The enchanter

From its highest peak (Big Tourla or Kronio), 1936 m, Mount Parnon or Malevos boasts of being the most significant alpine bulge in the Peloponnese, taking up an expanse of 2 million acres.

Some of Greece's prettiest and most picturesque little villages, such as Karyes, Vresthena, Polydroso (Gigina), Geraki and Saint Demetrios, are perched up in its slopes and crests.

Parnon has nothing to envy the most famous mountains in the world for. Its landscape's wild natural beauty is lavishly given to the visitor, especially to the one who will be wise enough to enrol in the trek groups crossing the mountain range. Numerous crests, valleys and plateaus, breathtakingly beautiful gorges, dense vegetation and forests, and rare fauna have attracted the world’s interest and secured the institutional protection of the place, which has been classified in the European Network Natura 2000.

Except for the pine forests, the groves of firs, chestnut trees, the lofty plane trees and acorn trees, and the unique medicinal or fragrant herbs, the gorgeous Ecological Park of Parnon is the home to rare species of birds, like the partridge, the mice-hawk, the woodpecker as well as mammals such as the fox, the hare and the jackal.

A Mountaineer's Paradise

Upon setting eyes on the mountain’s landscape, it’s love at first sight. Waterfalls, creaks, caves, and cultural relics that go back to the Paleolithic age and reach our times, such as sacred temples, ancient quarries, castles, carriage tracks, Byzantine monuments, and monasteries.

This enchanting alpine bulge is the land of promise for nature lovers and those who seek to enjoy both faces of Mother Nature, tranquillity and wilderness, through organised activities including hiking, mountaineering, speleology and many more. It is, therefore, helpful to know about the mountain resort of George Pierce,1420m, 40 person capacity, in “Arnomousga”, which among its other basic facilities has got a fireplace and oil heaters, a kitchen, water supply from a spring, as well as basketball and volleyball courts. For more information, contact the Greek Alpine Association in Sparta, tel. 2731022574.

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