Do you love hiking and are you looking for the best hikes near Athens in Greece? Find in this post information for 6 of my favorite trails close to Athens, easily done on a day trip.

group of hikers in Parnitha mountain in Athens
Parnitha hiking

Even though Athens is more famous for its archaeological sites than its hiking trails, it is a great place for day hikes. Athens is surrounded by 4 major mountains that offer a great variety of landscapes, levels of difficulty, and trails to choose from.

Find in this post a shortlist of the best easy Athens trails that I have explored myself many times both in winter, spring, and fall. In Summer, hiking in Greece is very challenging as you may suffer heatstroke if you are not careful.

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Athens Quick Reference

Best Hikes near Athens

The best hikes near Athens are in Parnitha Mt, Hymettos Mt, Aigaleo Mt, Marathon Lake, and the southernmost of Attika, Cape Sounion.

1. Parnitha, TatoiGreek Royal Palace
2. Parnitha, Mpafi & Flambouri Casino, Cable Car, 2 Refuges
3. Hymettos, Kaisariani Byzantine Monastery
4. Aigaleo, Daphni Unesco Listed Dapnhi Monastery, Botanical Garden
5. Attika, MarathonLake, Dam, Marathon Tomb
6. Attika, SounioTemple of Poseidon, Thoriko Theatre, Silver Mine

Parnitha Mt, Tatoi Royal Estate

2 hikers and a small white dog walk in Parnitha mountain in Tatoi Athens
Parnitha Tatoi Trail

Parnitha is the largest mountain in Athens with its highest elevation being the Karavola peak at 1,413m. It is a National Protected Natura Park, a very beautiful and versatile mountain, 42,2 km from Athens. Parnitha offers some of the best hikes near Athens

Best Hikes in Athens: the Tatoi Palace from a drone
Parnitha Tatoi
  • Where exactly is Tatoi? Foothills of North Parnitha Mt, 27 km from Athens center
  • The difference in Altitude: Max 160 m
  • Focus on: Nature, Forest, History Buffs, Royal Enthusiasts
Best Hikes near Athens, Evgenia in Tatoi

Best time to visit: Anytime during the year. Even if it snows, there will be too little snow to cause any trouble. My favorite months for hiking in Greece are October, November, and April.

How can I get there?

I would advise you to go with someone who knows the area unless you are a GPS expert.

The distance is about 40 minutes through Tatoiou Street. There are two entrances to the estate: one just behind Leonidas Tavern (143 Tatoiou Street) and another that takes you directly into the palace complex following a small track leading from the parking area on Tatoiou, 300 meters before the Friends of the Forest building.

Royal Palace Tatoi buildings in Athens Gr
Complimentary Royal Building

What kind of terrain is there? Beautiful forested area, mostly even. There is a small uphill if you choose to visit the Mausoleum and the Greek Royal Tombs.

Do I need a guide? You can venture into the place by yourself. The Palace area has police guarding and other workers hanging around as they are renovating the place. Also, there are always people walking by and you can ask for guidance if you feel that you don’t know where you are going. Keep in mind that Tatoi Palace Estate is not the Appalachian Trail. Even if you get lost, soon you will end up somewhere with people.

Best Hikes near Athens, Tatoi Royal Palace in Athens
The Palace

Any water or springs? Nope. Better carry with you 1 lt of bottled water

What else is around? Dozens upon dozens of Royal buildings to pass by, and not too far, a few Greek traditional taverns. Exploring abandoned palaces whets the appetite!

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Parnitha Mt – Mpafi & Flabouri Refuge

Best Hikes near Athens, Parnitha mountain in Athens with forest and peak
Parnitha Mountain
  • Where exactly is that? Central Parnitha is about 2,5 km from Parnitha Casino and around 40 km from Athens
  • The difference in altitude: 150 m
  • Distance: 12 km (2 ways)
  • Focus on: Moutain Nature, Forest, Hiking, Greek Traditional Food
  • Best time to visit: Anytime during the year. Avoid Parnitha during blizzards.
  • How can I get there? By private car/rent a car/ professional transfer.
  • What kind of terrain is there? The part of Parnitha up to Mpafi has only low shrubs due to the old wildfire. From Mpafi towards Flabouri, it is a dense forest.
Xerovouni Peak

The areas of Mpafi and Flabouri refuges are the busiest parts of Mount Parnitha frequently visited by the nature-loving Athenians.

Any water or springs? Yes, there are many springs on the trails with drinkable water. There is also water available to purchase at the 2 refuges. In any case, take 1,5 liters of bottled water with you.

Best Hikes near Athens, The burnt side of Parnitha mt with clouds
A significant part of Parnitha was burnt in 2007, 2021 and 2023.

