Step just outside Athens to discover the rest of the Attica prefecture and you’ll be faced with more nature that you could have imagined. Beckoning Mount Parnitha is only a 30 kilometers from Athens, with fir trees, red deer and the 11th century monastery of Kliston, which makes it almost a thousand years old if you stop to think about it.
You will surely come across many of the 1,000 plant species, 132 bird species, 45 mammal species and 30 reptile and amphibian species, from the Short-toed Eagle to the Mediterranean Mole. Central Parnitha was proclaimed a national park and its forest falls under the Natura 2000 network. The National Park tour guides and the Greek Mountaineering Club of Acharnes will help you discover the area. There’s also a cable car (the eco-friendly option) from the foothills of Mount Parnitha that takes you to the Park’s core peripheral road, open only to bicycles.
On the tamer east side there’s Makrichorafo which is the starting point of various footpaths and forest roads, ideal for hilers. The west side is wilder, taking you to the Filis Spring in Agia Parakskevi, before having to continue by a 4×4 (which is against our eco principle). For great excursions on foot, you can descend Mount Parnitha from the Bafi regufe through the Koromilia spring and Sfakiza, down to the suburb of Thrakomakedones on Athens’ outer limits, a three hour walk overall. The classic two-hour route is from the Bafi refuge to the Chounis Ravine and then to Thrakomakedones. Another walk is from Filis to Pan’s Pass, passing by Tamilthi, Bondia stream and Petralona.