How to climb Mount Olympus, Greece

On the list of iconic mountains of the world, Mount Olympus surely has a place.  Not only is it a geographically impressive peak, rising straight from the Aegean Sea to a height of 2,917 m, but it’s also one of great mythological importance.  Eleven of the twelve major Greek gods resided in the gorges of the mountain, while Zeus himself claimed Stefani peak for his throne.  The gods would come together on the highest summit, Mytikas, to determine the fate of the mortals they ruled.

The first known ascent of Olympus was in 1913.  Today, an estimated 10,000 people climb the peak annually, though far fewer attain the ultimate summit of Mytikas. Despite the popularity of the mountain, I had a hard time finding information about climbing Olympus.  The best info I found was at the website for one of the refuges, but it only covers the trail that passes by that refuge.  Based on the advice of the owner of Summit Zero hostel in Litochoro, I took a loop route, and I’ve compiled here what I learned during my two days on the peak.

Map

The best place to start!  Olympus is actually fine to climb without a map, but if you’re a curious hiker like I am, you’ll want a map to track your progress, identify adjacent peaks, find water sources, etc.  I just took a picture of the map at the trailhead, which I’ve posted here.  Sorry, it’s not the best quality, and the stitching job is poor, but it’ll do the job.

Trailhead map of Mount Olympus, Greece

Trailhead map of Mount Olympus, Greece. Click for a larger image.

Where to start

The town of Litochoro, at the base of the eastern side of Olympus, is the classic base-town for the mountain.  There are frequent buses to Litochoro from Thessaloniki and Katerini to the north.  If you’re staying at Summit Zero hostel down on the coast, a frequent local bus will take you into the center of Litochoro for a couple Euro.

You can either choose to start hiking from Litochoro (see ‘trailheads’ below) or drive further up the mountain.  There is no bus.  A taxi to the Prionia trailhead costs €25.00, or you can hitchhike for free.  I and two others chose to hitchhike and were picked up in under a minute–not kidding.  Greek hospitality is an amazing thing.  If you want to hitchhike, head downhill from the roundabout/fountain in the middle of Litochoro, past the police station, across a bridge with yellow railings, and to the next intersection.  All traffic passing you at that point is heading up the mountain.

Trailheads

There are three places on the east side of the mountain from which you can begin your hike.

The first is the town of Litochoro (‘A’ on the map).  From there you can hike up the valley (or rather, as I was told, up and down and up and down and up the valley) to the Prionia trailhead.  It takes ~4-5 hours to hike from Litochoro to Prionia.

The second is the Gortsia trailhead (‘B’ on the map).  There is a parking area and a trailhead map but no water source.

The last is the Prionia trailhead (‘C’ on the map).  There is a large parking lot, a taverna serving food and beverages, and a natural spring from which you can fill your water bottles.  Prionia is far and away the most popular trailhead for Olympus, though many people are just exploring the local area and not actually climbing the mountain.

Where to sleep

There are four refuges on the east side of the mountain.  Each refuge costs €12.00 for a bed, and serves hot food and beverages for pretty reasonable prices (examples: €7.00 for a heaping bowl of spaghetti Bolognese and bread, €4.50 for half a liter of wine, €2.00 for a hot beverage).  These refuges have long Greek names, so are typically referred to as Refuges A, B and C

Refuge A – Refuge Agapitos:  the most popular refuge, it’s located below treeline, approximately 3-4 hours from the Prionia trailhead and 2-3 hours from the Mytikas summit.  The refuge houses 150 people and requires booking ahead in the summer.

Refuges B and C are closer to the Gortsia trailhead.  They are within 15 minutes of each other on the Plateau of Muses, a stunning flat portion of the mountain above treeline and immediately below the Stefani summit.  Both refuges are ~5 hours from the Gortsia trailhead, and only 45 minutes or 1.5 hours from the Mytikas summit, depending on your route.

