Mountain Sports: Popular Destinations In Greece

  • by XpatAthens
  • Monday, 01 February 2016
Mountain Sports: Popular Destinations In Greece
For mountain sports enthusiasts, Greece is the ideal setting for your athletic adventures.  Ski centres with pistes of high standads and hospitable facilites, rock climbing in majestic landscapes that will take you all the way to the heavens, dirt roads and mountain forests perfect for mountain biking.  What are the most popular destinations in Greece for mountain sports?

Skiing in Greece: Popular pistes

1. Parnassos: The largest and best-equipped ski resort in Greece, near cosmopolitan Arahova and Livadi, at an altitude of 1,600-2,300m. It boasts 19 trails totalling 36km, while the Vakhos and Iniochos pistes are certified by the International Ski Federation (FIS), for the organisation of meets and competitions. In addition, there are seven more snow trails and 8 connecting paths that lead to the black pistes.

2. 3-5 Pigadia: 3-5 Pigadia can be found on the eastern side of Mt Vermio, at an altitude of 1,430-2,005m and surrounded by green forest. It’s famous for its piste named Filippos, the best black run (of extreme difficulty) in Greece, while Aristotelis, at 2,000m long, is certified by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for the Pan-European and World Championships. It also has a separate snowboard park, for snowboarding and freeriding.

3. Karpenisi: One of the largest and most impressive ski centres in Greece can be found at the Velouhi plateau in Karpenissi. Spread over 5,500 sq m, at an altitude of 1,850-2,000m, it boasts 18 slopes. Of these, there is one black slope for experienced skiers and snowboarders.

4. Vasilitsa: The ski resort at Vasilitsa is one of the most famous and popular in Greece, and is located in the heart of the Pindos Mountains, in a majestic landscape (2,150m). It has 18 pistes which total 24km in length, as well as a snowboard park.

Rock climbing in Greece: Popular destinations

1. Meteora: Climbing the Meteora pillars is a truly singular experience. These are long ascents without surplus safeties using natural holds which are good for relative beginners. You’ll be thrilled to discover the ruins of abandoned monasteries and hermits’ shelters in protected niches.

2. Sykia, Ghiona: An impressively sheer slope rises above the village of Sykia, posing its challenge. The object of many a climber’s desire is the vertical rock face from 1,000-2,500m, the Slab of Sykia, which is an excellent test of their skills.

Trekking in Greece: Popular routes

1. Mytikas, Mt Olympus: The classic ascent to the top of Mt Olympus starts from the Prionia refuge at 1,100m. This is the highest spot that you can drive to and if you’re hiking on the E4, you’ll also pass through here from Litochoro and the Epineas Gorge, before continuing up the mountain.

2. Vikos Gorge: One of Europe’s deepest and longest gorges, this is a must for nature lovers. The descent from Monodendri and the ascent to Vikos is steep, but the walk above the Aoos River in the heart of the Vikos-Aoos National Park is fairly even and not too demanding. The six-hour trek is mostly shaded. Ravishing flowers cover the slopes until late spring, and you can even take a dip in icy waters if you’re truly brave.

Mountain biking in Greece: Popular rides

1. Varybobi: On the outskirts of Athens is a mountain bike paradise. Above the former royal estate at an altitude of 320-850m is a perfect pine forest for your thrills and, hopefully, a few, spills. 

2. Asopos canal: A canal brings water from the Mornos River to the Asopos River valley. The canal is open and the road by it lays out an attractive and easy bike route.

To read this article in full, please visit: Discover Greece