Mount Geraneia is a mountain range in the eastern part of Corinthia above the Isthmus of Corinth and the town of Loutraki. It doesn’t take more than one hour to reach Pisia by car from Athens so it’s the perfect destination for one day escape from the city. Getting there by bus would be a little bit more tricky but still possible and well worth the trouble. There are frequent buses from Athens to Loutraki and occasional ones going from Loutraki to Pisia at the most inconvenient hours. A better option would be to take a taxi from Loutraki to Pisia which is usually quite cheap here in Greece.
The path to the Pintiza peak (1032 m) which we choose for our hike starts from the Platanos tavern in Pisia and is marked by yellow signs. In the beginning, it climbs up steeply through the forest and after few hundred meters of the ascent we were out of breath and exhausted. But it doesn’t take long to reach the first meadows and from there walking becomes pure joy. Amazing views towards the Gulf of Corinth and the eastern part of Geraneia Mountains opened up and the meadows were bursting with wildflowers, dandelions being the star of this trip.
After passing the small farm on the way to the top there is a narrow path branching off to the right marked by red paint. It leads to the rock on the western edge of the ridge and offers great views. We didn’t spot it while walking up to Pinitza so from the top we walked directly to the rock, hopping from stone to stone, wading through the shrubs and in the end forcing our way through a very dense grove. I don’t recommend following our example unless you are after scratches and scrapes all over your body and thorns in your shoes.
The panoramic views from the ridge were breathtaking, though. There are Loutraki and Corinth to the south with the famous canal easily distinguishable from above. To the north one can see the Gulf of Corinth and its northern coast slowly fading into the distance. Last but not least there is the beautiful sunken lake Vouliagmeni glistening on the west.
On the way back we stopped at the Osios Patapios Monastery on the slopes of Mount Geraneia high above Loutraki. The monastery was built around a cave where the remains of Saint Patasios were found in 1904 during excavations. The cave still holds the relics of the Saint which has the power to heal the faithful and to frighten the rest of us. But the Monastery itself is very pretty, the nuns somewhat friendly and the views from the terrace towards Loutraki absolutely stunning.