Visiting Mount Olympus

Que voir au Mont Olympe ?

Are you in Greece to discover its archaeological and natural treasures? Have you set your sights on the mountains and would like to visit Mount Olympus? Discover our dedicated article!

Located in northern Greece, Mount Olympus is the country’s highest mountain range. It’s close to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second most populous city, famous for its rich Byzantine heritage. It’s even considered the country’s « co-capital » because of its glorious past!

Mount Olympus rises to an altitude of 2,917 metres, with the peak known as Mytikas Peak. It is of great importance to the Greeks, and a favorite destination for travelers.

As you’ll see, Greece is not just a country of turquoise waters and ancient ruins! The aim of this article is to show you in detail how to visit this exceptional and unique place, with a few ideas for excursions.

Visit Mount Olympus, a plunge into Greek mythology

Visiter le Mont Olympe

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Georgios Andritsos

Mount Olympus is a very important place in Greek mythology. Indeed, it is considered the home of the twelve Olympian deities in ancient Greek religion. Among these are Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Athena and Apollo.

The history of Mount Olympus is also marked by the Macedonian Greece of Alexander the Great. Its main historical vestige is theancient city of Dion, the religious center of Macedonia. Inhabited for almost 1,000 years, the city’s history is beautifully told and preserved in the Dion Archaeological Museum.

Mount Olympus is also a center of the Greek Orthodox religion. On the mountain, the highest chapel in the Orthodox world, dedicated to the prophet Elijah, stands at 2,803 meters above sea level! Monasteries such as Dionysos, Kanalonand Sparmou can also be included in a tour of Mount Olympus.

To visit Mount Olympus is to marvel at a legendary place in Greek history, whether real or imagined!

Visit Mount Olympus, a magical and diverse natural site

Visiter le Mont Olympe et découvrir un lieu exceptionnel

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Lev Paraskevopoulos

Forget mythology and history. Let’s concentrate instead on the main reason for a trip to Mount Olympus: its natural beauty! To visit Mount Olympus is to visit a national park that is unique in Greece. Created in 1938 to protect the local flora and fauna, Mount Olympus National Park was declared a  » biosphere reserve  » by UNESCO in 1981.

Visiting Mount Olympus is therefore a privilege for botany lovers. Indeed, the national park is home to twenty-three endemic plants, meaning that they are found nowhere else on the planet! This figure clearly demonstrates the National Park’s success in preserving biodiversity. As for the rich fauna, it is often hidden and difficult to approach.

On Mount Olympus, nature is king, and this must be taken into account before any visit. The beauty of the landscape fills us with wonder as soon as we catch sight of the Mytikas peak, the second highest in the Balkans (behind Moussala, in Bulgaria). It’s a plunge into a Greece that you don’t always see in tourist guides… A Greece that for a few days is a paradise for hikers and climbers!

In short: unforgettable moments for all those who experience the joy of Mount Olympus! What if it were your turn?

What to see and do at Mount Olympus?

Que voir au Mont Olympe ?

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Lev Paraskevopoulos

A visit to Mount Olympus is first and foremost a chance to hike through sublime, magnificent landscapes!

Indeed, if the summits are not covered by clouds, there are also sublime views of Mount Olympus, such as from the archaeological site of Dion or the Prionia refuge. TheEnipéas gorge, theOrlias waterfall and the archaeological remains are also not to be missed!

Last but not least, you can also take part in original activities such as paragliding, to discover Mount Olympus from a great height!

Also discover Arché Travel:

How to visit Mount Olympus

Guided tour from Thessaloniki with an agency

Découverte d'un lieu historique de première importance

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Zaharia Bogdan Rares

  • 💰 From €50 per person, available only from April to October.
  • 👍 The little extra of this activity? The possibility of combining an archaeological visit with a guided hike.

Would you like to travel back in time and enjoy some beautiful views at the same time? Then this ticket to Mount Olympus is just for you! Departing from Thessaloniki early in the morning, you’ll head for the archaeological site of Dion with a guide who’ll put a smile on your face. Once there, the guided tour helps you understand the importance of the city in Greek history!

You then have free time to explore the archaeological site, including its amphitheatre, still in use today. The Dion archaeological museum is also a must, to admire the preserved statues and mosaics.

