General info for hiking Parnitha
This route, although is unknown to many people and far from the crowded paths of Parnitha, is very interesting. It goes through the stream of Giannoula, the “Theodora’s Rock” (where an interesting climbing field exists), crosses the Theodora Canyon and ends up on the hill where the ancient fort of Fili exists. Most of this route is full of well carved paths and abandoned dirt roads. There are some difficult points – especially in winter- as you need to cross the stream of Giannoula at 3 different points. This stream carries lots of water during winter time. Additionally, the path goes through the riverbed of the Thedoroa stream for almost 1km, where additional difficult points exist, since you need to climb 2-3m high rocks and the plantation there is also high in many areas. The total length of the route (with the return to Fili) is about 15Km and the height difference is about 300m.
You start from Filis avenue, around 680m after its crossing with Thrasivoulou str. Feel free to use the GPS files at the end of this article. In the following bullet points, the waypoints of the GPS file are mentioned.
- At the distance of 680m from Thrasivoulou str, there is a left turning narrow road which you follow (001) for few meters and end up to a path, which you follow to the right. At the beginning, you go parallel with the asphalt road.
- The path runs west parallel with a little stream. After 590m it goes through a field (XORAFI).
- After 265m, you find a crossroad where you follow the right and wider branch (DIAKDEX1). The left branch ends up in a clearing a little bit higher.
- 125m after that you arrive at the streambed of Giannoula stream (REMA1). You cross the stream very carefully and if needed take off your shoes. If it is raining or the current of the stream is strong we do not cross.
- After crossing the stream, you head to its right for 350mt, thus again you need to cross it (REMA2).
- After 200m you reach a point where the stream of Giannoula joints with the stream of Theodora (REMA 3). There you will find some signs on the rocks writing “Aspropyrgos”, “Fili”, and “Fixthi”. There you need to cross the stream once more and follow the path with –almost- north direction, at the left of Theodora stream and in parallel with it. The Theodora stream has far less water than the Giannoula stream.
- The path is very obvious and well carved, and it goes to the right of Theodora stream for 190 m, where it crosses it (REMA4) by passing at its right side.
- After 700 m, the pass connects with a dirt road which comes from the opposite side of the stream (XOMDEX). You follow the dirt road to the right still going north.
- After a few meters, the dirt road crosses the stream and it goes to the left of it (REMA5). As you walk on the dirt road, you will see on your left an impressive rock sticking out from the smooth surface of the mountain. This is the well-known “Theodora’s Rock”, which is an excellent climbing field.
- After 800 m, you find a crossroad where a narrower and abandoned dirt road turns to the left going down towards the stream. There you need to pay a little attention since the beginning of the road is not easy to be found due to plantation (DIAKDEX2).
- This road goes down, turns making a shape as a “horseshoe”and follows the Theodora’s stream northeast. After 350 m, the road (which seems to be abandoned for decades) crosses the stream and goes to the right of it (REMA6).
- After 70 m, you will find yourself on the base of “Theodora’s Rock”, where some ruined buildings exist altogether. Another ruined building is located at the opposite slope from the Rock (KTISMATA).
- After 310 m, the road goes to the left of the stream.
- After 510 m, the road goes once more at the right of the stream.
- After 300 m, you meet a junction where a small, narrow and chocked with plantation road goes down to the left and towards the bed of the stream (DIAKARI). This little road is the one to follow. Here you need to pay attention in order to pass by it. If you pass it, the road will end at about 140 m and it will be difficult to go down.
- This little road, after 40 m, ends up to a bed stream (KOITH). From this point and for 1000 m you direct to the riverbed of Theodora canyon.
- This part of the route is quite difficult as the plantation is very thick in many parts of it. There are 5-6 points where you will need to climb some 2-3 m of rock without safety. In most cases, instead of climbing up the rock you can easily climb by following the dirt paths at the slopes of the canyon. A small knife or pruning hook may become very handy. Here also you follow the rules of common sense. If there is too much of water or raining you do not cross the canyon.
- You walk through the canyon for about 1000 m. At the last turn of the canyon, which is the most impressive point, you see the fort of Fili on the top. The rocky slopes of the stream give their place to smoother dirt slopes with little pine trees and bushes. At that point you come across with a wide path going uphill to the fort (ANIF).
- The path is steep towards the fort. After 300 m, the path turns right abruptly (STROFI) and its direction shifts from north to east.
- After 150 m, you meet a dirt road on the right which you follow by directing north. This dirt road, turns left after 500 m, and drive you to the fort (CASTLE).
- In order to go down to Fili, you can follow a shorter route. You move on the wide dirt road towards the central asphalt road.
- After 700 m, you end up to the asphalt road and you follow this going right.
- After 2.25 km you will find a sign showing the paths of west Parnitha.
- At that point you find the path that goes down at the direction of approximately 1300.
- After 510 m, you end up to a junction where you turn right.
- After 800 m, the path ends up at the asphalt road and crosses it (DIAXASF). The path continuous a few meters on the left.
- The path gets narrow and goes down, goes through a small stream and after 300 m crosses the Giannoula stream ending up to a resting area with a playground. From that point you return to Fili by following the ancient aqueduct.
Note that all the paths and dirt roads mentioned here are visible through Google Earth. However in order to see them you need to activate the option of Google Earth that shows older photos.
Enjoy the photos depicting this beautiful route.
Hiking Parnitha GPS data
These files are compatible with OziExplorer. They can be presented in a digital map and get loaded in a GPS receiver. Right click to get them.
- Destinations file (waypoints): thodora-kastro.wpt
- The file for the complete routre: thodora-kastro.plt (1239 points)
- File with routes and waypoints for Google Earth: thodora-kastro.kmz
We would like to thank Linos Papachristou for the Greek content on which our article was based.