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The stream of Goura is one of the loveliest streams of Mount Parnitha, at least in my opinion, and we spent many adventure-filled afternoons exploring its rugged riverbed near Moni Kliston and the striking Goura Gorge. This time, we decided to visit the upper section of the stream above the Cave of Pan, quieter and more remote, but equally charming.
To get to the beginning of this trail you’ll need a car. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the trailhead from the center of Athens. We drove through Fyli in Western Attica and continued in the direction of Moni Kliston. However, we ignored the branch of the road heading towards the monastery and instead continued uphill.
After about 10 minutes we reached a small parking spot at a sharp left turn of the road with few signs pointing to the forest. This was the starting point of our trail, as well as the trails heading towards the Via Ferrata of Arma and the Cave of Pan. See the location in Google Maps HERE.
The 12 kilometers long hike took us around 4 hours to complete and wasn’t particularly challenging. For a big part of the route we followed forest roads with little elevation gain and the rest of the trails were clear and relatively comfortable, too.
The trails were marked very well with plenty of signs along the way. Following the forest road was pretty straightforward too, even without signposting. However, the trail passes through some of the lesser-visited parts of Mount Parnitha and we only met few other hikers throughout the day. Bringing a map is definitely a good idea but you can also see the trail on Wikiloc HERE.
Timing is the key to visiting the stream of Goura. As all the streams of Mount Parnitha, Goura is seasonal and disappears completely during the summer. But in the winter and early spring, its current is strong and creates uncountable pools and waterfalls on its way through the mountains.
But it’s not just the amount of water in the stream that makes winter the perfect season for a visit. Although I believe this would be a beautiful hike in any kind of weather, on a wet, misty February day the place was just magical!
From the colorful winter flowers peeking from the mossy forest floor, ivy-covered tree branches and bright green ferns clinging to the wet boulders along the stream to the sweet-scented soggy forest and rugged cliffs disappearing into the mist, it all come together in a fairy-tale beautiful scene.
We started our hike at a place called Klisti Strofi and at first we followed signs for Acient road of Arma and Pan’s Cave. The trail is marked by blue signs. It climbs steadily through the pine-clad slopes of Arma until Kiafa Marista, the highest point of the hike.
Through the climb, we got to admire beautiful views towards Fyli and its surroundings as well as the remains of the ancient road of Arma, one of the many old roads in the area. About halfway through the climb, we passed a viewpoint towards the impressive Fortress of Fyli sitting on a rocky outcrop on the opposite side of the valley.
Shortly after passing Kiafa Marista, we reached a crossroad with one path continuing straight towards the Cave of Pan and another branching to the left towards Apostoli, Spela Mprempou and Poros. We turned left and followed the trail towards Apostoli.
This section of the trail was marked by a mix of orange (or faded red) signs and green paint but even without the signs, it would be easy to follow.
It run horizontally across the forested slopes for about a kilometer before dropping down to the stream of Goura for the first time.
After a short photo break and a bit of exploration up and down the stream we crossed to the other side and followed the trail uphill until we reached a wide forest road.
We turned left here and followed the road for a couple of kilometers until we reached Goura for the second time.
The stream run across the road at a spot called Poros, cascading down to the valley in series of picturesque small waterfalls.
But it was the gorge above the road that become the highlight of our hike! There is no path passing through the gorge but it is possible to make your way through by climbing over boulders, skipping across the stream, and squeezing through bushes.
You can explore just a couple hundred meters of the gorge like we did or hike all the way to the spring of Goura some 2 kilometers higher. Either way, you’ll get to experience a fairy-tale beautiful piece of nature filled with stately plane trees, moss-covered boulders of all shapes and sizes, coniferous groves, bubbling rapids, and even a few small waterfalls!
To return back to our car, we crossed the stream and continued walking along the forest road for about 3 kilometers until we reached its end at Kiafa Marista. There were few unmarked crossroads along the way but navigating them was easy, just choose the leftmost branch of the road every single time.
From Kiafa Marista, we descended back to our car following the same path we used at the beginning of the hike enjoying the beautiful views towards Fyli in Athens for one last time.
Update: Hiking from Poros to the Spring of Goura
Another Saturday, another trip to the stream of Goura. This time, we made it all the way up to the spring of Goura by following the riverbed from Poros. Let me tell you, it was not an easy quest!
The narrow gorge was blocked by fallen trees and thick bushes and we had to skip across the stream many times in order to make our way through. But after a while, the canyon opened up and the coniferous forest gave way to grassy meadows. From here, walking was much easier.
About halfway through we met another spring called Kroniza, consisting of multiple small streams bubbling through the grass on the right side of the gorge. After we finished admiring this lovely spot we continued upstream following the riverbed lined by rows of plane trees.
The spring of Goura lies on the right slope of the valley as well, some 50 meters above the riverbed. There is a concrete basin from which the water overflows and runs down the grassy slopes in a myriad of small cascades.
To return back to Poros we followed a narrow path starting at the basin. It wasn’t marked but seemed to be cleared recently and was easy to follow. There were few steeper sections along the way but it was still much easier than hiking through the bottom of the gorge.