If you’re looking for a rigorous exercise and incredible views this weekend, a hike up Mount Olympus is exactly what you’re in search of. While the trek up the mountain is extremely challenging at some points, the array of landscapes is unmatched, and a hiker of most skill levels can complete at least a portion of the hike.
Regardless of your mode of transportation, you can easily find your way to Prionia, the parking site where your hike will begin. If you have your own car, simply drive to Prionia. Otherwise, take a public bus to Litohoro village, and from there catch a taxi to Prionia, which will cost approximately 25 euros.
Once you have parked, start your hike on the E4 trail, and follow the path signs up to Refuge A (Spilaios Agapitas), which will take the average hiker approx. 3.5 hours. The refuge is cozy, clean and reasonably priced, however the rooms aren’t heated, so bring lots of layers! Wake up early in the morning to witness a spectacular sunrise, and then embark on your hike. There are 2 popular routes you can take, both following the E4 path: the Kakoskala entrance, which leads to the Mytikas summit, or to the Skolio summit, the main tourist summit and the second highest on the mountain.
The views from the summits are incredible, but the hikes can be dangerous, especially if you are unprepared. Bring several layers, as you will experience the extremes of temperatures while hiking, wear appropriate shoes and clothing, and use hiking poles to assist you, if you have them. Fresh spring water is only available from a spring at Prionia, and from the taps at the Refuges, so make sure you have enough for your hike as it’s crucial to remain hydrated. However, if you tackle this hike fully prepared, you are sure to witness some of the most breathtaking views in Greece, and have stories to share for years to come.
Written by & photos: Ellen McNeil