At 1413m, Parnitha (pronounced PAR-ni-tha) is on the city’s north side and it is the highest mountain in the Attica region. Despite the detrimental, and sometimes utterly catastrophic, effects of humans (including forest fires and uncontrollable building), a big part of Parnitha is covered in fir and pine trees and is designated as a National Park. Parnitha is a true oasis for the residents and climbers of Athens as well as being home to many species of wildlife, including an endangered population of red deer.
The fantastic crags of Parnitha can be accessed within 20-40 minutes by car from most parts of the city. The main crags Hasia Cave, Acharneis and Mikri Varasova are near a village called Fili.
Hasia is a stunning cave with limestone of excellent quality. Its interior features Kalymnos-like tufa material, along with holes and cracks requiring athletic yet-
technical moves, and routes graded between 6c-7c. To the right of the cave, a compact wall is equipped with easier vertical routes mostly between 5c-7a.
Sun: Before 10.00 and after 16.00. Shade in late morning and early afternoon.
Acharneis is a very popular sector south of Fili village, Acharneis (pronounced a-har-NEES) is a model training crag. Routes are easy and well-protected, the terrain below is clear, and the climbing is perfect for beginners and schools. Acharneis was created by instructors of the Acharnes Alpine Club and it serves as their main training venue.
Sun: Until 12.00 and after 18.00. Shade between noon and 18.00.
Mikri Varasova (pronounced mi-KREE va-RA-so-va) is one of the prettiest and best-equipped crags in Athens, located in a small mountain clearing. It is called ‘Little Varasova’ because of the occasionally sharp rock (especially on the wall climbs) which brings to mind the ‘flagship’ Greek crag of Varasova. A more recent crag to the left of Mikri Varasova called Epos Filis is also quite popular.
Sun: After 11.00 at Mikri Varasova, after 12.30 at Epos Filis. Shade early in the morning.
Exposure: SW and W
Climbing: Ultra-compact limestone with all kinds of features. There are about 150 routes graded from 4b to 7c on gray slabs, vertical walls, steep caves with tufas and pocketed overhangs.
Gear: Α 60m rope and 16 QD for the longer routes. Conditions Year-round climbing is possible by selecting the appropriate crag according to season and time of day.
Kids: All three crags are very child-friendly.