6 Best & Easy Trails in Athens Greece

posted in: Athens, Hiking | 2

Updated November 24th, 2021 by Travel the Greek Way

Parnitha Mt

Even though Athens is more famous for its archaeological sites than its hiking trails, Athens 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.

This is a shortlist of the best both easy and exciting Athens trails that I have explored myself.

I am a passionate hiker myself and my 6 top-rated and most favorite easy Athens hikes are:

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Best Athens Easy Hikes

AREAFAMOUS FOR
1. Parnitha, TatoiGreek Royal Palace
2. Parnitha, Mpafi & Flambouri Casino, Cable Car, Refuge Food
3. Hymettus, Kaisariani Byzantine Monastery
4. Aigaleo, Dafni Unesco Listed Monastery, Botanical Garden
5. Attika, MarathonLake, Dam, Marathon Tomb
6. Attika, SounioTemple of Poseidon, Thoriko Theatre, Silver Mine

Parnitha Mt, Tatoi Royal Estate

Parnitha Tatoi Trail

Parnitha is the largest mountain in Athens with its highest elevation to be 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 Tatoi
  • Where exactly is Tatoi? Foothills of North Parnitha Mt, 27 km from Athens centre
  • Difference in Altitude: Max 160 m
  • Focus on: Nature, Forest, History Buffs, Royal Enthusiasts
Me, happy at Tatoi

Best time to visit: Anytime during the year. Even if it snows, there will be too little snow to cause any trouble. My most favorite month is October (still warm but not too much) and April (everything has blossomed)

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 more 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.

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 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.

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!

5 Hour Tour in Tatoi Royal Palace

Tatoi tour

You don’t want to risk getting lost or missing a site in Tatoi Palace?

Book a Hassle-free Pick-up and drop-off from your residence tour of all the supporting buildings of the Palace: the gardens, the old hotel, the stables, the winery, the graveyard, and the mausoleum.

The tour also includes a trekking tour in the forest with a final stop at the beautiful lake Beletsi.

Check availability and prices of this exciting Tatoi Palace tour on the VIATOR website here


Parnitha Mt – Mpafi & Flabouri Refuge

Parnitha hiking Athens
  • Where exactly is that? Central Parnitha about 2,5 km from Parnitha Casino and around 40 km from Athens
  • 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.

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, but there are fountains on the trails with drinkable water. There is water available to purchase at the 2 refuges. In any case, take 1,5 lt bottled water with you.

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

Parnitha’s Red Deer – Protected Species


Hiking Tour Parnitha National Park with Lunch

Hiking parnitha

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

Hymettus Mt-Kaisariani Monastery

Hymettus MT – Photo: Kaisarianitora.gr

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

  • Where exactly is Hymettus Mt? 7 km from Athens centre, in Kaisariani area
  • Difference in altitude: 350m
  • 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.
  • 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 particular hikes and/or live commentary for the Monastery or you wish a longer hike.
  • Any water or springs? Yes, at the Monastery but 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 Kaisariani area and bus stop!  (€2 entrance fee – 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 functioning Monastery

Hiking Gear: Even though the hikes of this post are not demanding ones, you should never go hiking without proper shoes, even if the mountain is low or a short hike. If you haven’t already got adequate equipment have a look at Amazon, it has some good hiking shoe choices for the Athens hikes:

Aigaleo MtDafni Monastery

On 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? Western Athens, 11 km from the centre. The peak is at 468 m.
  • Difference in Altitude: 250 – 300 m
  • Best time to visit: Anytime during the year
  • How can I get there? Bus Info: http://www.diomedes-bg.uoa.gr/access-en.html or private car/rent a car/ professional transfer/taxi
  • Focus on: Alternative mountain, less trodden, sea views.
  • 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 Greek 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.
  • Any water or springs? Nope. Carry with you at least 1-1,5 lt of bottled water
  • What else is around?
    • Stunning Unesco listed Dafni Monastery, built on the 6th AD over the ruins of an Apollo Temple. Free entrance. Open on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 08:00 – 15:00
    • Largest Botanical Garden “Julia & Alexander Diomedes” in the Mediterranean
    • National Road going towards Eleusis Archaeological Site and the Peloponnese
Dafni Monastery was taken from the Aigaleo Mt

Marathon Lake

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 which 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.

  • Where exactly is Marathon Lake? Northeast of Athens, a 1-hour drive from Athens centre, at 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

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 Rentalcars.com as they have the best deals with the most reliable reps in Greece

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

  • Do I need a guide? Yes, if you wish to visit the many ancient sights of the area.
  • Any water or springs? Yes, we will meet shops selling water but as I always say, carry a 1 lt 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…
Sanctuary of the Egyptian Gods in Marathon
Sanctuary of Egyptian Gods

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.

Finish this beautiful tour to Marathon with a coffee or lunch by the sea! Check VIATOR for availability and prices

Cape Sounion National Park

Temple of Poseidon in Sounion Cape in sunset
Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon

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.

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

  • 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 the sea.
Athens Riviera rugged coastline
  • What kind of terrain is there? Very low vegetation, empty lands with no trees mostly.
  • Do I need a guide? No, as soon as you have read something about the huge history of the place and thus can understand what you are seeing.
  • Any water or springs? Yes, we will meet shops selling water but as I always say, carry a 1 lt water with you!
Fish taverns across the Temple of Poseidon in winter
Thoriko Ancient Theatre
  • What else is around?
    • Beaches of Legrena, KAPE, Sounion & Lavrio (bring your new hot bikini with you!)
    • Wildlife, a lot of grouses on the spot
    • Sounion Ancient Mines, Caves, Abandoned Industrial Buildings
    • Chaos Gulch
    • Mineralogical Museum 
    • Thoriko Ancient Theatre

Related Post: Fun Things to Do in Cape Sounion

Private Tour Athens & Cape Sounio with Photo Stop at Athenian Riviera

General view Athens Monastiraki Acropolis

Amazing combo tour of Athens Highlights, crossing Athens Riviera all the way to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.

Book this full-day Athens Sounio tour on VIATOR here

If you have to choose only one hike in Athens?

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.

Hymmetus Mt

Where to Stay in Athens

How to Get to Greece

Unless you come from any of the nearby Balkan countries, you probably need to fly to Athens or Thessaloniki International Airports to get to Greece.

I highly recommend you check out the Skyscanner search engine site for the Cheapest, Fastest, Best Worldwide Flights!

 I hope you have enjoyed my post on Athens Hikes! If you need local help with organizing your visit, please send me an email at  info@travelthegreekway.com, and I will get back to you with ideas.  Until then stay safe and travel the world!  
Evgenia
Owner of Travel the Greek Way
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Some of my Most Favorite Travel Resources for Greece

  • Airflights: Cheap/Fast/Best Worldwide Flights from SkyScanner search engine site
  • Map of Athens Metro
  • Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals, have info on hotels and Airbnb’s alike, with breakfast or not, free cancellations, and great prices!
  • Ferries to the Greek Islands: Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner or FerryHopper, and get the best prices in the market with no hidden fees
  • World Nomads Insurance: I feel insecure traveling to another country without having even the most basic of insurances. Insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations
  • Best car rental prices – Guaranteed. RentalCars.com
  • Get Your Guide: For all your day or multi-day tours and city guide needs, I use Get Your Guide
  • iVisa: For any questions, you may have about your documents, passport if you need a visa, a new photo, or any visa-related matter, iVisa is your man (or woman!)
  • Emergency Numbers Anywhere in Greece: AMBULANCE 166 – FIRE 199 – POLICE 100EMERGENCY NUMBER 112

More Inspiring Reading on Hiking in Greece

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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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