Athens is an overpopulated city with the absence of large parks and green areas being obvious! (We try to be as objective as we can here!) But very close to the centre you can rest your eye on idyllic views of fir and pine, you can choose secret and adventurous paths and feel like you have left the problems of the city far away! So, these are three of our favourite options for hiking in Athens!
Probably when we say hiking in Athens, we mean: Parnitha Mountain. This is the first destination that comes to mind for most Athenians when they think countryside. A magnificent place of nature with some easy trails for beginners, and some more difficult routes for advanced. The most important trails are indicated either by simple red signs on rocks and trees or by red tapes or finally, by special signs for each path, such as red triangles, red squares, yellow rhombs etc. In this way, following the same shape and colour of the signs, one can find the path and follow it to its end. Furthermore, there are two mountain refuges, one at Mpafi, owned by the Hellenic Alpine Club of Athens, and the other one at Flampouri, belonging to the Hellenic Alpine Club of Acharnes. (photo by Nikos Patsiouris)
Thrakomakedones – Baffy: This is probably the most famous trail in Parnitha, which lasts 2 hours and begins from Thrakomakedones and passes through a beautiful fir forest and the gorge of Chounis.
If you want just to join some hiking tour we can recommend this one. This is an easy route and they can pick you from your hotel in Athens, which can be quite convenient.
Within a short distance from Athens, Hymettus offers breathtaking daily walks.
A circular route of Saint John the Hunter: This is a difficult ten km circular route that begins and ends at the monastery of Saint John the Hunter. It passes thought passing the historical Lion Cave. According to the legend, a huge lion was living there and provoked many disasters in the area. But, Saint Nikolaos managed to kill it in front of Saint Nikolaos church in Kantza. Nowadays, there is a marble Lion statue in front of that church, which is dating back to 6 BC. Detailed GPS maps for the journey you will find here, agiannis-spilaio , by Linos Papachristou
Lake Marathon is a wonderful, relaxing place, one hour away from the centre.
Tower Oinoi – Marathon Dam and back: Extremely idyllic circular route, lasting about three hours that passes through some of the most unexplored landscape of Attica. On that route, you will meet some forgotten and totally neglected attractions including the Roman Baths, the Temple of Pythian Apollo, a replica of the Treasury of the Athenians that is located at Delphi. It also crosses a part of the secret and beautiful gorge of wine with impressive planes and ends in a point with panoramic views of Lake Marathon, before returning back. A detailed route map can be found at monopatiapolitismou.gr. (photo by George Terezakis)
You can find where the 2 mountains and one lake are on the map. You can check the GPS route that we have included in this post for more detailed information.
And of course, you can ask us if you have any question or if you are interested in taking part in any hiking tour, just send us an email and we recommend you some agencies!
If you are planning to visit Athens and you have many days to spend in this city, check our unique post to see why Athens is the only European capital that vineyards & wineries are so close from the city!