Throughout the years, I have been involved and exploring various outdoor activities. Like most of us, I started my outdoor adventures with simple day hikes, then I moved on with multi-day hikes and trekking, then some scrambling, mountaineering, winter mountaineering, climbing and of course the combination of all the above.
Having this diverse background with the various activities, I have developed a good sense of appreciation of the various natural habitats. One of the most interesting area to visit in Greece, is Mount Parnitha which is located just few kilometres far from the city centre of Athens.
This time, I wanted to go for a solo hike and I decided to visit West Parnitha and the trail that starts from the Kliston Monastery and leads you to Arma via the famous Pan’s cave.
Few words about Solo Hiking
Solo hiking relies on your own skills and knowledge. Ensuring you have the skills before going solo is key. In addition, although is great to be in touch with your hiking and/or climbing partners, sometimes the experience that offers a Solo Hike is unique, especially in an unknown route.
Solo Hiking allows time for self-examination, relaxation away from the rat race for awhile, and a chance to meditate, contemplate, or just zone out for kilometres at a time. And this is what I wanted to experience on this beautiful hike.
Kliston Monastery – Arma Sightseeing point
At the edge of the steep and enchanting gorge of “Goura”, on the southern outskirts of Parnitha, 3 km after the village Fyli, is the ancient Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin. Its location and view is unique and it was named “Kliston” because it is surrounded by various peaks of Parnitha.
The route starts from the parking lot which is located at Kliston Monastery and is an easy hike of about 9 kilometres. The first part of the hike is an easy downhill till we reach Goura’s creek, where we cross over. As soon we cross over, and we hike for about 400 meters we can identify a boulder with a cross on the top. There, the hiker will also see a large and long wooden picnic table.
Upon that, we turn left (north) and we follow the blue signs for a continuous uphill up to the point we will start seeing the Arma peak -on our left (west).
Arma Sightseeing point – Pan’s Cave
As soon we reach this point, we can only enjoy the amazing rock of Arma. In fact, Arma, besides great hikes, also offers a via Ferrata route and plenty of trad-climbing routes. Should you be interested on trad climbing opportunities in the area of Arma, I would certainly advice to check our this page. Furthermore, if you want to see some nicer photos of this hike, you can check out this blogpost.
In order to reach Pan’s cave, we have to continue following the blue trail signs in a rather easy terrain. Though, just before the cave, there is a crux, where we have to down-climb a wall of about 8 meters. At the beginning, the look of it might intimidate someone, but by being careful everyone can descent that wall. In addition, the local mountaineering club, for extra protection installed a steel rope.
About Pan’s Cave
The Phyle Cave is a small cave on Mount Parnitha near Fyli (Phyle), a suburb of Athens, Greece. In ancient Greece it was the site of a sanctuary to Pan and the nymphs. It is also known as Lychnospilia for the large number of oil lamps found in the cave. It has been identified as the cave which occurs in the Dyskolos of Menander. The cave was excavated in 1901. Three votive reliefs found in the cave are now on display in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Because of its use for the veneration of Pan the cave is also called the Cave of Pan. It was one of the five caves of Pan in the vicinity of ancient Athens.
Pan’s Cave – Kliston Monastery
Details of the Hike:
- Location: Parnitha Mountain
- Starting Point: Kliston Monastery
- Ending Point: Kliston Monastery
- Trail Signs: Well signed path
- Minimum Elevation: 300 m
- Maximum Elevation: 818 m.
- Total Distance: 9,2 km
- Difficulty: Easy
- Water Features: Yes
Bellow you can see the route we have followed on a map and on 3D:
Gear & Equipment
For this trip, I was carrying the following main gear:
- Kalenji Trail running Bag/Vest 10 l.
- Garmin Dakota 20 GPS device
- Cumulus Minilite Down vest
- Quechua Tech-Fresh 50 T-shirt
- Kalenji Kiprun XT7 Trail running shoes
- Rab Spark Waterproof Jacket
- Petzl e-lite headlamp
See other outdoor activities in Parnitha:
- Training on Mount Parnitha
- Winter Hike on Mount Parnitha
- Climbing in Korakofolia – Parnitha
- Climbing in Epos Fylis – Parnitha
- Dry Tooling in Rizos’ Cave – Parnitha
- Via Ferrata Arma – Parnitha
- Scrambling and Climbing the Flabouri Ridge
You can also check out this blog with some nice hiking suggestions around Mt. Parnitha.
Below: This map marks all the mountaineering adventures that have been featured on Olympus Mountaineering so far, including several Sport climbing crags – Select full screen to expand, zoom in for more detail, or click on a marker for a link to the post.