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Central Greece

Mt. Giona

Mt. Giona (see map above) lies in Sterea Ellada a.k.a. Central Greece a huge area, stretching from the Ionian Sea in the west, all the way to the Aegean off the east coast of the long island of Evia (Euboea) to the east of Attiki (Attica).

Mt. Parnitha is very near Delphi and great idea for a 2 day trip. No organzied coach tours visit this location so Paul the Honest Greek Taxi driver or car rental are your two best bets.

Map of Mt Giona area

Mt. Giona

Inbetween Parnassos on the east and Vardousia on the west, Mt. Giona is higher than Parnassos, at 2510 meters (8233 feet), and though one of the most ecologically significant mountains in Greece, is known mostly to walkers, to local Greeks, and to ornithologists (being a major bird site). Grazing on this mountain is quite intensive, but worse is the bauxite mining.

booted eagleStill, there are vast forested areas, Greek fir dominating, and also broad-leaved beech, eastern hornbeam and maple. More orchids are found in the mountain's lower reaches than on Parnassos; in higher areas flora is quite rich, with an endemic cinquefoil; at high altitudes are found more endemics. Butterflies are abundant in the high pastures and in forest clearing.

Eagles and peregrines are found on Giona, and griffon vultures breed on the sheer Plaka Cliff to its west. Eagle owls and at least three kinds of woodpeckers are among the many birds found in the forest here. There is a good walking path onto Giona from Sikia, to the west; driveable dirt roads lead from Kaloskopi.