Many routes for hiking have been established in the prefecture, particularly at high altitudes around the mountains of Parnassos and Elikonas. The reward is beautiful nature all around and amazing landscapes. There are even some dedicated hiking events such as the "Alpine Call" and the "Revival of the Historical Route, the Feat of Efidas".
There are numerous hikes that have been outlined around Mount Elikonas and will allow you to get a real feel of the nature and life around this venerable mountain. The most important hikes are:
1. Boboko – Loutsa – Koliedes (or Kapelo). On the 4th kilometre between Analipsi to Elikonas, you will find a sign for hikers that leads through a thick forest on a 4.5-hour, medium-level hike, at a height of 800 to 1480 meters.
2. Boboko – Profitis Elias. Again on the 4th kilometre between Analipsi and Elikonas a sign reveals the way up the fir-laden slopes through a paved path, taking you to the church of Profitis Elias after 1.5 hours. This is considered an easy hike.
3. Boboko – Xirovouni. From the same starting point as above, there is a path that goes up to Xirovouni which offers a spectacular view of Livadia and the plain of Copais. This easy route takes 1.5 hours to complete.
4. Profitis Elias – Loutsa Tzavela – Ronies – Megali Loutsa or Elikonas. Moving beyond the Church of Profitis Elias, cross the street towards Loutsa Tzavela and through the slopes until Ronies. This will connect you to path number 22 which takes to the main square of Elikonas village. Or you can go to Ano Ronies (upper Ronies) turning left when you meet path number 22, hiking for 30 more minutes. Another left once there will take you to Megali Loutsa for an amazing view of the Gulf of Corinth below. In both cases the route is of medium difficulty and lasts for about 2.5 hours.
5. Kyriaki – Megali Loutsa (Kapsala). From the main square of Kyriaki hike up the hill on the path that takes you to Megali Loutsa, a trip that lasts a good 3.5 hours.
6. Camp of Paliomilia – Megali Loutsa (Kapsala). Begin your hike right after the camp where you will see the first signposts on the right-hand side. After an hour through the fir trees you reach Balconi, which true to its name offers a great view over the area. Continue through some small lakes for about 3.5 hours until you reach the summit. Medium difficulty.
7. Analipsi – Agios Georgios. The village of Analipsi offers an easy one-hour path that climbs to the church of Agios Georgios where you can relax near a spring and enjoy the stunning few.
8. Profitis Elias – Kolliedes (Kapelo). Here's a more difficult hike on very steep slopes, recommended for more experienced hikers. The trip between Profitis Elias and Kolliedes will take you 2.5 hours.
9. Arvanitsa – Osios Serafim. For an enjoyable 1.5-hour hike, head out from Arvanitsa to Stavros, then head right on a paved path until you reach the monastery of Osios Serafim.
10. Askri – Ypokrini. Locate the dirt road from Askri that goes to Agios Nikolaos and to the small forest of the Muses until you reach path number 22. At an altitude of 1,100 meters about an hour into your hike you will see a cross. Head right where the road takes you up to the Ypokrini spring, at an altitude of 1,400 meters. You can either head downhill from here to Chaliki or uphill for half an hour to reach Motsara at 1,525 meters. This route is fairly easy to do.
11. Aghia Anna – Paliovouna – Arvanitsa. Follow the signs from the village of Agia Anna up through forests and bare slopes until you reach the top of Paliovouna, at a high altitude of 1,747 meters. Enjoy the unsurpassed view of the Elikonas region that goes all the way to the Peloponnese. This is a relatively difficult route lasting around 3.5 hours. You can then head downhill to reach Arvanitsa, which will take you an additional 1.5 hours.
East side of Parnassos
Paranssos has been designated as a National Park as far back as 1938, full of rare flora and fauna. Animal species include woodpeckers, jackals, foxes, wild lizards, adders, wolves, badgers and wild boars. The south and east regions of the mountain have been designated as Natura 2000 regions. Wonderfully picturesque paths and summits grace the eastern side of Parnassos, including Liakoura, Mavra Litharia, Koukos, Tzarko and Gerodovrahos to name a few. Here are some of these paths:
1. Arahova – Defner (at the base of Gerodovrahos). Beginning at Agios Georgios in Arahova, this path takes four hours to complete. The first part towards Livadi, taking one hour, is an asphalt road. Once you reach Stavros turn right on a dirt road and continue for another two hours keeping Korykio Antro on your left with a view on to Livadi. Leave the road and take a signposted path to Kato Filo and Pano Filo, hiking for an hour to reach the Defner refuge.
