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Olympos National Park

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Earth : Europe : Greece : Central and Northern Greece : Thessaly : Olympos National Park
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Trekking in Olympus mountain

Olympos National Park is in Greece and includes Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece (2917m), located in the north part of Thessaly.

Cities[edit]

Litochoro, Katerini

Other destinations[edit]

Prionia

Understand[edit]

The park itself is a big region which includes many different things. The most common destination is to climb the mountains and descend. Usual experience takes 30 to 48 hours. Extreme no-interruptions hike recorded 22 hours, but double check if you are strong enough.


Talk[edit]

Get in[edit]

There is a bus from KTEL Macedonia on the west end of Thessaloniki to a medium sized city Litochoro on the east end of the National Park. The bus usually operates each 2 hours during daytime. Buses usually go through Katerini, a bigger city. Some buses terminate in Katerini so you have to take the taxi. Double check the schedule if you plan the route.
The bus takes about 1.5 hours and costs about 9.30€ (July 2019).


Get around[edit]

By foot or by donkey.

You can buy a map of the National Park at kiosks in Litochoro that is one side a geographical map and the other side a touristical map showing only pathways through the mountains.
Openstreet maps also feature perfectly drawn trails and main attractions.

See[edit][add listing]

Olympos trekking map

Itineraries[edit]

Litochoro bus station schedule

Bus station schedule from Litochoro, July 2019

Days' Walk from Prionia down to Litochoro Travel to Litochoro and from there take a taxi up to Prionia (25 euros one way, approx. 25 minutes drive). Spend the day walking back from Prionia down to Litochoro (approx. 6 hours walk) along Trail E4 which is a single path all the way and is clearly marked.

Stop to see the waterfalls along the route and visit Agios Dionysios Monastery (free - clothes to cover up are available at the entrance).

Do[edit][add listing]

Climb the Mount Olympus
From Litochoro you have to choose to go up to Prionia village by feet on a forest trail about 7km with 1km elevation or take the car. The actual hike starts from Prionia, but the forest is also nice and features some sightseeing.
If you feel tired by the way, you can reach the road from any point of the trail and switch to hitchhike. Locals usually give free rides. Any vehicle coming in right direction will most probably get you to Prionia.
There is a small shop / bar in Prionia and a big free car parking square.
From Prionia you have only the choice to climb by foot (or to search for donkeys or horses). There are two routes: to Refuge A (4 hours climb) or to refuge C (5+ hours climb).
A is easier, the route takes about 4 hours: 5700m long, 1940m gain / 935m loss elevation. It features hot food (from €7 for a big plate), water, wifi, power, tent places for €5. All services stop to operate after 22:00. The shower usually lacks hot water. Water supply may also be short at the end of the summer, since the water goes from melted mountain snow.
From Refuge A, one can climb main peaks: Skala, Mythikas, Stefani. Skala (2860m) is 2 hours climb, about 2.8 km long trail and 1000m gain / 200m loss elevation.
From Skala you can descend 150m and ascend another 180m to get to Mythikas (2918m), really close but higher and generally unsafe. About 1 hour.
You can also climb Stefani (2909m) as well, but people rarely do.
One usually descends to a circular trail (2735m) and goes north (left) towards refuges B and C which are situated in about 1km.
From Refuge C, one can descend back to Prionia taking another way, not the one which led you to A. It takes about 5700m long, 1850m loss / 290m gain elevation, about 3 hours. Stay safe since the descend is not very easy.
Find attached a folder with 3 GPS track files with records of my hike as well as some other users.


Eat[edit][add listing]

You can purchase food and some tourist equipment in Litochoro. The recommended is the Green supermarket: from the bus station, go down 100 meters to Ermi street, turn right to it and continue 100 more meters along Ermi street towards Controturma street. The supermarket will be on your left. Credit cards accepted both in shops and bus station.
There is a small shop / bar in Prionia and a big free car parking square.
Refuge A features hot food (from €7 for a big plate), other refuges do as well. Beware of the high prices since because they have to bring everything by feet or donkeys.


Drink[edit][add listing]

Water springs are frequent around the park. The water comes from melted snow. But be sure to always have a full bottle because there are places without water as well.


Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are a few refuges where you can stay overnight for €15 per person per night. You can also camp for about €5.

Winter Season
Refuge A is closed from october until the end of may.
So is the restaurant at prionia leaving you with no place to rest in winter season on the E4 path.

  • Kakkalos refuge, 2648m (Refuge G on map).
    Locals report frequent avalanches during winter season with some tourists dead or missing.
     edit

Stay safe[edit]

Be sure to have comfortable clothes, water and sunscreen with you.
Temperatures vary from +37 in Litochoro to +15 on the mountain tops at daytime and +7 at the refuges in July.

Get out[edit]

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