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Mount Geraneia is a 30 kilometers long mountain range covering eastern Corinthia and part of Western Attica. With its highest peak, Makryplagi, reaching an altitude of only 1.351 meters, it doesn’t seem particularly impressive from distance. But step on one of its lovely mountain trails and you’ll be taken to an unexpected paradise of shady pine forests and flowery alpine meadows with beautiful views all around.
Spring is by far the best season to visit Mount Geraneia. During our spring visit, the grassy meadows at the upper parts of Geraneia ridge were covered by a carpet of colorful wildflowers, filling the air with sweet scents and soft buzzing of bees relentlessly skipping between the blossoms.
That being said, our recent September hike was just as pleasant. Not only we got to experience the first signs of autumn at the deciduous groves around Pisia but also spotted plenty of beautiful yellow and purple autumn crocuses peeking from the dry pastures.
The eastern part of Mount Geraneia overlooking Kineta suffered from a horrible forest fire in 2018, striping the mountainside of all its beautiful pine forest. Fortunately, western Geraneia managed to escape this grim fate so far and remains one of the greenest areas in Attica.
What’s more, it doesn’t take more than one and a half hours to reach Pisia, the starting point of our hike, by car from Athens. This makes Geraneia the perfect destination for an easy day trip from the Greek capital.
To get to Pisia from Athens, follow the Athens – Corinth highway. Leave the highway right before crossing the Corinth Canal and follow signs for Loutraki and later Perachora.
At Perachora, watch for a sign towards Pisia and Schinos pointing to the right. Once at Pisia, drive through the village following signs for Platanos tavern at its upper end. The parking at the tavern is for guests only so park your car at the upper end of the village or at the small church called Agios Athanasios.
Climbing from Pisia to Pintiza Peak (1.032 meters)
The trail starts behind a stone spring on the left side of the tavern at an altitude of 600 meters. It is clearly marked by yellow signs. The spring is the only reliable water source on the way to the top so make sure to fill your water bottle here.
Right at the beginning of the trail, after passing an abandoned-looking building, there is a fork in the path. The right section, marked by fainted red paint, is much steeper. The left path, marked by yellow signs, ascents more gently but is easy to overlook so pay attention here.
In general, the first section of the trail is quite steep and tiring and after a couple of hundred meters, we were out of breath and stripping off all extra layers of clothing.
But it doesn’t take too long (around an hour) to reach the first meadows and from here walking becomes easy and pleasant again. At this point, there are few natural rocky viewpoints just a short walk away from the path offering stunning views towards the Alkyonides Gulf and the eastern parts of Mount Geraneia.
After a while, you’ll come across a small, fenced-off building sitting at an altitude of 960 meters. Passing the building, the path turns straight up the grassy slope towards the Pinitza peak.
The Pinitza peak, marked by a small cement column, is not at all prominent, and reaching it is kind of anticlimactic. But the panoramic views from the top are breath-taking and well worth the climb. On a clear day, you can see as far as the mountains of Northern Peloponnese towards the south and Mount Helicon to the north.
Detour to climb Petra Perachoras (906 meters)
Looking west from the Pinitza summit, you may notice a rocky peak sitting right at the western edge of the ridge. If you are adventurous, have some scrambling experience, and a good head for heights you can make a detour to climb this lower but much more impressive summit as well.
Resist the urge to take a shortcut to the rock right from the Pinitza peak, though, it looks closer and easier than it really is. Believe me, we learned the hard way!
The path to Petra Perachoras starts about a hundred meters above the small building mentioned earlier and branches to the right off the main trail (when walking up). There is a small spring with an adjoining trough nearby which can serve as a pointer.
At first, the trail is marked by old plastic stripes tied to trees and later by red signs painted on the rocks. It was quite hard to find and equally challenging to follow. The ridge is crisscrossed by a maze of goat paths and the signs marking the right trail are faded and far apart.
Once at the foot of Patra Perachoras, search for yellow signs painted on the rock. They mark the final scramble to the summit. This is not an easy task and there is a huge drop on all sides of the rock so be very, very careful.
On its way to the top, the path first squeezed between some very scratchy bushes and the rock, followed by a steep scramble and a short traverse to the right side of the cliff – this was by far the scariest part of the climb for those of us suffering from a fear of heights. The panoramic views from the top towards Lake Vouliagmeni and Cape Malagavi are well worth all the trouble!
We returned back to Pisia the same way. However, if you are up for a longer traverse of the mountain (and can handle the logistics) there are many other descent routes choose from, either towards Osios Patapios Monastery and Loutraki or to the North towards Schinos. The area is covered by the Anavasi map of Geraneia, Kitheronas, and Pateras Mountains or you can find additional information on the Hellas Path website HERE (in Greek).
If you have time to spare after your hike, make sure to explore some of the beautiful beaches of the Loutraki Perachora peninsula. Check out THIS post for inspiration.