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Mt OLYMPUS 2917m.

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ZERVAS PUBLISHING has already 15 years of successful presence. This is a course that has had multifaceted activities and a wide field: production of brochures, books and special publications such as advertisements, printed direct mail, websites, etc. Extremely important area of activity is the edition of the bimonthly magazine “CLIMBING TO THE MOUNTAINS OF THE WORLD” launched the first issue in 1998. Mountaineering, rock climbing, alpinism, trekking, skiing, canyoning, trail running and paragliding, are some of the activities that “MOUNTAINS” covers and is unique in Greece. We have a team of leading authors in their field and illustrates an original and authentic way the course of mount-Managing sports and all the technological developments around them.

Articles and photos of “MOUNTAINS” is the material reminding his readers that the human spirit has no bounds. The website of “MOUNTAINS” , several months now has created a very accurate GPS database from all over Greece, for hiking and biking paths, respectively. In this application, users can upload and download any track they are interested for free, while the routes described in the magazine going digital accommodated there. The application is in constant renewal, giving more and more facilities to its users, showing increasing interest. To navigate to Apply Click! is the best way to share trips, connect with other travelers and find great new routes in Greece. >> Map Trip – Explore – Share >> Map a trip route with your phone or GPS >> Login and Upload or Download routes to your computer or Garmin GPS >> Add trip photos to your map instantly

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Text and photos of publication by: Miltos Zervas | | 3

Mt OLYMPUS 2917m.

trails of

Plateau of the Muses, lost in the clouds...




Mt OLYMPUS 2917m.


Mount Olympus (Greek: Όλυμπος, also transliterated as Olympos, and on Greek maps, Oros Olympos) is the highest mountain in Greece, located on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) away from Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. Mount Olympus has 52 peaks. The highest peak Mytikas, meaning «nose», rises to 2,917 metres (9,570 ft). It is one of the highest peaks in Europe in terms of topographic prominence.

In the most rugged mountain path in Kazania, there are steep parts equipped with ropes.

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For those having greater stamina, there is an alternative towards Kalogeros. The whole route takes three days at a leisurely pace in the summer (mid June to mid September). Little equipment is needed since you can sleep and eat at the refuges. Of course you should have a warm change of clothes as well as a waterproof outer garment (Olympus is known for its afternoon showers). On the first night you can stay at either of the refuges on the Mousson Plain and the second night atve to bivouac outside so you will require the appropriate equipment (sleeping bag, food etc.). The route is not difficult and the trails are well kept and well marked. Even the gullies leading to the summits are marked and all that is required is a little caution and common sense. Conditions are a little more difficult if it is early summer and snow still remains on the rock bands rendering their passage more difficult. Things are tougher still for those who go to Kalogeros since the paths are not that well marked and there is no water to be found. If you climb the mountain in July or August and especially during weekends, you will come across many more mountaineers since during the summer Mt. Olympus is probably the most frequented mountain in Greece.

Litochoro - Mitikas - Litochoro


We begin our trek from ‘Diastavrosi- exactly 13.5 kms from LitocLitochoro on the LitochoroPrionia road. A small road branches up and to the left, which takes us to a clearing from which the trail begins. Beginning rather steeply and traversing a very beautiful forest, an hour’s walk along the well-marked trail brings us to ‘Barba’ at

We continue straight ahead and to the right. The forest begins to thin and the beech-trees aree replaced by pines. Soon we reach “Petrostrunga” at about 1950m Here among the pines which are hundreds of years old we find several sheepfolds. Up to here we average about 1:45hrs from “Barba”. The trail winds mildly through huge

an elevation of 1450m where there is a clearing with benches. Then the trail ascends a little and then descends until the junction for Itanos spring, which doesn’t always have water. A steep ascent brings us to the area known as

The steep high slowly peaks thin; of Mount Olympus trees that slowlll a sign that we areand the clouds that surround everything isthe sometimes causing the creation of myths. approaching alpine zone.

“pangakia. Here we are provided with a nice view of the Enipeas valley, the Monastery of St. Dionissios, and Kalogeros summit.

Mount Olympus is noted for its very rich flora with several species. It is a National Park of Greece and a World’s Biosphere Reserve.

