Greek version

Welcome to the National Park of Parnitha!

Mt Parnitha is located in Sterea Ellas (Central Greece) and is the highest mountain in the vicinity of Athens. It extends in a large area, presenting variable topography with several summits, gorges, streams and plateaus.

In 1961 the entire mountain (~25,000 hectares) was declared a National Park. The core zone of the Park comprises the high peaks of Parnitha, an area of c. 3,800 hectares, and most of that area (90%) is covered with firforest (Abies cephalonica). Around the core lies the peripheral or buffer zone, which includes the rest of the mountain and is covered with pinus forestsnowy firs(Pinus halepensis).

The variable topography is the most interesting characteristic of Parnitha. Long ridges extending from east to west form 16 summits with altitude above 1,000 m, Karabola summit being the highest (1,413 m).

Keladonas gorgeGeology
The main substrates of Mt Parnitha are sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, formed c. 570-1 million years ago. Schists and marbles are the most common substrates, followed by schists (which appear in the valleys) and some flysch.

The arrangement of the rocks favours the existence of 46 springs, which flow continuously and form several streams and small ponds. Limestone allows the flow of water through it, while schist doesn't; where limestone meets schist, water emerges on the surface, forming a spring. The Kithara spring is well known for supplying the Hadrian Aqueduct, which
was completed in 140 A.D. and consisted primarily of an underground tunnel, 25 km. long, which was constructed manually through solid rock by hundreds of slaves using simple tools such as chisels and hammers. The aqueduct was designed not only to transfer water towards the city but also to collect it through a number of smaller catchment works along the way.
The Hadrian Aqueduct began at the foot of Mount Parnitha in the area of Tatoi and transported water by gravity to a stone reservoir on the hill of Lycabettus in the city of Athens. Other well known springs are the Aghia Triada, Mola, Skipiza and Koromilia springs.Mola spring
There are no rivers of continuous flow on the mountain. However, there are a lot of seasonal streams with clear water, such as the Aghia Triada, Chouni, Mola, Keladonas, Aghios Georghios and Maurorema streams.

Caves and precipices
On Mt. Parnitha there are also several caves and precipices, especially on the south and southwest slopes, where limestone dominates. The most famous cave is the one of Panas, name taken by the worship of the God Panas and the Nymphs. It lies in the north of Keladonas' gorge, at 620 m.
The most beautiful precipices are in Keramidi (27 m depth), Tamilthi (35 m depth), Gkoura (20 m depth), Dekeleia (20 m depth) and Ntabelis'(8 m depth, 200 m2 cave).

The climate of the mountain differs substantially from the climate of the Attica plain, especially in regard to air temperature and precipitation. The temperature in the high peaks of Parnitha is 2-6
°C smaller than the temperature in the foothills. The precipitation is double in higher altitudes, while frost and fog are very common during fall and winter.

main roadAccess
Parnitha lies only 30 km NW of central Athens and can be easily accessed by south and west. From the south, the main road leads from the foothills of the mountain until Aghia Triada (1,020 m alt.), where it meets a belt road 16 km long - not accessible to automobiles. From the west, main road leads from Fyli settlement to Fyli spring (17 km), where it meets a side road, leading to Aghia Triada.

Map of Parnitha                Satellite image of Parnitha

Map and satellite image reviewed by Mrs. F. Kokla, Forester-M.Sc. Environment and Development



Play our game and meet the animals living on Mt Parnitha!



  Forest Service of Parnitha
  Thrakomakedonon Ave.    142, Acharnes. GR13601
   Athens, Greece.

Tel.: 0030 210 2434061-3 fax.: 0030 210 2434064



  Eirini Aplada, Biologist-M.Sc. Environmental Biology and Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystem Management