The hike to Pan’s Cave is one of my favorite hikes at Mt.Parnitha. Even when the rest of the mountain teems with day-trippers from Athens the area around Fili stays quite and peaceful. Except for few climbers trying to vanquish the high cliffs at Alogopetra outside of Fili we met almost no one. The Pan’s cave can be accessed only by foot and there are no coffee shops or taverns nearby which, fortunately, discourages the crowds.
The area can be reached quite easily by Athens public transport but once you get lost in the woods it’s easy to forget how close to the city you actually are. To get there we took the suburban train from Stathmos Larisis at the center of Athens to Ano Liosia at the northern suburbs. The train runs every hour and there is no need for an extra ticket. From Ano Liosia the bus no.723 goes to Fili. The whole journey from Stathmos Larisis to Fili took us less than 30 minutes.
The best stop to get of the bus in Fili is called Ag.Kyprianoy. From here continue to the crossroad and take left turn towards the church of Ag.Nikolaos. After about two kilometers of walking uphill on an asphalt road among small farms with goats and other domestic animals you will reach another crossroad. The asphalt road ends here and there is a choice of two dirt roads. Take the left one and continue towards the cliffs where it turns in to a path with red markings.
The path to the Pan’s cave is very well-marked so getting lost would be difficult. However, if you plan on getting back different way or want to explore the area further the Terrain map of Parnitha can be very useful.
The first section of the trail follows the cliffs of Alogopetra and offers great views toward the Kleiston monastery on the other side of the valley. After joining the path from Kleiston Monastery there is a strenuous climb up to the Premi Cave. This is the most tiresome section of the trail but it didn’t take too long and we reached the top of the cliffs above the Goura valley. From here the path winds along the edge of the slope with wonderful views of the valley.
The last descent to the cave is the most fun. After a steep decline the path ends and there is a long drop to the terrace in front of the cave. Small steps have been carved to the rock to allow the descent and there is a steel rope securing the climb. It looks dangerous from the top but only the first step is a bit difficult. The rest is fun and great place for photos.
For centuries the cave was the place of worship of the good Pan, therefore the name. If you bring a flashlight and don’t mind shrieking bats flying over your head you can explore the 70 meters long cave with some interesting stalagmites and stalactites. Otherwise, enjoy the well deserved break in front of the cave surrounded by soothing greenery.
To return back to Fili either follow the same trail back or continue from the cave down to the stream and climb up on the other side of the valley. The first ascent is very steep but after a while the path widens and continues up and around the Arma mountain. This option is longer and more grueling but gives the opportunity to visit the Kleiston Monastery towards the end of the walk. Either way its gonna be another 6-7 km of wandering through this glorious landscape before reaching Fili.