Location:Olympus Range, Greece
Long ago, the Greeks have believed and worshipped the mighty gods and the majestic, powerful goddesses. Zeus, the god of lightning, his wife, Hera, and ten of the other remaining Olympian gods were taled to have lived in their royal and regal abode on Mt. Olympus. Adorned with mist and towering high up the sky, Greece’s ancestors have told stories that way up; the gods would gather in the Pantheon to feast and discuss matters.
Back then, it was a mystery to the “mortals” on what could be revealed when one takes a glimpse of what’s at its peak. Today, you can have that opportunity to see the world in the supposed eyes of these magnificent gods and goddesses.
About the Mt. Olympus
At 2917 meters tall, Mount Olympus is located in the Olympus Massif or Range, near the Gulf of Thérmai of the Aegean Sea. It lies between the regional units of Larissa and Pieria. With 52 peaks and deep gorges, what catches the eye of most is the Mytikas, which translates as “nose, is its highest peak.
The tallest mountain in Greece, Mt. Olympus, was part of the country’s first National Park, founded in 1938. From 1981, it was featured as a World Biosphere Reserve. Because of its rich biodiversity, Mt. Olympus calls hikers’ attention and biology enthusiasts. Twenty-three plants are endemic to the area. While climbing the mountain, one might come across different salamanders and lizards and spot exotic butterflies and birds.
Duration and Best Time of Hike
Usually lasting two to three days, some hikers may opt to take weeks to finish this venture. Most choose to use their first day for preparations. This is to ready hikers for an early hike in the early dawn of the next day. Some people also decide to take their time while climbing because of the scenery the routes bestow mountaineers.
It is reputed that the best months to make the climb are months from June to September. If you decide to go during the springtime, it has to be taken note of that the mountaintop experiences thunderstorms, and that the lightning fells many trees.
The climate in Mt. Olympus
It is most comfortable and relaxed during the summer, although some hike parts will give greater sun exposure. Rain and hail start meeting the mountain in more significant volumes as autumn and winter are fastly approaching. The first snowflake usually makes it mark around October, and this winter season conditions can last till June of the next year. The weather conditions of the foot of the mountain and the peak are two very different things. As climbers reach more elevated heights, the possibilities of being with wind and rain are higher.
What Routes to Take
In 1913, Christos Kakalos, a hunter and guide, scaled the mountain with Swiss climbers Daniel Baud Bovy and Fred Boissonnas. It is more than 100 years since then, and to this day, Mt. Olympus greets hikers on its summit and routes.
Pronoia Trail is an option that starts in Litochora and passes through the Enipea Canyon, which features a unique experience showcasing the historic Agios Dionysius Monastery and wooden bridges.
The Gortsia Trail is another choice that has lesser crowds and is much more comfortable. However, it may take longer, which causes hikers to be more exposed to the sun. Initiating the hike through a forest, mountaineers will pass by Skourta at 2,475 meters. The Muses Plateau can then be reached, and this gives access to Apostolidis Refuge and Kakkalos Refuge.
The Cost of the Climb
An expected budget for the hike is around 150 to 570 Euros. However, this all depends on the duration of the trip, how many hikers there are in the group if a guide will be hired, and if some equipment is needed.
Mountaineers will have to take need trekking poles, sleeping bags, mountain boots, helmets, and most importantly, sun protection like creams and lotions. Trekking poles may not always be required, but many climbers have attested that it may come in handy.
Reasons to Climb Mt. Olympus
Besides witnessing the fascinating wildlife that lives and grows in the area, you watch a breathtaking view of the National Park. From high up, the sight is spectacular.
Many also come to hike not only the mountain but also complete other activities in the location. From rock climbing to immersing oneself in Greece’s rich history and lush landscapes. During the winter and in the earlier months of Spring, many also come for ski tours!
“I’ve climbed up to the humble abode of the majestic gods and goddesses!” Although not entirely true, this is something you can say once you’ve scaled the mountain. The last reason is quite the very first most think when deciding to climb Mt. Olympus: because it is iconic in itself.