What else is around? Nature, many trails, and plenty of red deer!

She hangs outside the Casino area and she is very tame <3

Hiking Tour Parnitha National Park with Lunch

Book a small-group hiking tour on Parnitha Mt, hike to the best spots of the mountain, pass by springs and high plateaus, and complete this exciting tour with a Greek traditional meal (included in price) at Mpafi Refuge.

Check for prices and availability of the Parnitha hiking tour here

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Hymettos Mt-Kaisariani Monastery

Best Hikes near Athens, Forested views of hymettues mountain in Athens
Hymettos MT – Photo:

Hymettos mountain is located in the southeast of Athens with a peak elevation (Evzonas peak) of 1026 m, length of 23 km, and width of 4-6 km.

It is a protected area of Natura 2000 with a variety of landscapes and trails. It houses many important ancient and Byzantine monuments and there are many small and large caves.

Entrance to the Kaisariani Monastery full of trees yard,
Entrance to the Kaisariani Monastery
  • Where exactly is Hymettos Mt? 7 km from Athens center, in the Kaisariani area
  • The difference in altitude: 350 m
  • Best time to visit: Anytime during the year
  • How can I get there? Bus no. 224 from Evangelismos metro station to its last stop at Kaisariani cemetery or by private car/rent a car/ professional transfer/taxi
  • What kind of terrain is there? Forest of young pine and cypress trees, olive groves. Mild uphills.
  • Focus on: Forestry hiking, Athens Views, and Byzantine History.
Best Hikes near Athens, Monastery on Hymettus mt
Hymettos Monastery
  • Do I need a guide? No, if you feel comfortable navigating around by yourself and you keep the city as a very visible landmark at all times. Yes, if you wish for particular hikes and/or live commentary for the Monastery or if you wish for a longer hike.
  • Any water or springs? Yes, at the Monastery but you better carry with you at least 1-1,5 lt of bottled water
  • What else is around?
    • Byzantine Medieval Monastery of Kaisariani, about 3km from the Kaisariani area and bus stop! is open daily except for Mondays, with the last entry at 2:30 pm)
    • Nearby Taxiarchis Hill with the old Christian basilica
    • Chapel of the Ascension, a cave-like structure lined with icons
    • Asteriou Monastery

Aigaleo Mt-Daphni Monastery

Best Hikes near Athens, Aigaleo Mt in Athens Greece
In the background is the port of Piraeus

Aigaleo Mt is a low mountain, found on the left side of the national road towards Eleusis and the Peloponnese.

  • Where exactly is Aigaleo Mt? 11 km from Athens center. The peak is at 468 m
  • The difference in Altitude: 250 – 300 m
Best Hikes near Athens, Aigaleo mt Athens Greece with low vegetation
Views of Saronic Gulf from Aigaleo
  • Best time to visit: Anytime during the year
  • Focus on: Alternative mountain, less trodden, sea views.
Best Hikes near Athens, hikers on Aigaleo mt overlooking the sea
Overlooking Salamina and Eleusina
  • What kind of terrain is there? Mostly rocky, with low shrubs and some forested areas offering amazing panoramic sea views towards the Piraeus port and Eleusis sea.
  • History detail: From Aigaleo Mt, Persian King Xerxes was watching the defeat of his fleet during the naval battle in Salamina, between the Greeks and Persians.
  • Do I need a guide? Aigaleo Mt is not well signposted, so a guide or someone who knows the area is probably needed.
Best Hikes near Athens, hiker with a dog on Aigaleo mt in Athens Greece
Hiker overlooking Piraeus port
  • Any water or springs? Nope. Carry with you at least 1-1,5 lt of bottled water
  • What else is around?
    • Stunning Unesco-listed Daphni Monastery, built in the 6th AD over the ruins of an Apollo Temple. Free entrance. Open on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 08:00 – 15:00
Best Hikes near Athens, Dafni Monastery an UNESCO listed site Athens Greece
Daphni Monastery from the Aigaleo Mt

Marathon Lake

Hikes in Athens: Marathon lake and dam
Marathon Lake and dam

The Marathon Lake in Athens Greece, Attica is an artificial lake that functions as a water reservoir that supplies the town of Athens with drinking water.

A dam was constructed in 1929 and at its base, the workers built an exact replica of the Athenian Treasury Temple in Delphi. Nearby is the Marathon agricultural town with a brilliant ancient history.

Classic Marathon race took its name from this small town.

