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Review of Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus
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Mount Olympus and Dion Full-Day Trip from Thessaloniki
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Olympus Hiking up to Mytikas 2918 Meters
Ranked #4 of 162 things to do in Thessaly
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed 12 July 2014

Nice hike. But no variety of hikes for an amateur hiker. I would hike it again. It is moderately difficult at the start of the E4trail. The trailhead is located 2 kilometers from the center of the town. Near the meyli tavern. For the e4 trail take a left where you see the wooden railing.

1  Thank sheep74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 July 2014

A legendary mountain that every one should try one day.
I've done the route with my 8 years old kid from Prionia.

2  Thank CarpatBike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2013

For visiting the monasteries and caves, you should do some tracking. The paths that you follow have awesome view. There are also longer paths for tracking also in Mount Olympus. Should everybody interest in nature should visit there. Only dissappointment was we were expecting to see some altars or sanctuaries about ancient gods of greece but we cannot find any

3  Thank BerkayDikici
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2013

During a two week holiday at the Chalkidiki peninsula with my family I decided to spend a day to visit the Olympus mountain range, and if possible reach the top of Mytikas - the high point of Greece. The most frequented route to the top is the E4 trail from a small mountain village called Prionia to the top of Skala. From Skala a semi-exposed traverse leads to the top of Mytikas.

Most peaople do this as a two day trek, spending the night in Refugee A on the way up. But it is also possible to do it in one day if you are used to long treks in the mountains. The distance from Prionia to the summit of Mytikas is approximately 10 km, but bear in mind the 2000 m vertical distance as well. I spent between 6 and 7 hours on my round trip.

The trek from Prionia to the sub summit Skala goes along a marked trail without any dangerous or exposed sections. But the final section between Skala and Mytikas is more challenging. It contains several steep sections where the use of hands is necessary, and people with a tendency towards acrophobia might find this part scary. However the traverse is not technically difficult at all, at least in dry conditions.

For those of you who are not sure if this final traverse would be too scary I recommend to do the trip to Skala anyway and see for youself. You will not regret it even if you do not reach the summit.

More photos from my trek to Mytiaks can be seen in this trip report:

19  Thank Vegard001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

I recommend starting at Gortsia (half way up the road to Prionia) rather than Prionia. It's pretty well marked and easily visible from the road. This way you can do a "circuit" and then end at Prionia. Not as many people on the trail (although there were maybe three or four descending) while ascending on that side of the mountain and the views straight down to the Aegean Sea are jaw dropping. It's possible to make it to the first refuge (Petrostrouga) from this starting point at Gortsia in two hours if you're in decent shape with only several minor rest stops if needed. Also there are only two really strenuous points during this ascent and the rest is relatively mild, whereas there are long periods of strenuous ascending when starting at Prionia. You also get the added benefit of facing the nice canyon views as you're descending back to Prionia when you're ending your circuit, rather than having it be behind you.

I took one small bottle of water and no food and filled up at that first refuge (Petrostrouga - where they have lots of bottled water for sale for a decent price). I ate a hot plate spaghetti with a red sauce and a little bit of tuna and it was spectacular! They have other cooked meals to eat there as well. Oh, and while I was waiting for the food, I drank an Olympus Tea with honey. Holy crap that was good. There are electrical outlets there, although they didn't work. However, I was able to charge my iPhone via a USB cable in the kitchen with the help of the friendly proprietors.

At this refuge, there's a dining area, a large common room to rest up if you desire, or you can enjoy the views from the balcony. There are clean restrooms there as well. I was the only one there in the middle of the day in the summer!

It's another two hours (again if you're in decent shape) to the two refuges at the top. The smaller (Christos Kakkalos' Refuge) is popular and almost always booked, so booking ahead in advance is a good idea. Viewable from this refuge is the larger (Giosos Apostolidis' Refuge) about a quarter mile up the ridge, and they have a large number of beds (over 50 I think). I was there in late August of 2013 and when I arrived they were fully booked as well, but they did have many extra cots that they roll out if you need a place to sleep (in the dining area but only after 22:30). Food there is excellent. I recommend either the goat soup or the peppers stuffed with rice.

Both places have plenty of bottled water, wine and food etc., but no hot water for showers. There are in-door squat toilets and running water in many sinks for brushing teeth, etc.

I got a very late afternoon start (about 14:00) from Gortsia and made it to the refuges at the top by 19:00 after spending an hour eating, resting and charging my iPhone (for the GPS) at the lower refuge. I slept at the larger of the two refuges and peaked Mytikas the next morning after coffee and breakfast. (The morning coffee was 2€, if that helps give you an idea of what you'll be paying for food and drink.)

Along this ascent, between the first refuge and the Plateau of the Muses (and the two top refuges) there is one hairy spot called Giosos Trail. There are no technical issues here, but the drop off is pretty intense and I certainly don't recommend taking it without solid daylight.

There is one more part just before you arrive at the scramble to the highest peak (Mytikas) that is not for the faint of heart, though it too doesn't require any technical expertise. That drop next to the trail is just after those two refuges below Stefant Peak on your way to Mytikas.

The scramble up Mytikas from the main trail is marked by yellow and blue bull's eyes. There is no special equipment necessary, but if you have an issue with heights, it's probably not a good idea to do it. There are 9 other peaks you can climb summit, most are very easy to ascend and descend, but the highest and I think most rewarding (at 2918m) is Mytikas.

From the Mytikas down to the first refuge (Spilios Refuge) took about two hours (where I took lunch, a lamb and potato stew - very tasty - and filled my 1 bottle of water). They have many snacks (candy bars and bananas) and souvenirs at this refuge as this is the destination for most of the canyon trekkers coming up from Prionia. From Spilios Refuge, I reached Prionia in two hours.

In Prionia I was able to catch a ride back to Litochorou without a problem. There are no buses and a taxi (you will have to call one from Litochorou) will cost 35€ (ouch). There is a nice cold spring to get free water in the parking lot next to the trail head.

It's important to consider that if you don't have your own car, getting back to Litochorou from Prionia (as it's not proper town) will be difficult if it gets too late in the evening. And it's a long hike back the rest of the way down the canyon.

You also might consider visiting the old monastery between Litochorou and Prionia as well. I heard good things, but I did not visit it.

17  Thank kc m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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