View from Refuge B

View from Refuge B

Refuge B (Refuge Apostolides) is a large but less frequented refuge, and, in my opinion, the best choice because it offers ample room to socialize, escape or sleep.  Refuge C (Refuge Kakalos) is much smaller and cozier, and may be booked full, but if it is, just head up the hill to Refuge B.

A fourth refuge, Petrostrougka, is only two hours from the Gortsia trailhead, making it a poor choice for summiting Mytikas, though probably a great place for a more mild hiking destination.

Which trail to take

So, now that we have three trailheads, three refuges and one summit (‘D’ on the map), how shall we connect the dots? 

  1. Prionia trailhead and Refuge A:  Hike from the Prionia trailhead (or even from Litochoro) to Refuge A (Agapitos) on day 1, then from Refuge A to the Mytikas summit, and all the way back down to Prionia(or Litochoro) on day 2.  It’s an out-and-back hike, very straight-forward.  You’ll probably have a lot of company on the hike and at the refuge.  The downside to this approach, in my opinion, is the distance between the refuge and the summit. View-obscuring clouds enshroud the summit early, around 9 am on a clear day, so you’d have to get a very early start to attain the summit in good conditions.
  2. Gortsia trailhead and Refuge B or C, out-and-back:  Hike from the Gortsia trailhead to either refuge in the Plateau of Muses on day 1, then summit Mytikas and head back down the same route on day 2.  Advantages are a short approach to the summit on day 2, and easy transportation if you drove yourself to the Gortsia trailhead.
  3. Gortsia trailhead and Refuge B or C, loop-hike:  This option is my favorite.  Hike from the Gortsia trailhead to either refuge in the Plateau of Muses on day 1, then summit Mytikas and head back down on day 2.  But, instead of going back down the same route, descend via Refuge A and the Prionia trailhead.  This is a diverse route that will take you over more of the mountain.  If you’re hitchhiking or taking a taxi, Prionia will serve you fine.  If you parked at Gortsia, you can hitchhike from Prionia to Gortsia with ease.
Plateau of Muses

Plateau of Muses

Ascending Mytikas

And now, for the final challenge, the summit itself!  Olympus is covered in various rocky peaks, but the most famous are Skolio, Mytikas and Stefani.  Skolio is the easiest to ascend, Mytikas is harder and is the highest point, and Stefani is in between the two in terms of difficulty and elevation.  Skolio is the goal for casual hikers, and Mytikas for more skilled mountaineers.

There are two common routes up Mytikas.  The most popular is from the Prionia/Refuge A side of the massif.  First the hiker ascends Skolio, then descends into a saddle and climbs a well-marked class III route up to Mytikas.  For those familiar with the Colorado 14ers, the climbing is similar to that of Long’s Peak, a famous class III mountain.  Class III means you’ll be using your hands to help you climb, and there’s moderate exposure.  While a fall wouldn’t necessarily mean death, it would be likely.  So, don’t let go.

Descending the shorter, steeper, harder route up Mytikas.

Descending the shorter, steeper, harder route up Mytikas.

The other route up Mytikas is steeper and more technical, but also quicker.  The approach is from the Plateau of Muses.  A trail from the refuges cuts around the base of the Stefani/Mytikas massif.  About halfway around the massif a climbers trail cuts straight up to the summit via a steep gully.  The route is marked with paint.  If you stay on route the climbing is sustained class III with some class IV moves.  The biggest risk on this route is loose rock–do not climb this route without a helmet. The refuges loan out helmets for free to hikers attempting this route.  And, because there is loose rock on the route, every climber has a responsibility to not kill climbers below themIn other words, move carefully and don’t kick down debris.

Enjoy your hike!

Mount Olympus is a great peak to climb.  Enjoy, have fun, and don’t forget to bring an offering to the gods!

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82 Comments

  1. If you’re a backpacker, what do you do with your gear while you’re out there climbing?

    • Somehow I never saw this comment until now–sorry! Because we were doing a loop, we left our gear at the base of the route while we were climbing. If you don’t mind backtracking a little bit, you can leave your gear in Refuges B or C.