Best Hikes near Athens, The Dam in marathon Lake Athens Greece
Marathon Lake Dam
  • Where exactly is Marathon Lake? Northeast of Athens, a 1-hour drive from Athens center, 45 km away
  • Difference in Altitude: Minimal
  • Focus on: Orchards, Fields, Streams, the Lake, the Dam, Ancient History
  • Best time to visit: Anytime during the year

Related Post: Fun Things to Do In Marathon Greece

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Best Hikes near Athens, Marathon lake and mountains
Marathon Lake

How can I get to Marathon?

Public Transport KTEL Attikis, Station at Mavrommateon 22, Athens, Tel +30 210 88 08 000.

The best solution is to have your own car and stop whenever you want for as long as you want without stress about bus timetables. I always use Discover Cars for reliable new cars at affordable prices.

What kind of terrain is there? Lush vegetation, lots of water, beautiful spots to have a picnic, easy hikes

Hike Safely in Greece, summer hiking rivers stream marathon
Hiking in the Marathon area
  • Do I need a guide? Yes, if you wish to visit the many ancient sites of the area.
  • Any water or springs? Yes, we will meet shops selling water but as I always say, carry 1 lt of water with you!
  • What else is around besides the Dam and the Lake?
    • Oinoi Gorge and Tower
    • Marathon Battlefield and Archaeological Museum
    • Sanctuary of Egyptian Gods
    • Schinias National Park 
    • The Sea…

Half-Day Marathon Private Tour

Book a private tour in a luxury car with pick-up and drop-off services from your residence and visit up close, the Kallimarmaro Stadium in Athens, the Marathon Lake and the dam, the archaeological site, and the Museum of Marathon.

You may also enjoy: Tips for first-timers in Greece

Cape Sounion National Park

Best Hikes near Athens, The Temple of poseidon in Athens Riviera with sunset
Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon sunset

Sounion Cape is the southernmost tip of Attica, the ending point of Athens Riviera with the imposing Temple of Poseidon and the extensive archaeological site around it.

Surrounded by beautiful beaches, stunning sunset views, and endless places to hike, Sounion has it all.

  • Where exactly is Cape Sounio? South, 69 km from Athens
  • The difference in Altitude: Minimal
  • Focus on: History Buffs, Adventurous Souls, Mineral Enthusiasts, Lovers of the Aegean sea, Wilderness, Industrial buildings

Related Post: 17 Incredible Stops at Athens Riviera

  • Best time to visit: Anytime during the year.
  • How can I get there?
    • KTEL bus from Pedio Areos Park to Sounio (getting off the bus at Grecotel Resort right before Sounio)
    • Private Transfer or rent a car. The route is a very easy one, you just travel for 69 km by sea.
Best Hikes near Athens Athens Riviera rugged coastline
Athens Riviera Landscape
  • What kind of terrain is there? Meager vegetation, empty lands with mostly no trees.
  • Do I need a guide? No, as soon as you have read something about the huge history of the place thus can understand what you are seeing.
  • Any water or springs? Yes, we will meet shops selling water but as I always say, carry 1liter of water with you!
Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon
Temple of Poseidon

Related Post: Fun Things to Do in Cape Sounion

If you have to choose only one hike in Athens?

Hymettos Mt view in sunset
Hymmetus Mt

If you have limited time then I would recommend going to Kaisariani. It is very close to central Athens, easy to reach by taxi or public buses and there are trails to choose from easy ones around the monastery to longer hikes to the top of the mountain.

Where to Stay in Athens

Looking for the best hotels and apartments near old Athens Plaka and Acropolis Parthenon? Find in my complete list below the best accommodation in Athens for a unique travel experience!

How to get to Piraeus Port from Athens Airport

  • Bus: If you are arriving at Athens International Airport you can travel straight to the port by taking the X96 express bus (€5.5, children <6 yo, free entrance), which departs every 40 minutes and the average trip lasts 1 hour – runs 24/7.
  • Metro: (€9) is easily found across airport arrivals (blue line – M3) going directly to Piraeus port. The average trip to Piraeus lasts 1 hour.
  • Taxis are available in front of the airport (around €40 to Athens, €55-60 to Piraeus (depending on the traffic in Kifisos), and take up to 3 or 4 people with small luggage)
  • Rent a car with Discover Cars to rent reliable new cars at affordable prices
  • You don’t like driving but love hassle-free solutions? Book a Private transfer with an English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries, or anywhere else in Greece
  • Check out an entire post on Lavrio Port in Athens

Essential Travel Info for Greece

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Hi! I am an Athens-based Greek obsessed with exploring Greece and bringing you the best travel experience ever!

2 Responses

  1. Fred

    Great post – nice pic of you on the road! Did not realize there was so much hiking close to Athens.

    • Evgenia Mataragka

      Thank you, Fred, great that you found it interesting! Actually, there is much more hiking than I put into this post but I wanted to keep it short.

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