Hiking with Zeus & Co
Summer is tipically associated with turquoise sea and golden beatches. We offer you even better combination, easily described with two words - mount Olimpus, the highest mountain in Greece, home of Greek Gods and theatre of stormy devine adventures. Its highest peak Mytikas (2,918 m.), known in Greek mythology as Pantheon and a meeting place of all 12 Gods, now brings together travelers from around the world, offering them a precious crystal view of the sea cost.
Mount Olimpus is about 90 km. southwest from Thessaloniki. You take the road to Litochoro from where a 17 km. road goes to Prionia. There is frequent service of KTEL buses and a taxi stand in Litochoro's central square which can take you there. At Prionia the hike begins.
Your equipment should depend on your plan. In all honesty, hiking to Mytikas and backwards can be done in one day, but it's an all day long tiring walk. We would recomend hiking to the peak and then staying over the night at Spilios Agapitos (Refuge A) or splitting the hike and doing the first part (up to Spilios Agapitos) on day one and then heading towards the peak on day two.
Climbing Mount Olympus is a nontechnical hike, except for the final section from the Skala summit to the Mytikas peak, which is a 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. So, be mindful of your skills and phisical shape.
We headed from Prionia at around 8 a.m. and reached Spilios Agapitos at 11 a.m. The track is nice and easy and with a pinch of mythology if you are prone to see mythical signs around you (such as trees resambling dragons :)).
We had lunch at Spilios Agapitos. The hut is one of the best - very cozy, offering great food variety and a wonderful view at the sea. The stuff is amazing and make you feel so welcome that you really wish you come back here more often. Then we headed to the peak Mytikas. The road gets harder here. Do make sure you have sun protection and some wather with you. We recommend that you leave your heavy gear at the hut and go for the peak lightway. From Skala to Mytikas you need to do some climbing. So have that in mind.
When you look at Mytikas from Skala - it feels scary. However, once on the go, it is not that difficult. Just be cautios of the edges and follow the road indication.
The best thing that you can do is to combine your mountain hike with a day or two relaxation on the beach. The view from the top is literally tempting you to do so. In our case, we had it all in one weekend - on Satyrday we hiked to the peak and spent the night at Spilios Agapitos and on Sunday early morning we went down to Litochoro, had a delicious breakfast in one of the cozy bakeries and then hit the beach (nearest is no more that 3 km. away).
So, if you are wondering what to do your next weekend or on your next vacation think no more. Pack your backpack and go hiking with Zeus & Co.