And where there are mountains, there’s mountain biking.
EXPERIENCE

Mountain biking on Mt Dirfis in Evia

The tallest mountain in Evia, just 2hrs by car from Athens, offers a fantastic escape for everyone who loves activities in nature.
Thrace region-id="pin-13";Macedonia Macedonia Epirus Thessaly Sporades Ionian Islands Western Greece Central Greece Attica Peloponnese Crete Cyclades North Aegean Islands Dodecanese Dodecanese Karpathos Astypalea Tilos Sitia Faistos - Matala Patmos Kastelorizo Kasos Kos Leros Halki Rhodes Symi Sfakia - Loutro Rethymno Elounda - Agios Nikolaos Agia Galini Plakias Hersonissos - Malia Ierapetra Heraklion Chania Nisyros Ikaria Lipsi Tzia - Kea Thasos Samos Lesvos Samothrace Limnos Chios Kalymnos Paros Naxos Zante - Zakynthos Lefkada Corfu Santorini Milos Kythnos Kimolos Serifos Syros Sifnos Koufonisia Ios Kefalonia Mykonos Paxi Ithaca Arta Ioannina Tinos Parga - Sivota Metsovo Anafi Sikinos Folegandros Donousa - Iraklia - Schinoussa Antiparos Zagori Mountainous Arkadia Porto Heli - Ermioni Preveza Amorgos Andros Delos Messolongi Ancient Olympia Aegina Kythira Archea Epidavros Patra Nafplio Kardamyli Kalamata Ilia Corinth Western Messinia Kalavryta Elafonissos Nafpaktos Spetses Poros Hydra Alexandroupolis Pylos Mycenae Monemvasia Loutraki Piraeus Athens Arahova Xanthi Galaxidi Mystra - Sparta Mani Edipsos Delphi Chalkida Karystos Evia Skyros Vergina Alonissos Volos Karditsa Skopelos Skiathos Kastoria Thessaloniki Prespes Agios Athanasios Edessa Serres Veria Larissa - Tempi Elati - Pertouli Trikala Pelion Meteora Drama Ammouliani Mount Athos - Ouranopolis Nymfeo Mount Olympos Katerini Halkidiki Grevena Lake Kerkini Naoussa Kozani Kilkis Kavala Pella Lake Plastira
Duration
5 hrs
Season
April - October

OVERVIEW

Rising like a beacon in the middle of Evia, Mt Dirfis is the secret escape of day-trippers from Athens and visitors to Central Greece who love nothing more than challenging themselves in nature. 

The focus here is mountain biking across a wild and tree-filled landscape (although the same paths are also a favourite with hikers). You’ll be expecting the greenery, having witnessed the forested slopes of the 1,743m-tall Mt Dirfis get closer as you approach it by car. But the running water and mountain villages – as well as the grand feeling of escape – in this part of Evia (strictly speaking an island but connected to the mainland by the bridge of Chalkida) are what make the experience extra special. 

Valleys, brooks, waterfalls, sweeping views towards the Aegean’s Sporades islands and the quaint cobblestone alleyways of an authentic settlement await. 

Every season on Mt Dirfis comes with its own colours and charm, so your best experience will be with a guide who can match the route to your ability and the weather conditions. You’ll find short or full-day excursions, ranging from challenging off-road routes to easy downhill rides. 
 

Read More Read Less

DON'T MISS

Our day begins and ends in the village of Steni (the start of many paths up Mt Dirfis), following a circular route up to and back down from the mountain’s main refuge.

Steni village

This traditional mountain hamlet is full of authentic village touches, with houses rising amphitheatrically up the slope and a picturesque square with plane trees, tavernas and cafes. You’ll lose count of the number of sources with running water. Make sure to stock up on bakery treats before setting out and to reward yourself with a wholesome taverna meal on your return. Your journey starts just north of the village, at the ‘Doctor’s Source’ (Vrisi tou Iatrou), by the small Church of Agios Kirykos.
 

Steni forest

It won’t take long before you are cycling amongst chestnut, oak, plane and fir trees – with wildflowers or mushrooms depending on the season. Steni Forest is a 500-hectare nature reserve (part of the Natura 2000 network of protected European biotopes) on the southern slopes of Mt Dirfis, ideal for families and all nature-lovers. You’ll cross gorges and streams as you follow the S2 route (as it’s marked). See how many different species of bird (amongst them peregrine falcons) and other animal-life you can identify.
 

