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Kithaironas

Kithaironas is a long, pine-covered and limestone massif between Mount Pateras, Gerania and Parnitha, with which it is connected through Pastra.

Between Kithairon and Pastra there is the neck of Casa, through which passes the old national road Athens-Thebes.

The total length of the mountain range of Kithairon is 32 km. and its width of 6 km. and is a natural border between the prefectures of Attica and Boeotia.

The highest peak of Kithairon is called Profitis Ilias or Elatia, has an altitude of 1,409 m and is only 4 km away. from the sea.

The vegetation of Kithairon is like the vegetation of neighboring Parnitha. It has several pine forests at lower altitudes and a beautiful fir forest around its top.

The fires of 2009 and 2010 burned part of the mountain, while in 2011 roads were opened for the installation of wind turbines.

The fauna of the mountain includes the usual species hosted in the mountains of the area, such as foxes, hares, ferrets, hawks, etc.

The original name of the mountain was Asterion, but later it took the name Kithairon after the homonymous king of Plataea.

He is associated with many deities, ancient heroes, and many myths of the Theban cycle (Laius, Oedipus).

From Kithairon pass important crossings from Attica to Boeotia, the control of which was of strategic importance in the past.

These crossings were tried to be controlled by the Persian general Mardonius, who was camped in the area of Plataea, in 479 BC, where the homonymous battle took place.

The crossings of Kithaironas were protected by strong fortresses, such as the fortresses of Eleftheres, Panaktos, the fortress of Fyli etc.

In recent years, populations settled in the area of Kithairon and founded several villages, the most important of which is today Vilia.

Kithairon is not, I would say, the most popular destination for Athenian climbers and hikers.

At least it is not as popular as Parnitha. But if someone decides to walk on this mountain, it is certain that he will be compensated by both its beautiful forest and the very beautiful view of the plain of Plataea on one side and the Corinthian Gulf on the other.

The most classic ascent to the top of Kithairon has as a starting point the fountain of Tsia (620 m), which is located outside Vilia, on the road to Porto Germeno.

The path marked by the EOS of Elefsina (22) passes through Pano Beleza (700 m) and Kiafa Fichthi (870 m). At this point it meets another path coming from the neck of Casa.

Then we climb wooded slope, which is exposed to the icy northeastern currents of winter.

Therefore, in winter ascents it is possible to encounter ice at this point. From here we have a very nice view of the Boeotian plain and Evia.

The trail ends at Petalo (1,090 m), where one of the two mountaineering shelters that hosts the mountain is built.

The shelter belongs to the jurisdiction of the EOS of Elefsina and has 25 beds. The shelter is available for overnight stay only in mountaineering clubs.

From there the trail will easily take us to the second highest peak of Kithaironas, the Three Peaks, with an altitude of 1,358 m.

It is enough to follow the rocky ridge and in about an hour we approach the injured peak of the mountain.

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