The Ultimate Guide of Climbing in Argolis, Greece

Argolis or the Argolid is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Peloponnese, situated in the eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula and part of the tripoint area of Argolis, Arcadia and Corinthia. Much of the territory of this region is situated in the Argolid Peninsula.

Most arable land lies in the central part of Argolis. Its primary agricultural resources are oranges and olives. Argolis has a coastline on the Saronic Gulf in the northeast and on the Argolic Gulf in the south and southeast. Notable mountains ranges are the Oligyrtos in the northwest, Lyrkeio and Ktenia in the west, and Arachnaio and Didymo in the east. Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide of Climbing in Argolis, Greece”

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Panachaiko (Vodias) Mountain Winter Hike

Mountaineering is the set of activities that involves ascending mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbinghiking, winter climbing, Skiing and traversing via ferratas.

As a mountaineer, besides training on the various fields of choice, it is very important to update regularly the skills and to learn new techniques. This is exactly what I have decided to do for the month of March. I will be following a “Mountain Leader” course that will provide all necessary set of skills in order to be a “Mountain Leader”.

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Driving towards the Parking Lot

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Winter Hike on Mount Helicon (Elikonas)

It has been quite some time since the very first post here on the Olympus Mountaineering blog, and so far it has been a really nice “journey”.

I personally, enjoy all kind of outdoor activities in Greece, from Winter Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Wild Camping up to Thru-Hikes and I am certainly glad when people from abroad get in contact with the Olympus Mountaineering blog in order to receive various information for the Greek mountains.

Few days ago, a person from Poland got in touch with us and kindly asked if it would be an option to join us on our next mountaineering activity. Although, I rarely accept to go on the mountains with people I do not know, after a short chat, I understood this person was serious enough and had enough knowledge for a winter mountaineering activity.

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Beautiful Landscape on Mount Helicon

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Hiking in Tzoumerka (Athamanika) – Pramanta Refuge – Waterfall Kefalovriso

After a rather demanding climb in Strogoula via the “Agrofylakas” couloir, it was time for an easy hike in order to enjoy the beautiful landscape of Athamanika (Tzoumerka) mountains.

The cycle of seasons at Tzoumerka (Athamanika) follows its own calm rhythms. Words such as awe and admiration are not enough to describe the splendor of the nature.

Here, time seems to hang still over the gorges, the vertical cliffs of the ravines and the snow-covered firs that climb the rocks up to the naked alpine zone. The abundant running water and impressive waterfalls justify the omnipresent dense flora and satisfy both the physical thirst as well as that of the sense of sight.

There are a lot of mapped hiking routes at Tzoumerka, with special markings, both for advanced and beginners in hiking. A very easy hike is the one that starts from the Pramanta Mountain Refuge and end in the Waterfall.

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View of Strogoula as seen from Pramanta Mountain Refuge

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Winter Mountaineering Climb in Strogoula via Agrofylakas Couloir (Tzoumerka-Athamanika)

It’s almost Christmas time and also the end of one more exciting mountaineering year here in Greece. This past year, we have been to many different mountain peaks and mountain range, but one of the few that we have never visited before, were Athamanika or Tzoumerka Mountains.

Athamanika mountains, also known as Tzoumerka,  are part of  Pindos mountain range located at the boundaries of the regions of Thessaly and Epirus. Both the physical landscape and the traditional settlements set Athamanika mountains as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece.

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Stroggoula as seen from the refuge of Pramanta

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Winter hike and mountaineering climb on Gardiki Peak (Arête of Chelmos/Aroania)

Winter is back! And we are very happy for this for the simple fact that most, if not all, the high mountains of Greece, are fully covered with this beautiful water vapour frozen into ice crystals, Snow!

It was beginning of December, and as first winter mountaineering climb, we have decided to visit the third consecutive peak of the Arete of Chelmos (Aroania), Gardiki.

Gardiki (2.182 m), is part of the Aroania (Chelmos)   mountain complex. Aroania/Chelmos (2355m), stands proud with its biggest section extending to the Kalavrita area. Is the third highest mountain in the Peloponnese and its natural beauties, the rare species of plants, birds and animals make it stand out. Its rich biotopes are protected as a Natura 2000 site.  The mount attracts a large number of visitors mainly due to the ski-center that is situated in Vathia Lakka, 14 km. east of Kalavrita and the climbing routes. It offers an unsurpassed experience since there nest landscapes of unique beauty, traditional settlements, archaeological areas, caves and rivers. The mountain is suitable for excursions round the year.

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Startin Point – Zarouchla village

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Hiking on Mount Mainalo – Traversing Ostrakina to Mavri Korifi (Black Peak)

Autumn is a really nice season and full of surprises while adventuring in the outdoors. One day can be with beautiful sunny conditions, the day after the scenery can change dramatically and become full of mist and fog. This is what actually happened on our last visit on Mainalo mountain.

The climate of the area is quite unique given the elevation. The range feels more like the PWN than the alps, this is due to the high forestation and large amounts of precipitation in the area. The range is very humid and rather cold boasting some of the coldest fronts in Greece, easily falling under -10C during storms. The area has stable weather and gets storms for multiple days although harsh weather is a staple of the area, quick changes of weather during storms (i.e. from rain to no rain, from cloudy to snowy) is another problem.

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early morning view from my tent

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Hiking on Mount Mainalo – Tzelati Peak

Mount Mainalo, with almost 2000 m altitude (Ostrakina Peak) is one of the most mysterious mountains of Greece. It dominates the middle of the Peloponnese and is distinguished for its natural wealth and beauty. On its lush green slopes, since the dawn of the world man became a predator, architect, and musician, learned to live in towns, discovered the charms of art, the assistance of divination and met face to face with God.

Last time we have visited Mount Mainalo (or Menalo) was for a winter mountaineering ascent a couple of years ago. Now, a couple of years later on, it was again time to visit Mainalo, wich was named after the mythical Maenalus.

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EOS Tripolis Refuge

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Climbing in Athens – Pano Alogopetra

As already described on a previous post, Greece is not only a sea, sun and cultural destination, but is also a great destination for mountain activities, including sport climbing too. Specifically, 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.

This time, we decided to visit Pano Alogopetra. Pano Alogopetra (Greek for “Upper Alogopetra”) is a cluster of rock faces in the northern side of the Alogopetra peak, over the village of Fyli. Pano Alogopetra sits on an elevated balcony with grand view over the Fyli valley. On a clear day the eye can wander from the edge of Gkoura canyon down to the Elefsina coast on the south west and the city of Athens on the southeast. This is a great spot to enjoy a fiery winter sunset after a full day of climbing.

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Alogopetra

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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

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