When most people think of the natural environment of Attica, they think of sandy beaches along the coastline. What they do not know is that Attica is scattered with wildlife reserves and extraordinary landscapes. Attica has an abundance of beautiful mountains, striking caves and flowing lakes.
Mt. Parnitha is the highest mountain in the Attica region, located in the northern district. It extends over an area of 300 km² and contains over 800 types of flora and fauna. Mt. Parnitha is ideal for nature lovers, due to its many hiking paths and 20 caves and caverns that can be explored. Throughout the mountain, wild animals such as deer, rabbit, foxes, badgers and jackals roam. It is also the home to a variety of birds; vultures, owls, hawks, cardinals, blackbirds and hoopoe, which make their nests in the mountain trees. When rest is needed, hikers can stop at Bafi or Flambouri mountain shelters.
The area is constantly being reforested. Small streams of water and canyons are dispersed along the mountainside. Evidence has been found which show that Mt. Parnitha has been inhabited since the Mycenaean Era and perhaps even since Prehistoric times. The caves were probably used as areas of worship. Traces from the Geometric and Archaic periods have been discovered as well.
Mt. Penteli is located in the northeast region of Attica. It offers travelers beautiful green scenery and crystal springs. From Penteli Mountain there is a magnificent view of Athens and of the Euboean Gulf. The chief resource of this mountain is marble, from which the Parthenon and the other buildings on the Acropolis, were constructed.
Mt. Ymittos is a grassy mountain, made of limestone and is situated east of Athens. The magnificent Peania cave, which spans 3800sqm, is located on Mt. Ymittos. It possesses an exquisite assembly of stalagmites, stalactites and columns, which make it one of the finest caves in the world. The mountain provides travelers with wonderful picnic areas and a paved road up to the top of Ymittos. It is famous for the delicious honey produced in the area.
The Attica coastal line is packed with beautiful sandy shores and organized beaches.
All beaches can be easily accessed by busses that frequently depart for their terminals. Some of the main beaches in the Attica area are Alepochori, Alimos, Avlaki, Anavissos, Chalkoutsi, Glyfada, Kavouri, Kineta, Lagonisi, Legraina, Loutsa, Mati, Megara, Nea Makri, Oropos, Porto Rafti, Rafina, Schinia, Sounion, Varkiza, Voula and Vouliagmeni.
For more information about mountain climbing, trekking and skiing facilities, call EOT (the Greek National Tourism Organization) or visit their site for a detailed list of the mountaineering organizations, centers and schools. EOT (THE GREEK NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION)