Saturday, April 13, 2013

Parnitha National Park




Parnitha, view of Athens.
Parnitha National Park offers natural environment, spectacular scenery over Athens, and a dense forest that supports a variety of wildlife. It is located in the north of Athens, only one hour away by car from the center. Thus it is ideal for a one day trip.

Parnitha mountain vegetation consists mainly of pine trees that extend between 300 to 800 meters. At higher altitude between 900 and 1400 meters fir trees dominate. Other species such Lebanon Cedar, Hungarian oak or Italian oak might be found. These are generally scattered along side the main road, and are more likely found in the Tatoi area. The forest is also the habitat for a variety of wild animals, it is not rare that during your visit you come across a red dear. Wild tulips are another wonder of Parnitha flora. There are three kinds of wild tulips, mainly: The Tulipa hageri, Tulipa sylvestris and Τulipa boeotica (see pictures). Images of these tulips are found in Attica Flora. This blog, regroups a large number of images of the wild flora and animals of Parnitha and Attica. Unfortunately, in 2007, a large wildfire burning in Parnitha destroyed large area of the forest. Habitat restoration is undertaken, but it will take many years before full recovery of the original environment

Parnitha has two refuges which surrounding area have been untouched by the 2007 fire: The first which is the easiest to access by car is the Mpafi refuge. The second refuge is Flabouri, it is still accessible by car through a ground road. Both offers accommodation services, a restaurant and guides for hiking, and many more activities for the elderly and children.

MPAFI REFUGE


The refuge offers meals and drinks for visitors. The self service restaurant has a limited number of dishes ranging from 4 to 8 euros that you can enjoy inside the building near the fireplace, or on the terrace. It also offers a dormitory accommodation for 10 euros per person. Since 2004, The Mpafi refuge in collaboration with Trekking Hellas company offers a number of activities for mountain lovers. These activities ranges from 2-3 hours hiking tours with English speaking guides, mountain bike and rock climbing. Special activities are also available for children such as tree climbing and archery. All these these activities are fully described in the refuge site.

Access
By foot from Mont Parnes Casino 47 minutes [ map ]
The cable car to the Mont Parnes Casino is free. [ map ]
By car from Mont Parnes cable car parking  [ map ]

Parnitha, Mpafi refuge Mpafi Refuge, Parnitha
Parnitha, Mpafi refuge Parnitha, Mpafi Refuge.
Parnitha, Mpafi refuge. Parnitha, Mpafi refuge


FLABOURI REFUGE

www.flabouri.gr

The refuge site (in Greek only) has a very complete description of the upcoming events such as free hiking tours and Hatha Yoga courses. Restoration and accommodation is also available.


Access
By foot from Mont Parnes Casino 1:30 hour [ map ]
The cable car to the Mont Parnes Casino is free. [ map ]
By car from Mont Parnes cable car parking  [ map ]

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