  2. Nice post! i like the part about the greek names being to long haha. What would you recommend two young men in good shape with little hiking experience to do? we would like to go to the summit of olympus sometime shortly after april 25. oh and we don’t want to spend a ton of cash. and one of us can speak some greek. thanks.

    • Hi Brian, thanks for reading! I don’t know what snow conditions are like on Olympus in April, so I would plan on getting to one of the upper refuges and asking there about getting to the true summit. If you don’t have experience climbing steep rock in snow–and it doesn’t sound like you do–you’ll want to skip the summit and just appreciate the view from the refuge. As for the route, I would hitch-hike to the Gortsia trailhead, hike up to Refuge B on the first day, stay there one or two nights, then head down to the Prionia trailhead via Refuge A on your last day. Hope that helps!

  3. What is The earliest moment tot climb / walk up? When is The snow gone far enough?

    • Unfortunately I have no answer! I would suggest contacting the Summit Zero hostel in Litochoro, or one of the refuges on the mountain. They should have info about when the mountain is accessible. If you find out, let me know, and I’ll add the info to this page. Good luck!

    • I would propose the earliest time to go is on July. It would still be a little bit cold but no snow on the way(except in places that no sun can reach). But keep in mind that even at summer, the weather is unpredictable,(the worst is the strong winds) so for climbing to Mitikas take advises of the Refuge workers.

  4. I am planning to summit Mt Olympus this summer. I’m from Colorado and I understand that it is similar to hiking/climbing Long’s Peak via the Keyhole route. But Olympus is not as high as Longs Peak. Looking forward to it ….

  5. Very informative read, I am planning on climbing mount Olympus mid July and would like to reach Mytikas. Ive climbed a bunch of the mountains in Ontario and have the mental and physical strength and stamina but without much actual climbing experience would you say it is safe to get to summit?

    • Hi Adam,
      I don’t think anyone can really answer that question for you, but I think it’s worth a try *if* you a) climb with other people (you’ll surely meet some on the trail), b) wear a helmet, and c) turn back if you feel unsafe or if the weather turns. I bet you’ll do fine :) Good luck!

      • Hi actually it is not so dangerous but dont underestimate the difficulty level or dont overestimate your capabilities. You can reach the top without using any gear, but a helmet is always welcome. Though the biggest danger are the stones falling by hiker/climbers who are above you. So watch out not to get any stone on your head, and not to throw any below you!

        • Hi! Thank you all for your precious info and comments. Do you know if there is a place around where I can rent an helmet? Thank you!

  6. Thanks for all your awesome info. Trying to get more info as to how to reserve a spot as Refuge B. Their website seems to not be working. DO you need to reserve or just walk up and all will be good? Hiking in early August. Thanks for any further help you can provide.

    • Hi Brian. The best way to make a reservation is to call. Do some searches to see if the number comes up. A reservation is necessary for Refuge A but typically not for B or C. If B is full you can stay in C, or visa versa. I had the owner of the Summit Zero call and make a reservation for me at Refuge B the day before I hiked up, but there was plenty of room. That was in late September. Hope that helps!

  7. the website is also in english!here ae all the refuges and contacts.
    http://www.olympusfd.gr/us/Katafygia.asp

  8. My friend and I want to do the loop hike but we will have suitcases. Where can we leave our stuff? At summit zero hostel in Litochoro?

    Thanks!

    • That’s where I left my stuff! Wherever you’re staying the night before should be able to hold your luggage. Have fun!

  9. I intend to climb this August. I stay in Leptokarya. My question is if there is public transport to get from Leptokarya to Litóchoron.
    Thank you.

  10. Very good informations! But my question: is possible to get by car or taxi to Christakis Refuge and then climb to Mytikas? Could you describe this way, please?

    • Glad you’re finding the information useful! Unfortunately *everything* I know about the mountain is in this post. I didn’t climb any other routes or visit any other refuges, so I don’t know anything about them. Sorry!

