About 20 kilometres from the centre of Athens to the north, on the lower slopes of Parnitha, the greenest and most attractive of the three hills surrounding the capital, the Varibobi cliffs are now a well-established climbing area. They attract a lot of climbers from Athens, and at weekends when one or more climbing schools turns up it can get quite busy. As Dimitris Korres noted in his guide to the area, the cliffs are not only great for training and instruction but also for meeting other climbers.
The main cliff is known as the Liagkos Rock, named after Dimitris Liagkos, who did so much to help the development of both climbing and mountaineering in Greece in the 60ís and 70ís.
Lower down, and obscured by the trees, are some excellent boulders which are well worth a visit.
Rocks and climbing
At their highest point the cliffs of the Liagkos Rock reach about 45m and are of generally solid limestone, with most routes now well-equipped with bolts and in-situ belays. Basically there are two areas: the "front," south-facing area with the highest cliffs and the best prospect for the cooler days when you want to catch as much sun as possible; and the "back," northwest-facing area, best for those days when you want to avoid the scorching summer sun. On both sides there are good ranges of routes with difficulties varying between 4+ to 8.
How to get there
Liagkos Rock is easily reached by taking the road out of Athens that heads towards the cable car that runs up the front of Parnitha to the casino and hotel at the top. Three or four kilometres before the car park for the cable car is a junction with a right turn signposted "Thrakemakethones". After making that turn you follow the road until you pass the second garage on your right ("Elda") where immediately afterwards you turn left, continuing straight on until you get to the bus terminus. The next little road on the right (Edesis road) takes you to the gap in the wire fence from which the marked footpath begins.