Keeping within the woods, the trail continues to ascend until “Strangos” where there is a water tank (which doesn’t always contain water). From here a trail branches to the left towards the Mousson plain via “Anathema”, which as its name suggests in Greek, is extremely steep and not recommended.

Elevation 2,917 m (9,570 ft) Prominence 2,355 m (7,726 ft) Location Greece Range Macedonia and Thessaly, near the Gulf of Salonika Coordinates 40°05’08’N 22°21’31’E | 7

Mt OLYMPUS 2917m. refuge at 2650m. Both are built across from Stefani. Time from “Skourta” to here is 1:15hrs for a total of 5:30hrs from “diastavrosi”. If you have enough time, we strongly recommend that you climb the peak of Profitis Ilias, which will reward you with a spectacular view. To continue for the summits, we take the trail from SEO refuge, which traverses the base of Stefani. This almost level path takes kes us to a ridge where we see the “Zonaria” (“bands”), “Mavrolongos” and the Enipeas valley. We can also make out the refuge of Spilios Agapitos. Five minutes from here brings us to the markings that will guide us through the Stefani gully to the secondary peak of Stefani. From this point to the main peak we need to traverse a very exposed pass. Some basic mountaineering experience is required.


Climbing Mount Olympus is a non-technical hike, except for the final section from Skala summit to Mytikas summit, which is YDS class 3 rock scramble. It is estimated that 10,000 people climb Mount Olympus each year, most of them reaching only the Skolio summit. Most climbs to Mount Olympus start from the town of Litochoro, which took the name City of Gods because of its location on the roots of the mountain. A local from Litochoro, Christos Kakalos, became the first to reach the Mitikas summit on 2 August 1913. From there a road goes to Prionia, where the hike begins at the bottom of the mountain.

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And sure enough, soon we come out on arid ground. The well-trodden path and the intense markings make sure we don’t get lost. Now we see a bare incline which the trail slowly ascends. To our righright we see magnificent valleys and cliffs descending from the Mousson plain. Spectacular peaks, that grow in even the steepest of places: a medley of valleys and ridges provide a picture of the remote grandness of Olympus. We reach the foot of “Skourta” peak (2485m) where we find a sign. We proceed to make a quick ascent of it. Time from Petrostrunga is 1:15hrs. Here we are provided with our first view of the peaks of Olmypus as well as the Mousson plain. Unfolding in front of us is the only passaassage toward the plain; the Skourta neck (“lemos”) and “Yiosso’s” pass. We descend a little until the lowest point of “lemos” and then the trail takes us to the base of the plain (the steel cables are for winter ascents). The base of the plain is at 2600 2600m. From here we can follow the right row of poles to the SEO refuge at 2710m or the left row to the EOOA

If we return to the trail to a point a little lower than the Stefani gully, we find other markings -red again- ain- which lead us through the Mitikas gully to the peak of Mt. Olympus. Scrambling is also required here. However the markings, almost at every meter, make our life easier. From the peak we have an endless view of half of Greece and of the rest of Olympus. This, providing that the peaks are not surrounded in one of the usual fogs of the mountain. From the refuge to here is about 1:15hrs. Notice that we are on the summit and we don’t toss rocks since there may be people below us who are climbing or walking. We descend the same route to meet the “Zonaria” trail. The path descends mildly until it intersects the trail that ascends from Spilios Agapitos refuge to Skolio. We follow it and gradually enter the pine forest. The trail descends rather steeply only onn a ridge and we reach Spilios Agapitos refuge rather quickly. The entire trail from the Skolio intersection until Litochoro is part of the E4, the international trail that crisscrosses Greece. From the refuge the trail descends steeply. Above and below it are hundreds of tree trunks from avalanches that melt in the spring and flow off the Zonaria bands just above. We reenter a dense forest which gradually becomes

The ascents to the Mytikas pass through impressive rocky tumors.

Mt OLYMPUS 2917m. Refuges On Mt. Olympus on the trails that we recommend you can find the following refuges. 1. “Dimitris Boudolas” refuge (also known as “Stavro”). This is open year round and belongs to the Hellenic Mountaineering Club of Thessaloniki. Telephone for information: +30 2310 278 288, +30 2310 267 282.


