Mount Olympus, the tallest mountain in Greece, is known worldwide through myths and tales. Its slopes are adorned with a magnificent nature, home to firs, beeches, oaks, rowan trees, plane trees, wild cedars, orchids, and wild strawberries. Majestic eagles, wolves, jackals, owls, chamois, and horses find shelter amid its ravines, peaks, and gorges, while streams, lakes, and waterfalls dot the landscape.
Here on this 3,000 meter tall mountain, you can enjoy unique hikes, ski, mountain bike, paraglide like Hermes himself, delve into gorges while canyoning, and climb its awe-inspiring rocks faces. You can also spend the night in one of the nine mountain shelters available.
Mountaineering & Hiking
As the tallest mountain in Greece, Olympus offers stunning trails with breathtaking views. Starting from the Christakis refuge at 2,400 meters, you can ascend relatively accessible paths to reach some of the highest peaks, such as Skala, Skolio, or Agios Antonios, gazing beyond the Thermaic Gulf. Experienced hikers and mountaineers can venture to Mytikas, Olympus’ highest peak at 2,917 meters. Starting from the Prionia location, follow the trail to the Spilios Agapitos refuge at 2,100 meters. From there, you’ll climb to Skala peak on a demanding route, following the markings to reach Mytikas, where all of Greece unfolds before you. A more relaxed, shorter hike takes you to the Orlias pools and the 17-meter Kokkinos Vrachos waterfall, both hidden within stunning gorges. Hiking through the Enipeas Gorge is also an exhilarating experience.
A landscape immersed in nature and flowing waters awaits. Begin at Prionia, where the international E4 trail passes, and stop at the 15th-century Monastery of Agios Dionysios before continuing to the cave of Agios Dionysios. Choose the easy route or the moderately difficult one, covering 6 or 11.5 kilometers, respectively, both leading to Litochoro or reverse the route. Alternatively, aim for the Plateau of the Muses, the chapel of Prophet Elias, and from there, the Peaks or Stefani, the ridge believed to have been the throne of Zeus.
The Olympus Marathon route follows the sacred path of ancient Greece’s faithful. Every year, at the beginning of summer, believers would ascend from the worshipful city of Dion to the peaks of Mount Olympus to offer sacrifices to Zeus, the father of the gods, and lay down their offerings. Similarly, today’s route begins at the archaeological site of Dion, at an altitude of 3 meters, and culminates at 2,780 meters on Stefani, the peak considered the “Throne of Zeus”, traversing enchanting landscapes filled with fir, oak, and beech trees, towering cliffs, romantic chapels, and running waters. The route is marked as Dion – Orlias Stream – Petrostrouga – Skourta – Muses Plateau – Zonaria – Chondromesorachi – Prionia – Enipeas Gorge – Litochoro. This year, the race will take place on Saturday, June 24th.
Blanketed in snow, the mountain is ideal for alpine skiing. Its terrain offers every type of route, from gentle descents to highly demanding ones that send adrenaline soaring. Olympus has open slopes and beautiful technical sections, making for enjoyable downhill skiing. More challenging routes include Stefani – Naoum, Chrestaki’s Place – Caves, and the one from the Muses Plateau towards Pigadouli. Gentler routes run from the peak of Skolio towards Megali Gourna and towards Agios Antonios and Vrisopoules. Xerolakki is also suitable for alpine skiing. Around the Muses Plateau, there are other shorter routes leading to nearby refuges. Alpine skiing has endless possibilities, as every slope offers a potential descent. The western side of Olympus generally features treeless slopes, peaks, and plateaus that can provide delightful ascents and descents. The best season is spring, approximately from mid-March to late May, when there is usually sufficient snow coverage. Unfortunately, this year has been particularly poor in snow.
At Vrysopoules location, there is a ski resort operated by KEOAX, which stands for the Mountain Race Ski Training Center, at an altitude of 1,820 meters. Here, members of the Special Forces, as well as other branches of the Armed Forces, receive training. The ski resort is small, with three ski lifts, one of which is a baby lift. It is open daily, and the ticket costs 5 euros. Since it belongs to the military, you will need to carry your ID or passport. Although there is a lack of snow this year and you won’t be able to ski, it’s worth visiting to hike in nature. If you find the idea of skiing on the mountain where the twelve gods walked and where the special forces of the army are trained appealing, add it to your list for next year. There is also a refuge within the camp where you can stay overnight, having previously obtained permission from the unit administration by calling 2106552904. If you still hope that it will snow and the ski resort will open, you can call KEOAX at 2493062163.
A paragliding flight from Mount Olympus is simply divine. Imagine flying over the slopes of this mythical mountain, seeing its steep cliffs, snow-capped peaks, forested slopes, and the vast blue of the sea, and landing on the sandy beach of the Thermaic Gulf. The northern side of the mountain has milder conditions ideal for beginners, while the southern side is suitable for experienced pilots. A very classic and wonderful flight starts from Prophet Elias hill in Palaio Panteleimonas, passes over the village and the Platamonas castle, and ends on the shores of the Thermaic Gulf. Another route starts from Litochoro, passes through the Enipeas gorge, and offers unique views of both the mountain and the sea. Above the village of Kalivia, on the southern side, there is another take-off point for cross-country flights.
Mount Olympus boasts over 60 climbing routes on its slopes, with varying levels of difficulty. From Mytikas, Stefani, and Skolio to Zilnia, you can enjoy exceptional climbing experiences against the backdrop of the mountain’s beautiful landscape. The most popular routes are at Stefani, Skolio, and Plaka Kazanion. If you’re a romantic sportsperson, try the first recorded climbing route opened in Greece in 1934, the Comici-Escher on the east of Stefani, which is relatively easy but impressive.
If you love mountain biking and haven’t yet explored Mount Olympus, now is the time. Here you’ll find numerous trails through beautiful nature, fir, oak, and pine trees, with varying difficulty levels to satisfy every type of cyclist. Choose a route and immerse yourself in the Olympus nature, forests, lakes, and waterfalls with icy waters. One of the most beautiful routes starts at Stavros and ascends to Prionia at 1,100 meters altitude. Before beginning your descent, you can stop at a restaurant to regain your strength.
On this mountain, you can also indulge in canyoning. You have two options: the Orlias canyon on the northeastern foothills of Olympus, with a route that starts at the stream’s exit and gradually climbs through dense vegetation, small lakes, and six waterfalls. The other option is the Enipeas canyon to the east of the mountain, another enchanting route that starts at the Myloi location in Litochoro and enters a lush green landscape with impressive cliffs, wooden bridges, small lakes, and gushing waters.
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