The warmer months might be peak tourist season in Greece, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to do in the winter! If you enjoy skiing, a trip to Mount Parnassos is well worth the visit during the winter months. It is conveniently located near Athens, Lamia, and Patra and serves a great number of visitors and skiers each year.
Mount Parnassos in central Greece above Delphi is home to The Parnassos Ski Centre, the largest ski center in all of Greece. It operates from December until the beginning of May and is composed of two sections: Kelaria and Fterolakka. Construction of The Parnassos Ski Centre began in 1975. In 1976, Fterolakka was opened for operation and the construction of Kelaria was completed in 1981. A lift connecting the two sections, “Ermis”, began operation in 1987. The first detachable 4-seater aerial lift in Greece, “Iraklis” was added in Kelaria in 1993.
The Ski Centre has an elevation of 1,600-2,250m with 19 ski runs, 7 ski routes, 2 main base station communication corridors, 10 trails and three mini beginner runs with baby lifts, at a total length of 36km for skiers and snowboarders at all skill levels to enjoy. The length of runs starts from 50m to 4km for beginners, average and good skiers. For adventure lovers, there are 12 black country runs with really deep snow and lots of adrenaline.
The Ski Centre offers ski and snowboard schools and special stores for ski and snowboard equipment rental and ski and snowboard equipment maintenance with the most high-tech equipment available. While taking a break from the slopes, visitors can enjoy two cafes-chalets and a restaurant.
While the Ski Centre is a primary draw on Mount Parnassos, visitors can enjoy this mountain year round as it is one of the most beautiful mountains in Greece. The Parnassos National Park features many climbing routes that can be adjusted to suit the hiker in terms of starting point, destination, and hours of hiking. Hikers must be in good physical condition and it’s recommended to have the proper equipment (shoes, hat, water, walking stick, etc.) before heading out.
Hikers can enjoy the beauty of the flora, fauna, and geology of the mountain. It is full of Greek firs, the dominant tree of the forested areas and home to a large number of other plant species that grow on the highest peaks of Parnassos. The fir forests include many species of blackthorns, hawthorns and junipers, found individually or in small groups; while in the northeastern side of the mountain there are clusters of black pine trees. The fauna consists of animals such as the fox, the badger, the rabbit, the squirrel and other species of rodents and insectivorous animals. Avifauna is dominated by species inhabiting forests such as partridges, woodpeckers, black woodpeckers, ring ouzels, alpine accentors, rodents such as Mediterranean turtles, wild lizards, adders and amphibians such as frogs.