Cycling Penteli mountain - Athens, Greece
When I see Penteli mountain from my balcony during sunset bathed in orange color, I always thought it would be nice to be up there at the top to enjoy it. So I decided one day to go up there cycling.
The route from Kifisia station is around 13km to the top, although its not much of a distance its a quite challenging ride as the uphill is pretty steep, especially once you hit the hairpins halfway to the top. I was often checking the grade and it was mostly 10%! Due to lack of time to make it up and down before the light goes completely out I didn't manage to do sightseeing, there are some interesting spots to explore like a cave, a few churches and an abandoned quarry. Penteli is supposed to be the mountain where they extracted the marble which was used to build the Acropolis. (route map by Google maps)
Route elevation chart, final destination at 1.109 meters altitude.
This is how Penteli mountain looks from my balcony, 24km away. It is situated northeast of Athens and its highest point (my destination), peak "Pyrgari" has an elevation of 1.109 meters.
I used the train to reach Kifisia station and started cycling towards the mountain. Once I left the houses behind me, I reached this point here which is the start of the road to take you up to the mountain.
Cycling to mountain peaks gets exciting the more you get closer to your destination.
Going up slowly slowly the landscape of Athens started to reveal itself.
Look what I found on the way up! This guy-gal was going downhill but as I approached changed his/her mind and started going uphill again :)
Getting closer to the top the vista was really beautiful!
The peak of Penteli mountain with its small little church (which now has radio antennas) and the abandoned military radar base. I wanted to visit the church but it would mean jumping the fence which I wans't so sure if it was ok, although I know many people do jump and go visit. But since the sun was going down already decided to postpone the little church visit for another time.
I started my descent enjoying once again the beautiful vistas.
Many steep hairpins... nice to go down but hard going up!
Another stop to enjoy the view as the sun was going down.
Beautiful sunset on my way down the mountain.
All in all was a great ride, totally recommended. You need to be VERY careful on the way down as due to the steepness of the road you accelerate very fast, reached a speed of 50km/h going downhill in no time, the condition of the road is not very good with many potholes so an accident is just waiting to happen if you go too fast. I will be going back when I get the chance, not for the sunset that time but to check the sights.
GPS coordinates for places in this post, click on them to be redirected to the exact point in google maps. Click on the names to be redirected to their official websites (if applicable).
Kifissia subway station: 38°04'25.2"N 23°48'29.9"E
Penteli mountain peak "Pyrgari" 1.109m altitude: 38°04'53.3"N 23°52'57.2"E
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