The Michalis Nikolaou Refuge 

Named after one of the region’s pioneering mountaineers, Mt Dirfi’s main refuge marks the peak of your climb (1,120m). The views of the Aegean and inland towards the rest of Central Greece are magical and, in the colder months, you can huddle indoors around the fireplace. The refuge has around 50 beds if you want to continue your bike ride the next day or hike towards the peak. Most of the mountain’s winding paths end or pass by the refuge. Your route down will be along the S1 path, passing through the dense fir tree forest of Elatia, before you return to Steni with a ravenous appetite. 
 

Read More Read Less

From Athens: 

To Steni

By car: 107km (1hr40mins)
By bus: To Chalkida and from there 30km (40mins) by car. More Information
 

  • Starting Point: Steni village
  • Paths:
    • S2: Steni (by the Doctor’s Source) – Steni Forest – Refuge
    • S1: Refuge - Elatia Forest – Steni (by the Municipal Stadium)
  • Distance: About 13km 
  • Difficulty: Medium to high
  • Max. altitude: 1,120m
  • Min. altitude: 450m
  • Duration: S1 (2hrs30 mins) & S2 (2hrs) 
  • Equipment: Organised groups will supply all the necessary equipment, including bike and helmet, or you can hire equipment in Athens or Chalkida.
     
  • The refuge operates upon demand so you will need to call first if you aren’t part of an organised group (Tel. +30 22280 25655)    
  • There are many mountain bike routes in Evia, so you will always be able to find one that matches your abilities.
  • If you are not cycling with a guide, make sure to check the weather conditions before setting out, especially on windy days.

What to pack:

  • Suitable shoes
  • Comfortable clothes (preferably quick-drying) 
  • Water bottle
  • Backpack
  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
     
  • There are many accommodation and recreation options (hotels, guesthouses, tavernas, shops etc) in Chalkida 
  • You will find some traditional guesthouses and a choice of tavernas in Steni.
     
  • Rental shops are open all year round as it’s possible to mountain bike in Evia in every season. But the majority of organised excursions operate from April-October, when weather conditions are best.
  • Each season has its own beauty on Mt Dirfis, with lush vegetation and wildflowers in spring, the forest offering an oasis of coolness in the summer, and falling leaves turning the landscape golden during autumn. It’s better to avoid the winter months, as the conditions can be unfavourable.
     

TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY

The charm of mountain biking on Mt Dirfis is that it is a wild and unspoilt environment, so please help keep it that way.

Don’t forget to keep any rubbish with you until you reach a bin.
Please keep to designated paths for your safety and to avoid disrupting the wildlife.
Tempted as you might be, please don’t feed any animals.
Use a refillable water bottle to try to minimise your use of plastic.
Respect the local environment by not picking any plants or flowers.
Respect your fellow cyclists and hikers.
Always check the weather and don’t attempt anything that is beyond your ability or physical condition.
Always choose a route that reflects the capability of every member of your group.
Lighting fires in the wild is prohibited.
YOU NEED TO KNOW ·

See also

You might be interested in
Exploring the beauty of Lake Kremaston by kayak

Exploring the beauty of Lake Kremaston by kayak

The crown jewels of the main town are the Byzantine Kastro and even older monastery

A walking tour of Skyros’ main town

Located above the temple of Apollo, the ancient theatre looks over the entire sanctuary and a valley of olive trees

Feel the aura of Delphi’s world-famous archaeological site

Exploring the beauty of Lake Kremaston by kayak

Exploring the beauty of Lake Kremaston by kayak

Just the setting catapults this experience into once-in-a-lifetime territory, surrounded by the thick forest and gushing waters

Canyoning the Orlias Gorge on Mt Olympus

You pass a couple of waterfalls and some plunge pools big enough to take a dip, especially refreshing in summer

Hiking the Black Cave gorge in Evritania

You pass along a deep gorge full of nature, admiring extraordinary-coloured water and plane trees

Rafting in the shadow of the extraordinary Meteora