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Routes in Filopappou

11 S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
12 S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
13 S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
14 S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
15 S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
6 S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
7 S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
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Description

At less than 1km from the Acropolis, Filopappou is a convenient local crag with bouldering and single pitch sport climbing. The 180-degree views of Athens and the port of Piraeus are stunning and definitely worth the visit if you happen to be in Athens and short on time.

The locals use the base of the crag for bouldering and traverses; you can climb the full extent of the crag with a 30m rope and 5-7 quickdraws. There appear to be 14 short bolted sport routes with numbers painted at the start of each (0-13), with a mix of rappel rings and/or cold shuts at the top. Bring a stick clip if you don't feel comfortable on the initial boulder problem, as the first bolt is typically 5m or higher. This isn't your friendly Kalymnos bolting.

The rock type is a fascinating combination of medium-quality limestone at the base and cryptic marble at the top. The boulder problems can feel greasy and polished at times, but the routes appear to be seldom climbed (yet well-maintained). There is little to no chalk on routes, enabling you to practice your route-reading skills. Expect mostly technical slab climbing on decent crimps and ample footholds. Routes range from 5a-7a.

Fun fact: to keep your belayer on their toes, the base of the crag is hollow and evidently serves as a homeless shelter at times. Watch that your camp isn't doubling as a shelter (or latrine).

We went on a nice Saturday morning and didn't see a single other climber there.

Getting There

The climbing areas are on the south side of Filopappou Hill.

From the Acropolis, walk down the boulevard Dionysiou Areopagitou until you reach the entrance to Filopappou Hill. Pick a left trail and follow the trails clockwise, circling the hill until you reach an abandoned shack/shelter to the left, and a large paved clearing with tall white cliffs to the right. These are not it. Follow the path forward and keep walking about 250m, passing the scaffolding. Through the bushes and trees, you will start to notice bolts and and painted numbers on the crag to your right.

From metro stop Petralona go to "Dora Stratou Theater". Next to the parking lot of the theater there is an entrance. Follow the uphill.

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Climbs here generally face south. In hot weather, you'd only want to visit early in the morning or in the evening. There are some trees for shade, but they don't extend up very high and the cliff is generally concave, making it a bit of a solar oven.

There are at least three sectors:

Leftmost area (to left of large iceberg shaped boulder) has at least a couple bolted climbs.

Red sector (routes currently described in this route section) is to the right of the large iceberg shaped boulder. Climb "0" is on left (closest to the boulder) and route "16" is furthest to the right. Each of these sport climbs has a number in red paint.

Blue sector is further to the right of the red sector. This section of cliff has climbs with blue numbers. There are at least 13 sport routes here. Again, they are numbered from left (closest to red sector) to right.

To approach from the south side of the hill, first get to the theatre parking lot. In the lower right corner of the parking lot, you'll easily be able to match up the beta photo with the trail entrance.

Follow the most obvious trail up and slightly right about 200 yards to the cliff. The beta photo showing the crag matches up well and you will see the iceberg shaped boulder and some glinting bolts.

It's pretty easy to walk from the Acropolis Museum or Mars Hill to reach the crag, but describing how to do it is a bit tricky. We took a taxi from the Plaka area to the theatre parking lot and then after climbing, walked back to the Plaka (going to the summit of the hill and then crossing between the Acropolis and Mars Hill). It was a great walk back. Apr 27, 2016

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