A view of Helmos or Aroania from Ziria, Greece

Winter ascent of Megali Ziria in photos

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At 2.376 meters, Megali Ziria or Kyllini is the second-highest mountain in Peloponnese and the 14th highest mountain in Greece. That being said, it is considered one of the easier mountains to climb during winter thanks to its relatively gentle slopes and the conveniently placed Ziria Ski Center.

One of the easier doesn’t mean easy, though. You’ll need proper winter gear and all the necessary mountaineering skills to make the climb safe and enjoyable. We decided to put our recently acquired mountaineering skills to a test by climbing to the top of Megali Ziria following the classic ascent route from Ziria Ski Center.

Views of Mikri Ziria from the trail to the summit of Megali Ziria in winter.
Stunning views of Mikri Ziria from the trail.

Mount Ziria lies in the region of Corinthia in Northern Peloponnese only about two and half hours drive from Athens. This makes it the perfect destination for a day trip from Athens and a popular weekend getaway.

To get to the beginning of our hike at Ziria Ski Center from Athens we followed the highway to Patra until Xilokastro. From here, we embarked on 40 minutes long drive through the mountains full of turns and broken roads.

On our way, we passed the charming villages of Trikala Corinthians, and soon after we arrived at the plateau of Ziria. We drove all the way to the tiny ski center of Ziria and parked our car here. You can find the directions on Google Maps HERE.

From the ski center, we roughly followed the classic summer trail climbing to the summit of Megali Ziria. It is marked by red signs and easy to find during the summer but practically nonexistent in winter.

It runs across the plateau of Ziria until it reaches a dirt road and a shabby farm building. From here, it starts its steady climb through an open gully, passing the tiny Refuge B of EOS Corinth on its way.

After about 3 kilometers the trail reaches the ridge of the mountain, turns west, and continues almost straight up towards the summit. Once at the ridge, the views towards Mikri Ziria and the mountains of Peloponnese open up, serving as a welcomed distraction during the climb.

We spotted the red signs marking the way a couple of times but for the most part, we had to use a map and Wikiloc recording to navigate our way through the snowy slopes. This was not too difficult as we’ve done the hike before. The clear, sunny weather we encountered on the day of our climb certainly helped, too. In low visibility, it could be a completely different story though.

In general, we were treated to the best weather conditions we could wish for during our winter ascent of Megali Ziria! The skies were clear and cloudless, the temperatures mild and the visibility endless. There was just the right amount of stiff snow on the slopes, too, making our ascent all the more enjoyable.

That being said, with almost 900 meters of elevation gain and 12 kilometers in length this hike was everything but easy. It took us almost 8 hours to complete but I must admit that we spent a lot of time taking pictures, admiring the views and just enjoying this glorious day.

Ziria is worth a visit during winter even if you are not up for the strenuous climb to the summit. The area is crisscrossed by a network of beautiful hiking trails leading to the frozen Limni Dasiou lake, the villages of Trikala Corinthia’s or the beautiful wooded valley of Flampouritsa separating Megali and Mikri Ziria.

Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece

Starting our climb early in the morning from the plateau of Ziria

The plateau of Ziria and the Refuge B, Greece
Looking back towards the plateau of Ziria. The ski center is tucked away behind the hills to the right and you can spot the tiny Refuge B at the bottom of the gully. And in the background…Parnassos!
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
The sun’s just about to peak above the ridgeline.
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
Opening the trail is hard work even in such perfect snow conditions. But it is strangely satisfying, too, to be the first one stepping on the unspoiled blanket of snow.
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
I loved Ziria during our autumn hike, too. But sprinkled by snow, the landscape become truly magical!
Mikri ZIria
The views are starting to open up from the ridge of Megali Ziria.
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
Its hard to put the camera down on a day like this.
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
No more signs marking the way, we are on our own!
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece

Snowy art.

View of Mikri Ziria covered by snow.
Catching a breath while enjoying the beautiful views of Mikri Ziria.
A view of Helmos or Aroania from Ziria, Greece
Finally at the top! Time to enjoy the superb panoramic views of Mount Helmos and Erymanthos.
Summit of Megali Ziria, Greece
Happy posing on the summit with the snowy peaks of Mount Parnassus in the background.
Views of Mikri Ziria from the summit, Zira, Greece
Don’t be fooled by the sunny weather, the summit of Ziria was windy and freezing cold!
Views of the mountains of Peloponnese from Megali Ziria, Greece
Neverending views across the snowy mountains of Peloponnese with Mount Taygetos peaking out in the distance.
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
Can you spot our trail?
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece
Megali Ziria Winter Ascent, Greece

Tiny people in the mountains.

Descending from Megali Ziria with a view of Mikri Ziria, Greece
There is something utterly relaxing about descending in the snow…
A view of Mikri Ziria, Peloponnese, Greece
One last picture before heading back down to Ziria plateau.

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