Hiking up to Cithaeron Mountain

Cithaeron or Kithairon (Κιθαιρών) is a mountain and mountain range about 10 mi (16 km) long, in central Greece. The range is the physical boundary between Boeotia in the north and Attica in the south. It is mainly composed of limestone and rises to 4,623 ft (1,409 m). the northeast side of the range is formed by the mountain Pastra.

The range was the scene of many events in Greek mythology and was especially sacred to Dionysus. In Euripides's Bacchae, Dionysus carries out his dances and rites with his bacchants, his priestesses, on Cithaeron. Oedipus was exposed on the mountain, while Actaeon and Pentheus were both dismembered on its slopes. It was also the place where Heracles hunted and killed the Lion of Cithaeron.

In historic times, the mountain acted as a backdrop to the Battle of Plataea of 479 and was the scene of much skirmishing before the battle itself. In later times fortifications were built both at Plataea and Erythrai as the mountain formed the disputed natural border between Athens and Thebes.

The people of Plataea also personified the mountain as their primal king: "But the Plataeans know of no king except Asopus and Cithaeron before him, holding that the latter gave his name to the mountain, the former to the river.



The king of Plataea, Cithaeron, who ruled the country before King Asopos, from which he named his neighboring mountain, was considered so wise that Zeus asked him for his advice when he was trying to bring Olympus to the angry Hera, who had fled to Evia.

According to Kitheron's suggestions he had to spread that he would marry Asopos' daughter, Plataea. To make the story believable, he had to bring a woman's clown to Olympus on a horse-drawn carriage. The trick succeeded completely. Hera, horrified by the news, hastily returned to the marital home, and after the revelation of the truth, she was reconciled to Dias . In memory of this reconciliation the Plataeans celebrated "Daidalas".

Cithaeron is the central hero of two more myths. According to the first tradition, Erinus Tysiphon fell in love with the beautiful Kithairon, where he feeds his flock on Mount Asterion. But because Kethairas did not respond to her love, she sent a snake out of her hair, biting him and killing him with his poison.

In the second myth Cithaeron has an avid and bold character. After killing his father, he tried to break down his mild brother Helicon from the rocks. In front of this situation, the gods decided to transform the two brothers into the two known mountains. Helicon, due to the gentleness shown, became the residence of the monsters, while Cithaeron, due to the deserted shelter of "Herinous Fly".

Another myth about the mountain is the myth of Cithaeron Lion. The lion lived on the mountain and caused terror to the locals. Hercules eventually managed to kill him

Ηιking From Vilia 

Presentation of the detailed profile of the route

Google Maps

After Villias on our right we will find a leisure park while on the left there is an abandoned refreshment. Right after the recreation park we will see the Chias fountain. The path starts behind the source and climbs smoothly alongside the stream on bushy ground. After 1.3 km, we find another spring and walk for about 600 m on a dirt road that leads us to the Kiafa Fichi area where the Erythre (Krieuki) trail is coming. There we turn westwards following the very good marking with badges and colors on the rocks. From there on, the journey becomes more difficult and beautiful. After 2 km uphill we reach the shelter of EOS Eleusis at Petalos. The shelter is seen from a distance, so we will not face any orientation problems if it is not foggy. The road from Villias also reaches the shelter. Seeing the shelter in our left hand, we go right, from where the path to the top continues through wooded and quite uphill terrain. At the vandalized top of the mountain there is a second small mountain shelter, old military installations and mobile phone antennas