2. “Yiossos Apostolidis” refuge. The highest refuge in the Balkans (2710m). It is open from the end of June until the end of September depending on the weather. Apart from sleeping accommodation it serves food. It belongs to SEO Thessalonikis. jsp?CMCCode=100601&extLang= Telephone for information: +30 2310 22 4710. 3. “Christos Kakalos” almost next to “Yiossos Apostolidis”. Telephone for information: +30 23520 84 544


Agios Dionisis Monastery



REF. Stavrou



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Agios Antonis


REF. Kakalos Zonaria


REF. Seo

REF. Spilios Agapitos Xerolaki


Petrostrouga Stragos | 11

Mt OLYMPUS 2917m. beech-tree magnificent forest of silence-until we come out at the waterfall of Prionia. This point is accessed by a road from Litochoro. There is a refreshment store and of course a lot of noise. We fill our water bottles and quickly enter the E4 trail which follows the Enipeas river. The route from the base of Mitika to Prionia takes about 3:30 to 4 hours. From here on, after crossing to the left bank (north) of the river, and passing through romantic clearings to the deserted Monastery of St. Dionissios at an elevation of 820m. After the Monastery we descend until the river, cross it until we come out at the cave of St. Dionissios where there is a spring. From here the trail ascends and descends to the left and to the right of the river (the crossing in early summer requires a jump in the cold water) passing pools ideal for bathing. After the last crossing of the river (five in all from Prionia), the trail starts ascending the right (south) side of the valley across from the Zilnia rock face. After gaining elevation (luckily the path winds through a dense forest so the sun doesn’t bother us) we finally view Litochoros at the end of a plain. In a while the trail at last starts to descend until it reaches the outlying houses of Litochoro(4 hours).

The path from diastavrosi have wonderful view of the highest peak, Mytikas, and the third in height Throne of Zeus (Thronos tou Dia).

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In Greek mythology Olympus was regarded as the «home» of the Twelve Olympian gods of the ancient Greek world. It formed itself after the gods defeated the titans in the Titan War, and soon the palace was inhabited by the gods. It is the setting of many Greek mythical stories. Olympus was not shaken by winds nor ever wet with rain, nor did snow fall upon it, but the air is outspread clear and cloudless, and over it hovered a radiant whiteness.

Skolio - Kalogeros - Litochoro Alternatively if you prefer not to descend the mountain by means of thEnipeas valley and you feel like extra walking and have a little experience you can take the route from the Mousson plain and Mitikas to Skolio, Kalogeros and Litochoro. The route is beautiful and easily compares to the climb from Diastavrosi. After climbing Mitikas as we have already described and continuing for the refuge, at the junction for Skolio, go up and to the right. After passing Skala and in an hour’s time you reach Skolio (2011m). From there and in half an hour you can reach Ag. Antonios (2817m). Now you can follow the ridge line to Kalogeros, passing Metamorfosis

peak. The route to Kalogeros takes two hours. Orientation is easy if vision is good. In case of fog though you will need a compass and a map. From Kalogeros you descend downwards without diverging to the right and a little before the forest begins you reach a building with a chimney and a tank. This area is called “Livadaki” (“little valley”) and you will need an hour and a half from Kalogeros to reach it. From here you enter a forest through a riverbed which passes “Ano” and “Kato Tsouknida”. You pass to the left of Golna and in three hours you are in Litochoro. In general the route is not marked; you will find markings only infrequently..

Crossing beneath the Throne of Zeus, early summer. | 13

Mt OLYMPUS 2917m. GPS ROUTES LINKS TO DOWNLOAD TREKKING | Litochoro - Enipeas - Prionia / Olympus TRAIL RUNNING | Olympus Marathon TREKKING | Ourlias - Koromilia / Olympus HIKING | Gortsos - Anathema - Mitikas - Kakalas HIKING | Prionia - Livadaki - Golna - Litohoro HIKING | Plateau of the Muses (Seo refuge)

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1. Kalogeros, 2. Bara, 3. Xerolaki/Caves, 4. Krevatia, 5. Petrostrouga, 6. Enipeas, 7. Litochoro, 8. Mitikas, 9. Oropedio, 10. Livadaki

One of the classic views of the Greek mountains, the north face of the high peaks of Olympus.


Mt OLYMPUS walking trails of Myth  

Hiking guide to the most popular trails on Mount Olympus, with links to gps route files.

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