    • it is possible to go by car though i dont think a taxi will accept to go there… The road starts somewhere from Elassona or Kalithea, not sure… there is a video of the road to Christakis Hut

  11. Hi! Thank you all for your precious info and comments. Do you know if there is a place around where I can rent an helmet? Thank you!

  12. Great post, very informative. Would be great to know the expenses roughly involved. I have previously climbed Kilimanjaro and there was daily guide expenses etc. just wondering if it is the same with Mount Olympus? Thanks :)

    • The only expenses are at the refuges (12EUR / bed & whatever food you buy). Just climbed this a few weeks ago and started at Gortista (spelling?!?). Magical!!!! Have fun!

    • Hi Stephanie. Olympus was very cheap. You definitely do not need a guide, and there’s no National Park Fee like for Kili. Your only expenditures are food, lodging and transportation, which are all very reasonable. Good luck!

  13. Hi,
    Wonder if it possible to do this hike in one day, having trouble to find the exact mileage.
    thank you

    • Hello, and thanks for reading! I don’t recall the mileage (international routes are dominantly described in hours despite the varying levels of speed and fitness in hikers), but if you’re in quite good hiking shape you can probably make the summit in ~6 hours from the Gortsia or Prionia trailheads. You can anticipate the descent will be an hour or so shorter. If you’re camping at the trailhead, you can perhaps do the climb in one day, but if you have to also incorporate getting to and from the trailhead you’re setting yourself up for a pretty long day. I’d personally recommend spending a night on the mountain so you can take the time to soak in this incredible mountain. Enjoy!

      • Hi Sarah,
        thanks so much for prompt answer.
        I may bring some family members with me but they don’t hike, we may spend a night in base camp, any idea if they hostels are kids friendly.

        • If you’re with non-hikers you should definitely plan on an overnight. You might not make it to the summit (it’s exposed and a bit dangerous, not for inexperienced climbers) but getting high up there, close to the summit, is beautiful. The huts/refuges are family friendly. The rooms are communal so you might be sharing with strangers, but hikers tend to be a good bunch. Nothing too wild when I was there, we were all a bit tired :)

          • Hi Sarah,
            Thanks so much for reply, will follow your advice. Planning to climb somewhere 9/3-9/8 time frame, Will keep you posted.
            I’m so happy to have found your website. Great source of information.
            Best.

  14. Hello, my girlfriend and I are trying to plan an ascent of Mytikas. The Olympus park website advises contacting the military in order to use refuge B. As refuges A (not ideal for our planned route) and C are closed at this time of year, B seems the only option. Does anyone else have experience or knowledge of needing to contact the military base associated with the refuge?
    Thanks.
    Forrest.

    Some great info here by the way, many thanks for your contribution.

    • I know nothing about this, but good luck getting info. Please share it here if you find anything out. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your climb!

    • Hi, you need to contact the army because, especially in winter time is used by the soldiers for their winter training, so its good to get in contact with them before going to learn for free beds. Remember that most probably there are NO blankets in refuge B.

  15. Hi, very nice post! I only have a question, is still posible to hike olympus in mid october? What do you think? Thank you :)

    • It would depend on the current conditions, and whether refuges are open. I don’t know anything about off-season facilities, but certainly check the current and forecasted conditions before you climb. Good luck!

  16. Hi!
    Thank you so much for all this information. It’s been really helpful. I’m planning on going in a couple of weeks. I’ve hiked a bit but I wouldn’t say I’m the most experienced. I’m definitely in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life and REALLY want to make the summit.

    I read in another post that you should have hiking tools and sticks and such. I was wondering if they are completely necessary? What would you suggest bringing? I’ll also be doing this summit alone; would you suggest doing so? I want to be well prepared for the ascent so any additional information would help. Thanks!

    • Hi Diana,
      Hiking poles are not *necessary*, but as a 31 y/o with bad knees from 15 years of hiking without them, I encourage everyone to use them. They save so much wear and tear on your body, and help you stay upright on the trails. You’ll probably want to stash them somewhere or leave them at the hut for the final push to the summit (they’re useless on such steep terrain, and will only get in your way), but would be great for the rest of the mountain. With that in mind, I didn’t use them because I didn’t have them, and I was fine, but I *wanted* them!

