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View of Hymettus from Acropolis
Highest point
Elevation1,026 m (3,366 ft)
Coordinates37°57′47″N 23°49′00″E / 37.963°N 23.81667°E / 37.963; 23.81667
LocationEast-central Attica about 15 km E of central Athens
Parent rangeHymettus
Easiest routeclimb, road

Hymettus (/hˈmɛtəs/), also Hymettos (/hˈmɛtɒs/; Greek: Υμηττός, romanizedYmittós pronounced [imiˈtos]; Ancient Greek: Ὑμηττός [hymɛːt.tós]), is a mountain range in the Athens area of Attica, East Central Greece.[1] It is also colloquially known as Trellós (crazy) or Trellóvouno (crazy mountain); the latter originates from the French "très long" (very long) in awe of its winding length of 16 km, as used by French travelers during the occupation of Greece by the Ottomans. Hymettus was assigned the status of a protected area in the EU's Natura 2000 ecological network.


Landscape at Hymettus
Koutouki cave

The highest point of the mountain range is Evzonas (Εύζωνας) with an elevation of 1,026 m (3,366 ft).[2] The 16 km (9.9 mi) length of Hymettus stretches from Athens to the Saronic Gulf. It is 6 to 7 km from east to west. In ancient times, the highest point was known as Megas Hymettos and the southern peaks as Elasson (Ἐλάσσων "lesser, smaller") and Anydros Hymettos (Ἄνυδρος Ὑμηττός, "waterless Hymettos"). Today the southern peaks are called Mavrovouni (Μαυροβούνι, "black mountain") and Kontra (Κόντρα). It was noted for its thyme honey.[1] Marble has been quarried since antiquity.[1] The neighboring communities that surround the mountain are Athens (proper), Zografou, Kaisariani, Vyronas, Ilissia (a region of Zografou), Ymittos, Ilioupoli, Argyroupoli, Elliniko, Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni in the west, Varkiza, Vari, Markopoulo and Paiania to its east, and Papagou, Cholargos, Agia Paraskevi, Gerakas and Glyka Nera. Most of the forest is in the north, and much of the mountain is rocky, deforested, grassy and made out of limestone.

The flanks of Hymettos are dotted with caves. The largest and most notable is Koutouki cave [el], which has its entrance on the east flank of the mountain, near Paiania.[3] The smaller Liontari cave has its mouth at the north end of the mountain, west of Glyka Nera and is named after the lion of Hymettos which is said to have lived on the mountain in the past and to have terrified the inhabitants of the surrounding area.[4]



In antiquity there was a sanctuary to Zeus Ombrios ("Zeus rain bringer") on the summit with numerous offerings dating especially to the 8th-7th centuries BC; they are on the site of a military base and not currently accessible. There is also an ancient quarryman's hut on the western slopes of the mountain, one of two buildings in ancient Attica which preserves its roof.

Asteriou Monastery
The church of St Elijah at Koropi.

There are several notable Byzantine monasteries on the mountain, including:[5]

  • Kaisariani Monastery, founded in the 2nd century AD and built into the flank of the mountain, incorporating the ruins of an ancient church. The monastery reached its peak in the 12th and 13th centuries, when it was a political and spiritual centre.
  • Monastery of St. John the Theologian, located between Cholargos and Papagou.
  • Monastery of St John the Hunter [el], established on the northern peak of Hymettos in the 12th century.
  • Kareas Monastery [el], located on the west flank of Hymettos near the village of Kareas [el].[6]
  • Asteriou Monastery [el], located on the northwestern flank of Hymettos, to the west of Kaisariani.

Urban uses


Major campuses of the University of Athens and the National Technical University of Athens (collectively called "University Town") are located on the west-facing slope, between the Motorway 64, a ring road connected with the Motorway 6, and the urban sprawl of Athens. A transmitter park for several major TV and radio stations, along with military radar is located at the top of the mountain. Built up urban areas almost surround the entire mountain range. Access to the top of the mountain is restricted to authorized vehicles for maintenance of the towers.

Almost all of Attica, Athens' eastern suburbs and the new airport can be seen from the mountain top along with the mountains of Parnitha to its northwest, Penteli to its north and Aigaleo to its west. The valley areas that create the lowest passes are to the south and one further south.

The mountain range features about six to seven landfills in the western part and another in the eastern part.


  1. ^ a b c Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hymettus" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 181.
  2. ^ "Mount Hymettus". britannica.com.
  3. ^ Υπουργείο Τουρισμού Σπήλαιο Παιανίας ή Σπήλαιο Κουτούκι
  4. ^ Υπουργείο Τουρισμού Σπήλαιο Λιονταριού Υμηττού, Αττικής
  5. ^ "Μνημεία στον Υμηττό" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
  6. ^ Αρχαιολογία της πόλεως των Αθήνων Ιερά μονή Αγίου Ιωάννη Προδρόμου Καρέα. Για όλες αυτές τις μονές του Υμηττού βλ. Κουτελάκης Χαρ., Φραγκοκρατούμενη Αθήνα και Τήνος (1204-1689), Αθήνα 2013.