Parnitha mountain, Athens
Located in the north part of Athens with 1413m high Parnitha mountain(or else Parnes)
is one of the top winter destinations famous for it’s shelters (Bafi is one of them) with pine wood forest and small caves.Also famous for the Mon Parnes casino and it's national forest
Mount Parnitha is another beautiful destination not far from Athens. It is about 1 hour away depending on traffic but when there you are really in a different world. Fir trees, brooks, caves, alpine flowers, foxes, birds, even deer if you are lucky.
Mount Parnitha is a protected area. You can go there for the day and walk on its paths and into its many caves. You can find a map to these in bookstores like Eleftheroudakis on Panepistimiou Ave or Road Publications on Charilaou Trikoupi street, both in the center of Athens. The area is great for a pic nic, just keep in mind that the weather can change suddenly, so take a jumper with you, you might find yourselves surrounded by clouds before you realize it.
Another option is to spend the night there. In order to do this you must make a phone call to Bafi the shelter that belongs to the Hellenic Mountainiring Society. This is a recently rennovated beautiful building with a great view to the valley of Attika (Athens). It is open all week throughout winter. You can choose between a dormitory (10 E) or a room for 4 (13E). The shelter also operates as a small, simple and cheap restaurant/cafe with lots of warming up dishes. Not of the highest gourmet quality but still welcome after a long walk!!! BEWARE! on weekends it gets very crowded.
Now how to get there. by car or by bus. The problem is that the bus which goes to the top (no 741) operates only on weekends, (4 per day) and it leaves from Plateia Vathis. One option is to stop at the funicular railway at the base of the mountain, which takes you right up to a monstrous hotel/cazino which was built during the junta years. The other is to ride the bus up to the hotel and then hike to Bafi. The shelter is only about 30 min walk from the hotel, either by path or the paved road.
It was announced as a national park in 1961. Parnitha has an altitude of 1413 m. (Karavola), the tallest mountain around Athens. As in the other two mountains, a radar station exist on its top, but also a hotel-casino, "Mon Parnes". If you don't have a car, you can be there by the cable railway, which starts at Metohi point (the distance is 1700 m).
Parnitha is the "real" mountain of Athens: forests, caves, water sources, gorges, footpaths can make you feel like being in... Alpes, especially during the winter, as you see... There is a nice shelter and a large voluntary fire protection too.