      If you’re not a very experienced hiker I wouldn’t recommend going for the summit alone because the terrain is a bit technical, and if you fall or need help there will be no one there to help you. If you do go for the summit alone, please carry a whistle (around your neck, not in your pack)–a whistle is much better at bringing help than your own voice. International SOS on a whistle is three blasts; repeat until help comes. Other gear: bring layers. Maybe a t-shirt and pants for the base of the mountain; long underwear top and bottom, waterproof/windproof jacket and pants, hat, scarf, gloves for up higher. It was very cold at the huts at night. Best of luck, let me know how it goes!
      Sarah

  17. Diana,

    My family and I are planning on climbing tomorrow morning. Saturday October 17th, 2015. I calling refuge a right now. Summit sound cool 5 Celsius, but it should be sunny. There might be some freeze/thaw issues. Email me at markbrauner@yahoo.com if you want to go with us.

  18. This sounds so interesting.I have just got back from a Himalayan Trek of the Rupin Pass and already ready to go again.How is the weather condition in the month of oct. ? Do we need to carry our own sleeping bags? How many days trek is it to the summit? Are there any local guides or is it easy to follow the trail? What is the best time to go?

    • I can answer a few of those questions: weather is variable between the base and summit, so pack layers for warm and cold conditions, but generally not snow; you don’t need your own sleeping bag, the huts have blankets; it’s a two-day round trip trek; you don’t need a guide, just a map and a plan; I don’t know the best time, but October was lovely.

  19. Will there be too much snow in mid June to make a hike to the summit (Skolio or Mytikas)? Would I be able to get up any of the mountain at all that time of year?

    • You should be fine to climb in June, or even in late May. Of course, check conditions before you go in case they get a freak June snowstorm! Have fun!

  20. Amazing post and great comments hoping to make the summit if weather allows last weekend in May – all my questions have been answered in post and comments section – thank you

  21. Hello, can you tell me please how many minutes from Prionia parking lot to Apostolides refuge ?

  22. Hi! I am planning to go in mid June. We are two girls with little climbing experience, although we have once climbed a short class 3 route before. Which would be the easiest route up to Mystika or is it non-advisable that we do this on our own? Otherwise, is there a guide we can hire? Thank you!

    • Hi everyone. The paths to Mytikas are both dangerous. Personally i find it more difficult the Kakoskala path, the slope is not so vertical as From Luki, but there are 2 very dangerous points that you ll have to jump from the edge to the other side. This way is also longer. Luki is more vertical but i find it easier. Of course you should be very carefull in both path since its climbing and not hiking.Helmets could be a good use though few wears them. Mind the falling rocks from other hickers at more high levels (this is one of the main accident reasons). I dont believe u ll need a guide especially if you ll start from the Prionia location.You will meet lot of people on this path so you can get more directions and help.I would recommend the Gortsia path sinse its more beautifull way and the view is awesome, but there are fewer hickers there. Finally when you ll arrive to the climbing level you ll see at once what you ll have to deal with so you ll decide if you want to reach the top.Oh and keep in mind the weather especially the wind at this altitude.

    • Hi Sylvia, thanks for reading! Of the five people I climbed with, I was the only one with climbing experience, and yet we all made it just fine. I’m sure you have the physical capability of doing it, but you’ll have to judge for yourself if you have the knowledge and mental skills for it. Are either of you afraid of heights? Do you know what to do if someone gets injured up there? Are you good at route-finding? If you answered no to any of those questions, you should probably not climb alone. However, you will probably encounter other more experienced climbers at the refuges and be able to join them. Definitely wear a helmet (they’re free at the refuges, so there’s no excuse not to). And remember, it’s fine if you don’t make the summit! The Plateau of Muses is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been, and you’ll have plenty to explore without getting to the top. Have fun!

