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If you are looking for an easy hike at Mount Parnitha with plenty of interesting sights along the way this trail is for you! It starts at the cozy mountain refuge Mpafi and circulates two of Parnitha’s highest summits, Karavola (1.413 meters) and Ornio (1.350 meters).
The trail runs through a beautiful unspoiled forest and passes a number of charming springs, stunning viewpoints, and the picturesque stonebuilt church of Agios Petros ať Mola.
Mpafi isn’t the only place where you can start this hike, the trail crosses the main asphalt road of Mount Parnitha at Mesiano Nero and Mola, too. But there is nothing like finishing a hike with a glass of cold beer and a plate of homemade fasolada (bean soup) which makes Mpafi the ideal choice!
Signposting & Difficulty
This 12 kilometers long circular hike was one of the easiest we’ve done on Mount Parnitha and took us only about 4 – 5 hours to complete. It followed clear, well-marked trails the whole time and with only about 450 meters of elevation gain, it was not too physically challenging either.
We used our Anavasi Map of Mount Parnitha to navigate the trail but you can also follow our recording of the trail on Wikilock HERE. What’s more, on a lovely sunny Saturday there were plenty of other people on the trails so asking for directions would be possible, too.
How to get to the beginning of the trail at Mpafi from Athens
To get to Mpafi from the center of Athens you’ll need a car. We drove in the direction of Acharnai / Parnitha at first and later followed the 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.
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 until we spotted the roof of the Mpafi refuge peeking above the trees. You can see the exact directions on Google maps HERE.
Mpafi – Koromilia
From Mpafi, we followed a trail towards Flabouri refuge marked by yellow signs. It crossed the grassy meadows near Mpafi before disappearing into the forest.
After about five hundred meters, we returned back to the main asphalt road running across the top of Mount Parnitha, turned right here and followed the road until we spotted a dirt road branching off to the right.
This road leads all the way to the Flabouri refuge but we left it about halfway through in a sharp, right-hand turn. There is a sign pointing towards Koromilia at the crossroad and a path marked by red signs running off to the left.
At Koromilia, you’ll find a lovely, stone build spring with running water and a wooden picnic table making it the perfect spot for a break. We didn’t stop here though and instead made a short detour to the Black Forest, one of the most beautiful forests at Mount Parnitha.
To reach this section of the forest, we turned right at the dirt road running below the spring of Koromilia and followed the road until we reached a sign pointing to the left towards Thrakomakedones. There is no sign marking the right spot but once you find yourself walking among a thick forest of impressive black pines, tall and perfectly straight, you’ll understand!
Mesiano Nero – Mola
From Koromilia, a trail marked by red signs runs towards the spring at Mesiano Nero crossing a forest road couple of times. It is a busy trail and you’ll probably meet plenty of other hikers along the way.
At Mesiano Nero make sure to climb to the small rocky outcrop above the spring. It is equipped with a wooden kiosk and picnic tables and offers striking views across the forests of Mount Parnitha and the summit of Xerovouni.
From Mesiano Nero we followed a forest road all the way up to the main asphalt road connecting Mpafi with Mola. We crossed the road and found a trail marked by red signs, diving to the forest on the opposite side. It took us to Mola in no time.
The main attraction of Mola is the charming stone-built church of Agios Petros but there is a spring and a couple of picnic tables nearby, too. All this together with easy access by car and beautiful surroundings make Mola a popular destination for the Athenians and can get quite busy especially during the weekends.
Mola – EDASA Fire Lookout – Skipiza – Mpafi
From Mola, we followed a trail towards Skipiza marked by purple signs. It starts as a steep climb, probably the most challenging part of this hike, but after a while, it turns into a comfortable path running horizontally across the forested slopes.
At some point, a trail marked by red signs branches to the left towards Mpafi. Right before EDASA, another trail marked by yellow signs descends down to the left towards Skipiza. We ignored both and continued all the way to EDASA.
The fire lookout of EDASA sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the western part of Mount Parnitha and offers amazing views across the rolling hills. We ate our lunch here while trying to spot all the places we’ve been to (like the tower of Limiko) and plotting our next adventures.
Once finished admiring the views we continued across the top of the hill above the lookout and down towards the Skipiza spring. Here we joined a trail marked by yellow signs running towards Mpafi. After a while, it emerged out of the forest and continued across barren landscapes damaged by the devastating fires of 2007.
When we reached a forest road, we turned left and followed it all the way down to the asphalt road running across the top section of Mount Parnitha. We turned left here and soon we arrived at Mpafi. The only thing left at this point? Cold beer and fasolada!
More from Parnitha:
- LIMIKO TOWER HIKE: PALIOCHORI, DIASELO PANOS, LAKKA ZIRELI, LIMIKO, MAVROREMA, DRASIZA
- RAINY HIKE TO THE STREAM OF GOURA AT WESTERN PARNITHA
- FYLI FORTRESS HIKE AT WESTERN PARNITHA
- AGIOS GEORGIOS KERAMIDIOU HIKE AT MOUNT PARNITHA
- PAN’S CAVE HIKE AT MOUNT PARNITHA
- AVLONA TO AGIA MARINA HIKE AT MOUNT PARNITHA