The pastures and meadows of Mount Parnitha: Mola, Limiko, Saloniki

The view from the tower of Limiko, Mount Parnitha

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If you are looking to spend a quiet day at Mount Parnitha far away from the crowds this is the perfect hike for you. It passes through the unspoiled fir and pine forests of Northern Parnitha, its tranquil meadows, and the impressive stone-built tower of Limiko.

We’ve already done this hike twice, during spring and autumn, and each time we hardly met anyone. Except for a few lone hikers at Limiko we had this beautiful corner of Mount Parnitha all to ourselves.

Spring is the best time to visit this part of the mountain thanks to the abundance of wildflowers covering its slopes! However, I equally enjoyed our autumn hike to Limiko and Saloniki when the grassy pastures turned golden and the occasional plane or oak tree added a splash of colour to the otherwise pure green scenery.

How to get to Mola from the center of Athens

To get to the beginning of the trail at Mola from Athens you’ll need a car. The drive from the center to Mola took us approximately one hour. We drove in the direction of Acharnai / Parnitha at first and later followed signs for the cable car of Mont Parnon casino.

We passed the bottom station of the cable car and continued towards the top of the mountain through a series of sharp turns with breathtaking views across Athens.

Once at the top, we continued towards Agia Triada, a crossroad with an eponymous church and ruins of the once charming Kyklamina chalet. We turned right here and followed the asphalt road past Mpafi and Flampouri refuges.

When we arrived at Mola we drove past the charming stone-built church of Saint Peter and parked our car on a small clearing on the right side of the road. You can see the exact directions on Google Maps HERE.

Difficulty, maps and signposting

At 15 km in length and about 550 meters of elevation gain this hike may seem relatively easy on paper. However, in reality, it had its challenges.

The trail was clear and easy to follow except for a small section between Limiko and Saloniki. At this part of the hike, the path was rockier, overgrown by lush vegetation with a couple of fallen trees blocking the way.

The final climb from Saloniki to Mola was quite tiring, too. It covers most of the elevation gain of the day and doesn’t provide much shade (or protection from the rain) in the first half.

That being said, the rest of the trail was marked well with red or purple signs and quite easy to navigate. The area is covered in the Anavasi Map of Mount Parnitha but we didn’t really need to use our map during this hike. You can find our Wikiloc recording of the trail HERE.

Except for Mola, we didn’t find any springs along the way, just a few picturesque yet murky wells, so make sure to bring enough water with you on the hike.

Mola to Limiko

In Mola, we parked our car at a small clearing on the right side of the road right in front of a metal gate. We passed the gate and followed a wide forest track running slightly downhill through the forest.

After about 500 meters we arrived at another gate blocking the road near a wooden sign with a map. We turned right here and joined a narrow trail, marked by small stone cairns, running across a meadow.

It became much clearer once it entered the forest and soon we spotted the first red signs pinned to the trees. For the next approximately 3 kilometers we walked through beautiful, shady fir forest enjoying its earthy scents and calming chirping of the birds.

The begining of the trail from Mola to Limiko, Mount Parnitha
Forest trail between Mola and Limiko at Mount Parnitha
Colourfull wildflowers at Mount Parnitha
Hiking sign at a crossroad of paths at Mount Parnitha

Limiko

Once we reached the pastures at Limiko, our path turned into a dirt track winding through the grassy meadows towards a small church called Agios Georgios.

We passed another trail branching off to the left towards the Spring of Goura and Agia Paraskevi and continued to the top of a low hill called Pireza. Soon, we arrived at the tower of Limiko sitting at an altitude of 814 meters.

The 3.5 meters-tall stone tower is well hidden among the trees and we didn’t see it until the last minute. However, the views from the top across the surrounding mountains and forests are breathtaking!

The tower of Limiko was built in the 4th century BC and is a pretty impressive sight, even if not particularly tall. I didn’t find much information about its history online but you can read at least a little bit about it HERE

The tower of Limiko, Mount Parnitha
Mount Parnitha
The tower of Limiko, Mount Parnitha
The view from the tower of Limiko, Mount Parnitha
The view from the tower of Limiko, Mount Parnitha

Limiko to Saloniki

We left Limiko following the same trail until we spotted a path branching off to the left toward Saloniki marked by a wooden sign. We joined the rocky trail and started our gradual descent towards the pastures of Saloniki.

After about half a kilometer we arrived at another smaller meadow called Pigadakia, a beautiful spot adorned by two picturesque old wells.

From here the trail become narrower and rockier, with tree branches obscuring the path in a few places and a couple of fallen trees blocking the way. It was still easy to follow just not as clear as the previous part.

After about one and a half kilometers we come out of the forest at the large, grassy meadows at the plateau of Saloniki surrounded by low, forested hills.

Hiking sign at Mount Parnitha
Pigadakia, Mount Parnitha
The meadows at Saloniki, Mount Parnitha
Walking accross the meadows at Saloniki, Mount Parnitha
Walking accross the meadows at Saloniki, Mount Parnitha
Hiking at Mount Parnitha, Athens, Greece
Dandelions

Saloniki to Mola

We walked across the meadows enjoying the serene scenery until we came across a dirt road. We turned left here and followed the road for the next one and a half kilometers.

Shortly after a right turn in the otherwise straight road, we spotted a path branching off to the left marked by a small cairn. We joined the trail and started our ascent back to Mola.

The next section of the hike was the most tiring thanks to the elevation gain and rocky nature of the trail. About 500 meters into our climb we come across a series of unusual rock formations surrounded by lush green vegetation.

Walking on top of the eroded rocks was quite challenging but the exotic scenery was one of my favorites along this trail. We briefly lost our trail here as well and had to pay close attention to the Wikiloc recording we were following to locate it again.

From here, the path descended slightly through the bushes until it came out onto a small clearing with a crossroad of multiple trails. Our path, marked by purple signs, continued uphill and into the forest.

From here until Mola, the trail run through beautiful fir forest with views opening up occasionally towards the summit of Mount Parnitha and the South Eubean Gulf.

A crossroad of paths
Rocky landscape at Mount Parnitha, Greece
Hiking at Mount Parnitha, Athens, Greece
Hiking at Mount Parnitha, Athens, Greece
Hiking at Mount Parnitha, Athens, Greece
Mount Parnitha
Hiking trail and sign at Mount Parnita, Greece
Cistus Creticus
Hiking sign in the forest of Mount Parnitha.

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