Welcome to the National Park of Parnitha!
Parnitha is located in Sterea Ellas (Central Greece) and is
the highest mountain in the vicinity of Athens. It extends in
a large area, presenting variable topography with several summits,
gorges, streams and plateaus.
In 1961 the entire mountain (~25,000 hectares) was declared
a National Park. The core zone of the Park comprises the high
peaks of Parnitha, an area of c. 3,800 hectares, and most of
that area (90%) is covered with firforest (Abies cephalonica).
Around the core lies the peripheral or buffer zone, which includes
the rest of the mountain and is covered with pinus forest(Pinus
variable topography is the most interesting characteristic of
Parnitha. Long ridges extending from east to west form 16 summits
with altitude above 1,000 m, Karabola summit being the highest
The main substrates of Mt Parnitha are sedimentary and metamorphic
rocks, formed c. 570-1 million years ago. Schists and marbles
are the most common substrates, followed by schists (which appear
in the valleys) and some flysch.
The arrangement of the rocks favours the existence of 46 springs,
which flow continuously and form several streams and small ponds.
Limestone allows the flow of water through it, while schist
doesn't; where limestone meets schist, water emerges on the
surface, forming a spring. The Kithara spring is well known
for supplying the Hadrian Aqueduct, which
was completed in 140 A.D. and consisted primarily of an underground
tunnel, 25 km. long, which was constructed manually through
solid rock by hundreds of slaves using simple tools such as
chisels and hammers. The aqueduct was designed not only to transfer
water towards the city but also to collect it through a number
of smaller catchment works along the way.
The Hadrian Aqueduct began at the foot of Mount Parnitha in
the area of Tatoi and transported water by gravity to a stone
reservoir on the hill of Lycabettus in the city of Athens. Other
well known springs are the Aghia Triada, Mola, Skipiza and Koromilia
There are no rivers of continuous flow on the mountain. However,
there are a lot of seasonal streams with clear water, such as
the Aghia Triada, Chouni, Mola, Keladonas, Aghios Georghios
and Maurorema streams.
On Mt. Parnitha there are also several caves and precipices,
especially on the south and southwest slopes, where limestone
dominates. The most famous cave is the one of Panas, name taken
by the worship of the God Panas and the Nymphs. It lies in the
north of Keladonas' gorge, at 620 m.
The most beautiful precipices are in Keramidi (27 m depth),
Tamilthi (35 m depth), Gkoura (20 m depth), Dekeleia (20 m depth)
and Ntabelis'(8 m depth, 200 m2 cave).
The climate of the mountain differs substantially from the climate
of the Attica plain, especially in regard to air temperature
and precipitation. The temperature in the high peaks of Parnitha
smaller than the temperature
in the foothills. The precipitation is double in higher altitudes,
while frost and fog are very common during fall and winter.
Parnitha lies only 30 km NW of central Athens and can be easily
accessed by south and west. From the south, the main road leads
from the foothills of the mountain until Aghia Triada (1,020
m alt.), where it meets a belt road 16 km long - not accessible
to automobiles. From the west, main road leads from Fyli settlement
to Fyli spring (17 km), where it meets a side road, leading
to Aghia Triada.
of Parnitha Satellite
image of Parnitha
and satellite image reviewed by Mrs. F. Kokla, Forester-M.Sc.
Environment and Development