      • Hi Sarah,

        Thank you for your advise. I think we will do fine going up to Skolio/Skala but it will be such a waste if we have to give Mystika a miss. But bearing in mind what you have said, we will consider our options. Will definitely be heading there anyhoo. Thank you! :-)

  23. I climbed it in sandals in 1985,i still have one pic from it.email me if you want to see it.

  24. Anyone know what the trails are like right now? I’m a decent hiker from Alberta, Canada and was hoping to get to the summit on my Greece trip next week. ..

  25. Hi everyone, I’m intending to go in July and was wondering what the weather’s like up in the mountain. As I’m currently trying to plan the clothing needed for the hike up. Thanks!

    • Bring it all! July is the middle of summer, but it will still be chilly at the top, and there’s always the potential for storms. Bring layers: t-shirt and shorts, long sleeve shirt and pants, warm coat, waterproof coat, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. Have fun!

  26. Thanks SO much for all this helpful information.

    My hubby and I just hiked the loop trail in just under 10 hours (excluding the long break on Mytikas) on July 4. Conditions were great–no snow, and warm enough to not need a jacket at all, not even at the summit. Naturally, the summit was clouded in, but the views from the Gortsia trailhead to Mytikas were stupendous.

  27. Thanks so much. Going up in a few weeks – end of Sept probably. I am not afraid of heights and I am strong but I have no climbing experience and Ive certainly been not in better shape in years past. Therefore I am inclined not to chance Mytikas. Can you give me some more detail however on climbing Stefani from refuge B or C? How difficult is that? And can I easily get from the peak of Stefani to Skolio and then from there down to Prionia doing the loop you recommend? Also what about doing this loop backwards? Prionia up Skolio and the Stefani and then down to the Gortsia trailhead. Is this less attractive in terms of views?

    • I’m unsure as I didn’t visit either of those peaks, but they are climbed far less often than Mytikas, so I’d guess they are more technical with less obvious trails. As for doing it the other direction, the views would still be stellar. You could either stay at Refuge A (easy Day 1, long Day 2) or hike all the way in to Refuges B/C (long Day 1, easy Day 2). Have fun!

  28. Valuable pieces of information on this page. Thanks! We plan to do the Gortsia-Muses Plateau-Skolio summit (Mytikas too scary for ua!)-Prionia-Litochoro loop over a comfortable 3 days in mid-Sept.
    I’ve read that there are some ‘hairy’/exposed sections on the path from Gortsia to the refuges on the Muses Plateau (from Skourta to the Giosos Pass) where the climb gets a little ‘technical and also on the path from the plateau refuges to the main Refuge A along the Zonaria trail. Can you confirm this and let us know what to expect, how long these more dangerous sections are, etc?

    • Hi Kim,
      I don’t recall anything of the sort along the Gortsia trail. There was a section between Skourta and Giosos where there’s a cliff to the left (as you ascend), but you can stay far away from it if it bothers you. To my recollection, there’s nothing hairy about Olympus except the ascent of Mytikas. If you do find something I missed, feel free to write about it in the comments here when you’re back. Have fun!
      Sarah

  29. We’ve just been up the two routes to climb the Mytikas summit and we would relativize some of what this site says about the two.
    The short steep route is like climbing stairs with your hands and feet – with one short exception. The short exception is a bit of gully. It’s not in the least difficult. There are always plenty of good handholds and footholds. It’s not in the least bit dangerous. We didn’t see any loose rocks rolling down.
    The western longer route from the Skolio side starts easy but has one section where there are not many hand and foot holds and those there are are shallow. It’s not really dangerous because you would just slide a bit if you slipped, but it’s a bit more effort. The other complication is that you have to go along the ridge a bit and cross one peak and gully to go to the one you are heading for. This is not difficult or really dangerous, but it requires a head for heights as there are steep drops just near you. If you stick to the well-marked route, nothing will happen to you even if you slip.
    I would say that the steep one is easier and I would recommend it to beginners. It feels less precipitous. But the western route is more fun, if you like that sort of thing.

