OverviewMt. Xirovouni is the nearby to Dirfis mountain.Although there is a page about Mt. Dirfis i think that it's a nice idea to write some things about this mountain because in all maps is considered a separate mountain and it is less known.The tallest peak of the mountain is called Portaris and it's altitude is 1453m.The second tallest is anonymous and it's 1418m high.
Among them extends a guite long ridgeline somewhere relatively flat but in other places narrow,rocky and steep.Although it is a quite low mountain due to its position(it is exposed to cold northeast winds) it accumulates huge quantities of snow in winter which is sometimes icy,making the ascent together with the steep slopes demanding.
Remains of snow can be found in this mountain even in early June.The period from early December to early April,winter equipment is necessary to climb the mountain:crampons,at least one piolet,gloves and good dressing as the temperature can easily fall below 0 C, let alone the strong winds that usually blow at this mountain .In summertime just a good pair of boots,two mpatons,a hat and a bottle of water(one third to onehalf of the route is above the forest line) are enough.
Getting ThereThe approach to Xirovouni is similar to that of Dirfi.It's a 1 1/2 to 2 hours drive from the city of Athens demanding on the traffic and how guick you are.You take the national road to Lamia,Thesalloniki and at the 61st km you turn right to Chalkida.After 12km you reach the town of Chalkida and you follow the signs for North Evoia. 6 km after this junction at the town of Artaki you turn right following the road to Steni which is a 24km distance.The trekking can start either:1)2km above Steni near a football yard aside banks of the river that flows to Steni(altitute appr. 500m) 2)From the ridge(1000m) between Dirfi and Xirovouni following the opposite to Dirfi direction.The ascent begins on a dirt road on your right hand as you follow the central road from Steni to Stropones.
3)From the beautiful village of Kampia which is located 4km from Steni(there is a sign in your right hand just before Steni).This village is at the bottom of a valley just at the feet of the mountain at an altitude of 500m.All the paths at the beggining pass through impressive forests and later they enter the steep(30-35degrees) scree slopes that lead to the 2nd highest peak.
To reach the highest peak called Portaris you have 2 options:either you follow the long ridgeline(2,5 hours) that connects the 2 peaks,or you follow a well signed path that goes in parallel direction to the ridgeline but much lower inside the forest(900m-1100m).After the forest the path becomes guite steep,enters the alpine zone,ascending in loose gravel and leads you just below the vertical cliffs that form Portaris NW face.
Between these cliffs there is a very steep coulouir(45-50degrees) that leads just straight to Portaris summit
Red TapeThere is no permission needed to ascent this mountain.You should just respect the environment like every mountaineer should do(unfortunately it's still a wish and not the reality in most cases)
CampingThe routes to the peaks are quite steep but they have small vertical gains(500-900m) so they don't last more than 7-8 hours estimating the return. However if someone wants to camp in the mountain,he can find some big and gorgeous meadows just at the end of the forest beside the path that leads to the 2nd highest peak of the mountain(1418m).
There isn't any refuge in the massif of Xirovouni but someone could use Dirfi's hut which is situated 2km(half an hour walk) from Dirfis-Xirovouni ridge.Otherwise you could set a tent in the meadows i mentioned before or inside the forest below the meadows.