What to do if you are stuck in Athens for the weekend but still have half a day to get into nature and do what you enjoy most, a nice walk in the woods?
You can explore of course Mount Parnitha, so close from Athens with so much to offer.
A good friend and a plan and there we are 50 km north from Athens at Moni Stoudiou, a few kilometers outside Avlona village. There’s where we park the car and the hike begins.
At first we follow a path parallel to a gravel road and soon we arrive at a small church of St. Nikolas (Aghios Nikolaos).
Very close to this church, it is actually the beginning of the path that gets into the gorge where there is the chapel of Santa Marina (Aghia Marina). Reaching there was the plan at the first place. Although it is very regular to find a church or monastery at the most beautiful view points in Greece, I never expected to find such a little treasure on Mount Parnitha, so close to Athens.
You do not need to be religious to feel the divine tranquility it offers. You just need to relax at the balcony and enjoy the silence. The only noise you may listen are the airplanes just to remind you the proximity to the city. Don’t forget to bring a stove to prepare a coffee or why not? – a meal.
The way back was a longer walk, about 8 out of 13 total kilometers, some through a path, others on gravel roads. The road net is dense so I think a map or gps is essential. The route generally moves on gentle slopes with a total elevation difference of 528meters, which makes it ideal for families and people of almost any physical condition as well as for a bike ride! Next time 😉