  30. Hi everyone!
    I’m a 30yr old solo female traveler, have hiked a number of mountains but generally never by myself (usually with at least 1 friend).
    I was hoping to hike Olympus (prionia to refuge A, sleep refuge A, then summit 2nd day and back down to prionia trailhead same day) in the next couple of days, but am debating if it’s a not-so-good idea for a solo female. Are there enough people on the trail that it doesn’t feel like I would be alone? Or would it be easy to meet up with people and join their group at refuge A? Would love any input!

    • Hi, since you’ ve got experience of hiking i think it will be ok to go alone to Refuge A or even to the Plateau. But to Mitikas its better to be with some people for safety. Both ways have some hard parts but the biggest danger comes mostly from stones falling. There is always people on the trail, though i dont know how much you ll find now at the end of summer…
      And another sugestion is not to go the same way up and down, but the one way to be the side of Gortsia location. From this side the view is amazing if the weather will be clean, and the path more beautiful!

    • I encountered plenty of people on my late-September hike. I’m willing to bet you’d meet people at the refuge you could summit with. I wouldn’t recommend the summit solo, but that’s my opinion about all mountains Class III and higher. If for some reason you don’t meet anyone at the Refuge, hey, it’s a beautiful mountain even without attaining the peak!

  31. HI Sarah

    thanks so much for publishing this useful information, there’s so little on line and you have given some brilliant advice. My 26 year old daughter and myself (49) are doing as much as we can together in 3/4 days (24 Oct 29 oct) as we only have a limited time in Greece. Please Can you kindly tell me the best way to travel from Athens? I thought train to Larissa – Litochoro and then hike/hitchhike from there to the beginning of the trail. Is it easy to follow?
    Thanks Sarah
    Alice

    • Hi Alice, glad that this post is helpful to you! I didn’t actually use any trains in Greece because the buses were usually cheaper, quicker, or better connected. I’d compare bus and train schedules and see which works for your trip. If there’s any way you could fly into Thessaloniki instead of Athens you’d save yourself quite a lot of time, too. The buses are easy to follow and use, though I recommend looking up the name of your destination in Greek letter beforehand as some of the signs aren’t translated. Litochoro is tiny, and there’s no way to get lost there. Good luck, and have fun! -Sarah-

  32. Is anyone going up tomorrow and returning to Thessaloniki for the Friday nightlife?

  33. Are the refuges like hostels? Do they have private rooms with doors that lock? Any extra information you can give me about them would be greatly appreciated

    • No, they’re pretty communal. There’s one main common room with a wood burning stove, and multiple dorm rooms that get pretty chilly. Each dorm room contains bunk beds (number and style vary). The doors do not lock. Blankets and pillows are provided, but BYO sheet or sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner. The toilet is an outhouse a short ways from the main building. Generally speaking, hikers and mountaineers are trustworthy, genuine people. I’ve never felt unsafe in their company, and that includes Mt. Olympus!

  34. Hi. What a beautiful place. I had put it on my bucket list this year (mid-may) but the group of friends I was to come with have changed their mind and are travelling to Canada instead. Do you think I will have as much fun coming alone?

    • I think you would! I showed up alone and ended up making friends at the hostel and hiking with them. I also met and hiked with people I met at the refuges. I’m not great at walking up to random strangers and asking if I can be their friend, but it was easier than usual on Mt. Olympus. Feel free to email me (use the contact link) if you have any questions.

  35. be careful zeus dosent get you!

  36. Where would one find current trail conditions? Planning a hike the last week of May

  37. Are there any hiking organizations akin to the ones we have in the US, The Appalachian Mountain Club and the Sierra Club, in order to get information, maps, join planned trips, etc?

    • Hi, there are plenty in Greece but everything you can get from the web. Plus the trips are prefixed, meaning that they arrange trips for certain dates and whoever is interested to visit the certain place can book a place. The cons is that the cost might be quite higher than going alone (for locals mostly) because organised trips must have a qualified guide, so the cost is rising. Olympus is a mountain that you can climp alone or with your friends and you will meet a lot of hikers during your journey since its a very popular mountain. I personally hike it twice every summer!

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