Hiking in Ymittos (also Imittos or Hymettus)

Mount Hymettus is famous for its thyme-scented honey. It is covered with beautiful pine forest, impressive caves, historic monasteries and many marked footpaths, just a five or ten minute drive from downtown Athens.


It is also a formidable birdwatching area and attracts an impressive number of bird species. The mountain features different watching posts too. If you climb up from the city side, you will be able to clearly see the port of Piraeus. Climb up to the top and you will be able to see the airport on the other side. One way to explore it is to take a five-minute bus ride from the gates of Panepistimioupoli (University City) on Oulaf Palme Street in Ilissia, and let it drop you off just a few meters away from the Ring Road that separates Hymettus from the university campus. Cross carefully from below the ring road, and you’ll find yourself at the base of a huge green mountain with its footpaths and deserted old churches. Enjoy and explore, but come back before dark! There are paths marked with concentric circles as you climb. They will take you all the way up to the antennas. Aim for a cool or cloudy day, and take sunglasses, a hat, water and hiking snacks. You can go up in about two hours.



Location: Athens & Nearby Islands › Athens City

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Mt. Lycabettus

Also noteworthy is Lycabettus or Likavitos Hill in Athens almost in the centre of town. In addition to great views of the port of Piraeus and all of Athens, a rocky area on top attracts many rock-loving birds. You might see a Bunting, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Sardinian Warbler and many more.

Hiking in Mount Parnitha

There is a lack of landmarks for the 75 hiking paths on this mountain, but there is a guide called Footpaths of Mt. Parnitha and map by Road Editions that outline these hikes well.

Pit of Sykia, Vari, Mount Hymettus

On the southeast side of Hymettus near the area of Vari, this open precipice impresses you with its mouth and runs 20 meters deep. Speleologists practice climbing up and down over here.


This area was revamped during the Olympic games, creating rowing lakes. The trees near the beach, including large confiers, a creek and some greenery have attracted birds here.

Mt. Parnitha

This is the highest peak near Athens towering at 1,400 meters. Past the cable car station at the upper elevations in the mornings and evenings is bound to reveal the most birds. You could spot a Coal Tit, Firecrest, Flycatcher, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Sardinian Warbler, Western Rock Nuthatch and more.

Hiking in Sounion National Park

Right outside Agios Konstantinos (Kamarizas) on the way to the church of Agia Triada is Chaos, a unique geological phenomenon in Attica. It is a large round gulch with a perimeter of roughly 500 meters and a depth of 70 meters.

Mt. Penteli

While often plagued by forest fires in summer, the elevation of upto 1,100 meters on its eastern slopes may reveal several species of birds. These include Hooded Cirl Buntings, Crows, Jays, Red-backed Shrikes, Sparrow Hawks, Western Rock Nuthatches.

Koutouki Cave

The most well-known cave on Hymettus is Koutouki cave in Peania which hosts guided tours. Sadly, too much lighting and human presence has degraded the natural characteristics of the cave.


The closest and largest birdwatching locale in the city is the mountain of Hymettus or Imittos in Greek. It is about 20 km long and 1026 km high, offering a great location to hike and spot birds.