain
- Starting Point: 1.062 Karya
- Ending Point: Malevos peak, Artemisio
- Trail Signs: Well signed path
- Minimum Elevation: 1.062 m
- Maximum Elevation: 1.771 m.
- Total Distance: 8 km
- Difficulty: Medium (Scrambling III-IV UIAA)
- When to Hike: Autumn to Spring (Not in summer due to heat)
- Water Features: None
Bellow you can see the route we have followed here: