The responsibility area of Parnassos National Park’s Management Body lies within the territorial limits of Boeotia, Phocis and Fthiotida Prefectures, as well as Livadia, Amfikleia - Elateia, Delphi – Amfissa and Distomo - Arachova - Antikyra Municipalities. The human presence in the region is very important, dating back to 1500 BC. Today there are 18 settlements in the wider area whose inhabitants are engaged in agriculture, livestock, manufacturing, mining and tourism.
Parnassos Mt. consists of spectacular cliffs and rocky areas. Its geology is mostly hard limestones (76.6%). Limestone forms particularly impressive karst on Parnassus; some formations are nationally known, such as the Sinkhole of Lilaia and the Corycian Cave.
The climate is humid, with an average annual precipitation of 1468,2 mm at an altitude of 1300 meters. Winters are particularly harsh and long lasting, while summers are cool. Despite rainfall’s intensity, surface runoff is low, due to the prevalence of permeable limestone, which justifies the large number of springs.
Parnassos is a complex ecosystem, with a wide variety of landscapes and habitats, resulting to a rich and rare biodiversity. The protected area is characterized by a large number of special scientific importance and significance plant taxa. There have been reported 854 taxa, 6 of which (Centaurea musarum, Hieracium gaudryi, Eryssimum parnassi, Euphorbia orphanidis, Bupleurum capillare, Campanula ripicula) are endemic, while, a large number are stenoendemic (endemic to Central Greece, Greece etc). Several species in the area are assigned to different risk categories according to WCMC, P.D.67/1981 , UNEP, RDB and the Berne Convention.
There are three type of areas found on Parnassos, according to its vegetation:
- Low vegetation above the treeline, reaching up to the top of the mountain (Liakoura 2,457 m), consisting of shrubs, phryganic and herbaceous species.
- Arboreal vegetation, including forests of Abies cephalonica, Pinus nigra and deciduous oaks. This zone is located at an altitude of 600 reaching up to1800m, and
- Shrubby vegetation, which includes the plant formations met below the previous zone down to the foot of Parnassos. Quercus coccifera, Quercus ilex and Pistaccia lentiscus are characteristic species of this zone.
Regarding the fauna of Parnassos, there are 5 species of mammals, 2 amphibians, 2 reptiles and 2 invertebrate species recorded and listed (Directive 92/43, Annex II) 38 species of birds (Directive 79/409, Annex I) and 68 additional bird species protected by international treaties. In addition, at least seven species of mammals are protected by Greek law, and several vertebrate species included in the Red Data Book of Threatened Vertebrates of Greece.
Other protected areas established within the responsibility area of Parnassos NPMB are:
- the Aesthetic Forest “Dasos Tithoreas” (PD Gov. 125/D/1979),
- the Wildlife Refuge " Asprochoma - Fine - Prontoli – Arachova” (Gov. 1043/V/1976),
- the breeding ground for prey "Amfikleia" (GG 406/V/76)
Last but not least, regardeless its natural - ecological value, Parnassos is a place of enormous cultural - historical heritage, i.e. the Sanctuary of Apollo and the Oracle of Delphi. In addition, the great cultural - historical value of the area is enhanced by the ancient and modern monuments, as well as the rich history of the region.