Winter excursion to Parnitha and the mountain refuges!
Winter, mountain, warm clothes and total silence, which is interrupted only by the sound of footsteps in the snow. And then, hot beverages and a hearty meal with traditional flavours by the fireplace, to regain strength until the next hike or relaxed walk in the white forest. Where? In the mountains of Attica, and specifically… Parnitha!
It has been declared a landscape of unique natural beauty, a National Forest and Natura 2000 region. It is covered in pines and firs, it has stunning paths with good signage and in winter… it puts on its white costume. Parnitha is a stone’s throw away from Athens and offers numerous possibilities to enjoy nature, hiking and trekking, as well as play in the snow with the whole family.
From the cable car terminal at the foot of the mountain, we choose one of the three ways to access Parnitha: we continue by car or take the cable car or park there and follow one of the paths that lead to the refuges.
For starters, we stop at Mpafi refuge of the Hellenic Alpine Club of Athens that stands at an altitude of 1,161 metres. The refuge organises hikes across well-maintained paths, without steep slopes or rugged terrain, ideal for hikers of all ages and skills. Next to experienced guides we will learn the “secrets” of Parnitha, get as much fresh mountain air as we can and stop at water springs and sites with amazing view. Hiking whets our appetite, and we return to the refuge for the typical “hiker’s dish”, the traditional “fassolada” (Greek bean soup) with farmhouse sausage. In the warm dining room in front of the fireplace, we will savour many other homemade delicacies, such as pasta with mince meat sauce, handmade pies and hot beverages, topping off a day on the mountain, full of beautiful images and unique experiences.
One day in Parnitha is never enough, though, so the refuge is here to host you for the night, since it provides accommodation in exceptionally low prices, in order to spend the night there with your children and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate the next morning, marveling at the breathtaking landscape.
Leaving Mpafi, we continue the route and we soon come across the sign to Flabouri refuge, at an altitude of 1,158 metres. It is the second organised refuge in Parnitha, which offers majestic views over the whole city of Athens, all the way to Aegina, Poros and Hydra. In winter, we will play board games by the fireplace and savour home-cooked food. We will hike the mountain together with the experienced guides of the refuge, planning our own, tailor-made route, adjusted to our liking. We try a special tour in the snowy landscapes of the forest with the use of special skis, guided by professional mountain skiers. And when the night falls, we can sleep on the upper floor of the refuge, in a comfortable and warm space with wooden floor.
During Christmas, Flambouri refuge organises special festive events, such as decorating a real tree outside the refuge, with pines and other natural “ornaments” we find in the forest. Children will love the 1,000 and 1 Stories of Christmas in Parnitha, through a magical journey full of Christmas fairytales with music background, riddles and hidden clues that will guide them to the unknown Christmas story. Parents will surprise them in the forest, before they all return to Flambouri refuge, where homemade delicacies await them, such as traditional pies, beverages and desserts.
In the majestic snowy Parnitha, surprises never end. Βe informed of the weather conditions in the area, wear suitable clothes and shoes, and take off on an unforgettable winter excursion to the stunning mountain of Attica, accompanied by the experienced guides of the refuges.