Parnitha – The National Park of Athens
Nature, adventure and fun blend harmoniously at Mount Parnitha, the grand mountain overlooking the Attica basin from a height of 1,400 metres.
Dozens of marked hiking trails cross the vast pine-studded National Park of Parnitha, which stretches over 300 square kilometres and boasts over 800 different species of herbs and plants. Close to 30 species of mammals, such as deer, hares and foxes, and 120 species of birds, call this park home.
It is no coincidence that the ancient Greeks believed that Pan, god of the wild, would visit Parnitha often to play his music and dance in the woods. Athenians would leave votive offerings for him in a cave named after him.
Today Parnitha attracts nature lovers, mountain hikers, herbalists and seekers of ancient myths and legends.
Karabola Peak, the summit of Mount Parnitha, stands at 1,413 metres above sea level. Covered by pine forests at lower altitudes and firs higher up, the Parnitha range has helped shape the Athens basin. Athenians rarely miss an opportunity to visit the mountain for fun and relaxation in the winter when its steep slopes are covered with snow.
A substantial area of Parnitha has been declared a natural park, and is part of the Natura 2000 network. The historic hotel of Mont Parnes is built on Mount Mavrovouni, where the Flabouri and Bafi nature preserves are also located.
Since antiquity, settlements such as Acharnes, Phyli, Dekeleia and Frygia have been located along the base of the mountain. After the 14th century, a large population of Albanians settled here, founding the villages of Menidi, Kiourka and Hassia.