Climbing near Athens Airport – Etos Spata

Greece is a very popular summer and cultural destination, but Greece has to offer much more than sea and sun. Athens is the capital of Greece. It was also at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple. The Acropolis Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, preserves sculptures, vases, jewelry and more from Ancient Greece.

Athens area offers more than 2000 single pitch bolted lines in more than 40 crags and new routes are constantly popping up. In addition there are 4 multi pitch walls with trad lines, plenty of bouldering and a lot of potential for deep water solo. Limestone in Athens comes in a surprising variety of shapes and colors and can create climbing wonders ranging from sheer desperate slabs to highly featured, tufa infested walls. Tufa climbing has a strong presence in the area. In fact, the city’s best sport climbing crags can certainly rival those of Kalymnos’ in tufa climbing goodness. Undisputed king among the tufa kingdoms of Athens is the lost world of Mavrosouvala, a totally otherworldly place in the middle of nowhere. The craziest thing about this majestic stalactite forest is that very few Athenians actually know about its existence.

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Limestone rock

One of the most recent created crag for sport climbing is located very near the Athens International Airport (AIA). Actually, only 10 minutes away from the airfield. The name of this crag is “Etos Spata” and is located on the top of the hill “Etos Steko”.


Feel free to check other rock climb activities on the links bellow:


About the Etos Spata Climbing Crag

The field began to be equipped in the winter of 2017 mainly by Vangelis Kastanias and  members of EOS SpataNikos Lalioutis made an important job creating the path and cleaning the base of the field that was covered with holm oak. Also the EOS Spata offered the equipment of the routes and installed the benches.

The rock is mainly gray limestone with a height of 8 to 20 meters. Cleansing was not an easy task and was carried out by Vangelis Kastanias’ tireless work. All route names are written at the base of the routes and are all clearly visible. In addition, stainless steel bolts and plates were used as well as stainless steel carabiner reels for the belay points.


Access

From Marathon avenue, one has to head towards Pikermi and at the Ag. Christoforos church there is a right turn towards Spata in Pikermi Avenue.. About 1 km on, we turn left for Vounoupoli and “Imero Pefko”. About 350 meters upon the turn, and on our left side we can see the rock and the climbing field. We continue for another 400 m and we follow the dirt road to Vatopediou street. We continue for 100m. and we park along the dirt road. Once parked, we follow blue and red marks and in 10-12 minutes we reach the field.

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Trail path to the climbing field
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Trail path to the climbing field
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The Rock
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The Rock

The Routes

There are 13 different routes on the Etos Spata climbing crag. All routes are fully equipped with bolts and the maximum amount of quickdraws one will need, is 13.

This climbing crag, was bolted by keeping in mind the beginner climber but it offers excellent routes for intermediate climbers too. In addition, it is an excellent location for climbing lessons.

Name

Grade

Meters

Φοίβη

6a

12

Άρτεμις

6a+

18

Ηλιάνθη

6b

15

Χαρίκλεια

6a

15

Ερχια

6a+

20

Καλλίμαχος

5b

18

Δάτης

5c

18

Πιαλεία

4c

10

Λιθαράκι

5b

12

Μαραθώνας

4a

10

ΣΛούης

6a+

18

Φειδιππίδης

6a

18

20 χλμ

6a

18


Climbing in Etos Spata

Although Etos Spata is a new crrag in Athens, it seems to become quite popular amongst the local climbing community. Actually, once we arrived to Etos Spata, we met other fellow climbers taking their chances to climb all possible routes. By far, and for the time being, Etos Spata seems to be the crag with the less crowd.

As soon we reached the field, we have checkeded the various routes and we have decided to start with a warm up climb on the Καλλίμαχος (5b) route.

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Gearing up
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First steps
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Clipping in

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Upon the warm up in Καλλίμαχος 5b, we wanted to move to the most interesting sector of the rock, but for the time being it was occupied by other fellow climbers. Therefore, we continued with some easy routes, the Πιαλεία, Λιθαράκι and Μαραθώνας. Although Μαραθώνας is declared as 4a grade, in our impression was something more like 5a. Nevertheless, we will have to wait for more climbers to give their opinion on the grade of this route.

Once the harder routes were free, we soon moved to the most interesting sector of the rock, were the Σ. Λούης, Φειδιππίδης and 20 χλμ routes are located. The rock there looks and feels fantastic and the grade of the routes is rather similar. It goes from 6a to 6a+. This part of the rock is the last one to be exposed under the sun light and therefore in the early winter morning can be quite chilly.

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Φειδιππίδης 6a
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Φειδιππίδης 6a
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Φειδιππίδης 6a
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20 χλμ 6a
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20 χλμ 6a
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20 χλμ 6a
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20 χλμ 6a
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20 χλμ 6a

The most interesting route amongst these three routes is the Σ. Λούης (6a+). It shares the same belay with Φειδιππίδης, though it goes through a dihedral line and that what makes this route a bit more difficult but far more nice and interesting.

Also, the view from this part of the crag is really nice. One can easily see mount Parnitha, mount Penteli and Ymittos.

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While time was passing, we decided to climb some more routes before the sun would set. One of these routes, was a beautiful 5c named, Δάτης. This was not a difficult route, but was very nice with great view from the top.

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Δάτης 5c
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Δάτης 5c
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Δάτης 5c
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Δάτης 5c
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Δάτης 5c

After a full day of beautiful climbing nearby Athens International Airport, it was about time to collect our quickdraws, ropes, helmets and move back to the parking lot. Although it was a day full of climbing and we got tired, this feeling did not stop us from enjoying the beautiful sunset that was taking place at “Etos Spata”.

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How to reach Etos Spata field and parking area:


If you liked this post, feel free to check other rock climb activities on the links bellow:

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5 thoughts on “Climbing near Athens Airport – Etos Spata

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