Erymanthos is situated at the Northwest Peloponnese and borders with mountains Kallifoni and Lampeia. It is divided in three parts: Profitis Ilias, Mouggila and Olonos. Profitis Ilias has the longest ridge with an altitude of of 2.125 m. The three parts meet at Olonos ridge.
The summit has an altitude of 2223 m and it is hard to reach. It is one of the alpine mountains of Greece and attracts those who like difficult ascends. It belongs to the Natura 2000 network of protected areas for the preservation of the wild fauna and flora.
A great part of the mountain is covered by fir forests (Abies cephalonica); oaks and pine trees are found at lower altitudes. There are also Maquis shrubland lower. There are about 970 species of plants 90 of them are endemic of Greece.
The fauna includes badgers, hares, foxes and it is said that there are otters. There are many birds including woodpeckers.
Trail 31 passes from the foot of the mountain which connects the city of Patra with ancient Olympia. To find it one needs to go to the villages Michas or Ano Vlasia. There is a great network of paths in the area allowing the visitor to make one excursions of multiple days crossings.
Erymanthos is worth visiting all year round: during winter the area receives a lot of snow; during summertime numerous springs provide cool off the climbers.
Michas- Roumeliotiko spring- Mparmpa – ridge of Olonos
When we arrive at Michas village we need to follow the second road we see on our left hand. In 50m there is a sign that leads us to a little cement road to the left. From this point on starts the climbing trail. We ascend until we reach a cement reservoir; we go past to it to the right towards the forest openings. We need to follow the blue-white and red mountaineering signs. We will soon find the forest road. We will cross it and continue on the path following the signs; soon we will meet the road again. From this point on we keep on the road. On our way we will meet a spring and after some turns we reach an elevation where we can observe the ridge of Olonos and Mougila. At this point the road goes descending. We go left leaving the road and entering the path; there is a sign saying “to Mougila”. We climb to a ridge; we keep to the right following the signs on the trees.
We keep walking in the forest until we reach the alpine part. At the beginning we go right to the rocks going under them and we start the traverse which goes until Olonos plateau. The route is obvious.
If there is snow we need to be careful since we need to cross several gullies. During the route we are exposed from the left hand side to the ridge of the mountain while on the right hand there is cliff in many places. To confirm that we are on the right way we need to pass from a sheepfold right after a gully.
As we approach to the ridge of Mougila we turn right towards the top of Olonos. We traverse the slope to reach the plateau. From this point we can see the two summits, the ridge of Profitis Ilias and the saddle point in front of us. From the saddle we can either climb to Olonos or to Mougila. Both climbs are hard but the second is the harder. The summit Mougila is 2196 a bit shorter than Olonos.
For the way back we need to go back to the sheepfold. From this point there is an alternative route passing by the “crumbled waterfall”. We need to go down to the left through a narrow gully until the beginning of the forest. As the slope becomes smaller we need to move to the right. There are signs which can be hidden by the snow. We keep traversing without losing height and soon we will see the forest road. At the exit of the path we arrive at the waterfall on the forest road. From this point we continue to the right until the elevation and join to the road of the ascend.
The route takes about 8 hours with snow.
Thessaloniki 515km via Ioannina, 492 via Rio
There are no shelters on the mountain
There are no ski resorts.
author – photographer: Panos Bampaloukas