2. Defner – Gerodovrahos. This signposted path takes you to the top of the mountain passing through skiing areas. You will spot the ski centre of Kelaria and the church of Ai Elia in the distance. The path continues to the top of Gerodovrahos, reaching an impressive height of 2,395 meters.
3. Gerodovrahos - Liakoura (the highest top of Parnassos, 2457m). You follow the path 22 for about 2.5 hours. After 1 hour you will reach Tsarko (2415m). and walking to the left, you will arrive at the foot of Liakoura. After 30 minutes you will reach the earth-road, you will cross the road, and begin the hiking up that leads to Liakoura, the highest top of Parnassos. From Liakoura you will enjoy the view, to all the tops of the mountain Parnassos.
4. Gerodovrahos – Tsarko – Tsoubes – Zemeno. For a splendid comfortable four-hour hike, take path 22 along these points and enjoy the scenery.
5. Gerodovrahos – Mavra Litharia – Akrino Nero – Saint Jerusalem. This is another four-hour hike that starts on route 22 and heads to Treis Tsoumes-Tsarko to reach Sideroportes. Before reaching the slope that takes you to Mana, turn left for Mavra Litharia after a 50-minute hike. Continue downhill if you wish to extend the hike in order to reach Akrino Nero.
6. Akrino Nero – Kanalia – Saint Jerusalem. An amazingly scenic route that takes 2.5 hours, this hike is considered a fairly easy one.
7. Akrino Nero – Saint Jerusalem. Simply follow path 22 for 1.5 hours or so and you will get to Saint Jerusalem in Davlia.
8. Akrino Nero – Mana – Zemeno. This 2-hour hike is particularly pretty, going over a plateau on route 22. It will take an hour to reach Mana, then you take the dirt road you meet and take the path through the fir trees. Keep Arahova on your right-hand side to reach the inn of Zemeno in an hour.
9. Zemeno – Xerovouni. Walk for three hours to get to Distomo, where the mountain range of Elikonas begins...
Path No. 22
Linking the mountains of Parnassos and Parnitha, Path No. 22 begins at the village of Agoriani in Parnassos and winds its way through the mountains of Kirfi, Elikonas, Korombili, Kitheronas, and Pastra, continuing on to the Bafi refuge in Parnitha. In Elikonas the hiker will pass through the Valley of the Muses and the rougher parts of Zagaras, leading to the village of Askri, as well as the localities of Ypokrini and Chaliki. The path continues over paved and unpaved roads through the Koromilia area, climbing up to the village of Agia Anna. You may also reach Paliovouna on one part of the road, while another goes to Arvanitsa, continuing up to the village of Elikonas (or Zeriki). The path goes further uphill to Ronies, and then down to the village of Kyriaki. At this point you're back on a paved road and path to the ancient site of Stiris and the magnificent monastery of Osios Loukas. Path 22 also links the monastery to the seaside through Medea. In addition, there are steep paths that are signposted passing from Akrino Nero in Arahova to higher parts of Parnassos or down to Davlia and the monastery of Saint Jerusalem.
A historical route
An important hiking event takes place in Viotia yearly, known as 'the revival of the feat of Efhidas' where the Greeks where victorious against the Persians. The myth says that Efhidas ran Delphi to bring back purified fire from the sanctuary of Apollo in a mere 24 hours and then died of exhaustion. Today, the 14-hour route is 107.5 kilometers and begins at Plataea, going through Kaparelli, Lefktra, Xironomi, Aghia Anna, Kyriaki, Stiri, Distomo and Arahova to reach Delphi. If you don't want to try this amazing hike, you can go directly to Delphi and participate in the feast that takes place with dance, music and good local food.
The Alpinists' call
In the fall of every year the alpine associations of the region and local organizations organize the 'Alpinists' Call' for people to embark on a different hiking path each time. Enquire about it locally if you're there during the fall.