Not many sprawling urban centers in the world are surrounded by cliffs, but Athens is surely one of them. The area of Fili, less than a 30-minute drive from downtown Athens at the foot of Mt Parnitha, is dotted with quite a few good limestone crags. If you are anywhere near Athens on April 16th & 17th, don’t miss the 2nd Fili Climbing Festival organized by the local climbing club, EPOS Filis. The Fili Climbing Festivals seem to be building a nice tradition for Athenian climbers; after last year’s very successful first festival, the 2nd Fili Climbing Festival is anticipated even more eagerly.
There is a detailed schedule of the weekend’s events on the EPOS Filis website (in Greek). In a nutshell, there will be multiple activities and instructional seminars for both beginners (intro to climbing etc) and more experienced climbers (climbing marathon, improving technique, self-rescue, proper belaying etc). Beginners’ events will be at sector EPOS Filis, while those for more experienced climbers will mostly be next door at sector Mikri Varasova. There will be free climbing at some 22 crags around Mt Parnitha, including Pigi Avrami, Alogopetra, Strofes, Paidotopos, Acharneis, Platosi, Ekstrateia, Spilia Roussou and Arma.
Registrations will be at sector Mikri Varasova. Climbing starts around 10:00 on both days. There will be a variety of other outdoor activities starting at 08:00 on both days (canyoning, hiking, via ferrata, cycling, yoga, slackline) plus an archival photo exhibit about two pioneers of Greek climbing at the old Fili City Hall. Some new crags in the area will also be introduced during the festival. Saturday night’s highlights include the film Meru and a crag party under the stars.
For climbers visiting from out of town there will be a special camping area with tents near the cliffs. Helmets are mandatory for climbing during the festival.
For more info see the festival’s Facebook page, the EPOS Filis website and the video from last year’s EPOS Filis Climbing Festival.