“Enjoy several solid treks amongst the monoliths of Meteora, the E4 long distance footpath, and up to almost 10,000 feet as you ascend Skala Peak on the fabled Mount Olympus.”
Kastraki | Meteora | Monastery of St Nicholas | ancient walking trails | Mt Olympus | E4 European long distance footpath | Enipeas Gorge | Litochoro | Muses Plateau | Throne of Zeus | Mystikas and Skala peaks | Thessaloniki |
Description of Mount Olympus walking holiday, Greece
Any walking holiday in Greece that’s going to include the fabled slopes of Mount Olympus, and the UNESCO monoliths of Meteora, is always going to reach legendary status.
Forming a natural border between the region of Thessaly and Macedonia, Mt Olympus is the second largest mountain on the Balkan Peninsula with its highest peak, Mytikas, stretching into the clouds at almost 10,000ft.
The setting, just over 100kms from Thessaloniki, overlooking the Aegean, is spectacular and it’s easy to see why the 12 Olympian Greek gods decided to make Mt Olympus their home.
As the first national park in Greece and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Mt Olympus has become fabled just as much for its flora and fauna as its mythical status; with habitat for birds of prey, especially, considered amongst Europe’s most important natural areas.
Honey buzzards, bearded vultures, black vultures, Lanner falcons and golden eagles are all known to nest within the mountain’s shelves and crevices, and small groups are asked to pay close attention to mountain guide instructions whilst undertaking hikes at high altitude.
This walking holiday in Greece is designed for small groups or as a private hiking trip, with English-speaking, experienced and officially qualified mountain guides ensuring safety and a deeper understanding of the natural area is second to none.
There are a few dates throughout the year that have been selected for hiking Mt Olympus as a small group however, private hikes can take place at any point between the beginning of July and the end of September.
Circular walking itineraries have been carefully planned to feature Mount Olympus, Enipeas Gorge, the Muses Plateau and the UNESCO site of Meteora as well as utilising mountain huts to help you explore away from the usual tourist trails.
Other overnight accommodation on this eight day tour includes good quality independent guesthouses and hotels which are usually small and often run by local families who will be happy to chat more about Greece and their own personal stories of walking on and around Mt Olympus.
What's included in this walking holiday in Greece: - Five nights in an en-suite hotel room with shower, WC, air-con, TV and internet access - Two nights in a shared mountain hut dormitory room - Seven breakfasts, three lunches, three picnics and seven dinners - Luggage transfers between hotel accommodation - Airport transfers and all overland transportation - Sightseeing tours (depending on time) - An English-speaking local tour guide throughout
Additional info: - Small group size: 2 to 12 people - Minimum age: 15 years old - Anyone under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult - Walking/hiking level: Moderate - Participants should be physically fit with some experience of walking tours and heights - Walking holidays in Greece can be extended to include, for example, a few extra nights in Thessaloniki, a fly-drive tour of the north or a relaxing stay at a small beach resort.
Arrive at Thessaloniki or Volos or Athens airports and meet your guide before transferring to the village of Kastraki which is situated in amongst the spectacular Meteora rock formations. This evening's meal will be taken at a local taverna before spending your first night in Greece within the comfort of your Kastraki guesthouse.
Today's trekking time: seven hours. After breakfast you'll be hiking amongst the UNESCO monoliths of Meteora where the precariously positioned Monastery of St Nicholas looks down from on high. Taking one of the ancient walking trails is the best way to avoid the crowds and recreate how the monks used to travel to the monastery hundreds of years ago. Today's trek is rated easy to moderate and includes a packed lunch followed by an evening meal at the guesthouse in Kastraki.
You'll be leaving Kastraki this morning after breakfast and visiting one of six inhabited local monasteries before having lunch en-route to the town of Litochoro which can be found within the foothills of Mt Olympus. Upon arrival you'll check into your Litochoro guesthouse and enjoy an evening meal prior to spending your first night in Litochoro.
Today's trekking time: six to seven hours. After breakfast you'll be invited to hike within Enipeas Gorge which forms a section of the E4 European long distance footpath. The whole area is incredibly beautiful with several waterfalls, rivers, bridges and lakes making for a fabulous backdrop to accompany today's alfresco lunch. Today's trek is rated at a moderate level and you'll return to Litochoro within good time for your evening meal.
Today's trekking time: seven hours. Start today's trek from Gortsia before cutting through the forest land of Muses Plateau which leads to a high altitude (8,700 feet) mountain refuge hut. The alpine scenery that you'll encounter today is particularly beautiful with the Throne of Zeus (Stefani Peak on Mount Olympus) appearing over the plains of northern Greece against the shimmering blues and whites of the Aegean. Today's trek is rated at a moderate level and you'll take a packed lunch to eat during the day and take your evening meal and overnight stay at the mountain refuge.
Today's trekking time: four hours. After breakfast at the mountain refuge hut you'll walk around the base of peaks Mystikas and Stefani before joining the E4 European walking route on the ascent to Skala Peak at just below 9,5000 feet above sea level. After or before packed lunch you'll hike to a different mountain refuge hut at 7,900 feet for your evening meal and overnight stay. Today's trek is rated at a moderate level.
Soak up the alpine views before and after breakfast before transferring by road to Thessaloniki in time to spend the day at leisure before enjoying lunch and a farewell evening meal at one of the local tavernas and spending your last night in a Thessaloniki guesthouse.
Depart Thessaloniki after breakfast and transfer back to the airport of your choice in time to meet your scheduled flight.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Responsible tourism: Mount Olympus walking holiday, Greece
Our local agency specialises in sustainable adventure and wildlife holidays in Greece. They offer diverse travel packages that allow for flexibility, affordability and variety. Our customers can choose from a small group trip or a completely tailor made option for minimum two persons.
Our aim is to promote ecotourism and sustainable adventure holidays at the same time as providing a unique travel experience and allowing you to enjoy the fantastic nature and scenery of this part of Greece, a world away from busy tourist resorts.
Our treks and holidays throughout Greece, encompassing National Parks, Protected Environmental Areas, Archaeological Sites, Caves & Hot Springs - places that have great natural, geological, cultural, and historical value, and the local guides provide further information about the environment and the benefits of sustainable adventure holidays. All staff have a wide knowledge of local areas that you visit during the trips and, most importantly, they know how to protect them.
We strongly believe in the need to protect and enhance the places we travel to, and in the potential of responsible tourism, to be a positive force in environmental and cultural conservation.
100% of our guides and drivers in Greece are local people. We firmly believe that a local licensed guide can offer more insight into the countryside and region as a whole as well as enhancing the local economy. Their expertise and local knowledge will enhance your experience and understanding of the historical context and the environmental impact of your visit. This is preferable, in our opinion, than sending a guide from another country or even from elsewhere in Greece. All food on the included trek is bought locally, which provides employment for local shops. The accommodation used on the tour is in small, family run establishments which have been in business for many years. Many of these hotels are traditionally built, respecting the local architecture and surroundings. Food in the hotels is primarily sourced locally.
Our local supplier supports Archelon - The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, and Arcturos - The Society for the Protection of Wildlife in Greece. For 2015 they plan to donate a percentage of the tour price to maintain ancient paths in the Zagoria area (Vikos National Park) and Pelion.
We ask all our customers to respect the fragile mountain environment by, for example, taking their litter away with them. All our trips are either in very small groups or tailor made for individuals to minimise the impact of large groups on this mountain region.