After the archaeological escapade, it’s time to recharge the batteries with lunch in a traditional restaurant in the modern village. On the menu: local specialities! Once your belly is full, head for Mount Olympus, the Enipéas Gorge and its breathtaking views.

The gorge is the starting point for a short hike in the foothills of Mount Olympus. You’ll have the chance to admire nature, the Enipéas river, its waterfalls and the sublime mountain panorama! Return to Thessaloniki at around 3:30 / 4 pm. In the bus, you can close your eyes and recall the magical moments you’ve just experienced!

Paragliding

Visiter le Mont Olympe en parapente

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Dark_Side

  • 💰 From €110 per person, accessible all year round, weather permitting.
  • 👍 The little extra? A unique experience to admire Mount Olympus and the sea!

Looking for an original way to visit Mount Olympus? Then this paragliding trip over Mount Olympus and the Aegean Sea is for you!

Your experience begins in the picturesque village of Neos Panteleimonas, south of Mount Olympus National Park. You’ll meet your friendly instructor, who will give you instructions and accompany you on the flight. Whether you’re sporty or not, tandem flying is effortless. Positioned in front of the instructor, you give the go-ahead after he or she has given you the green light. Once in the air, he guides the paraglider, and all you have to do is enjoy the breathtaking views!

Depending on the experience you choose, the departure point is either 600 or 1,300 meters above sea level. Of course, the higher the starting altitude, the longer the flight to prolong the pleasure! In the air, you’ll enjoy the best possible view of Mount Olympus and its peak Mytikas. You can also see the village of Palaio Panteleimonas, the valley between Mount Olympus and the sea, a Byzantine fortress and the Aegean coastline. The experience ends with a soft landing on the fine sand of Platamonas beach.

And if the season is right, don’t forget your beach gear so you can enjoy the beach and its turquoise waters. The perfect finishing touch to a magical experience!

Walk to the summit of Mount Olympus

Mont Olympe, Grèce

  • 💰 From €250 per person, available from June to October.
  • 👍 The little extra for this activity? 3 days of trekking for a unique experience.

This ticket to Mount Olympus is the ultimate 3-day hiking experience. It’s for everyone, but especially for mountain lovers and those who want to push themselves to the limit, with 7 to 8 hours of walking a day!

On the first day, you meet your mountain guide and the rest of the group in Litochoro, the nearest town to Mount Olympus. The hike begins in Prionia, the last village accessible by car, at an altitude of 1,100 meters. The trail to the Agapitos hut, where you spend the night at 2,100 meters, is easy, surrounded by a forest of pine and fir trees.

The one everyone’s been waiting for is the second day. It’s summit day! If the weather conditions and the group’s physical condition are up to scratch, you’ll head for the Mytikas peak. The path is more difficult, narrower, and at the end there’s a roped party! For 150 meters, you literally have to climb to the summit, which can only be reached this way. But don’t worry, the guides and the rest of the group are on hand to help in case of difficulty.

After resting at the top and taking a few photos, the descent begins to the Plateau des Muses and the refuge, where you’ll spend the night after a magnificent day. The last day is the easiest of the three. It starts with a short climb to the famous chapel of the prophet Elijah and its fabulous panoramic views of the peaks. The rest is more leisurely, a descent to a hut for lunch and then on to the village of Gkortsia, where your journey comes to an end.

It may not be open to everyone, but it’s sure to be an experience to remember!

How do I get to Mount Olympus?

To visit Mount Olympus, you need to be in Greece! The nearest airport is Thessaloniki. Unless your visit to Mount Olympus is part of a longer tour of Greece, it’s advisable to disembark from this airport.

It is served by numerous airlines, even in low season. Take a look at our partner Skyscanner to find the right combination and the best deals.

By train

The train is only for those coming from Thessaloniki or, for the more adventurous, Athens. The train reaches Litochoro, the town closest to Mount Olympus, where the majority of travelers in the region stay.

From Thessaloniki, trains are regular and the journey takes less thanan hour, at a cost of around €6. It’s clearly the best way to get to Litochoro!

From Athens, it takes just over 4 hours to reach Litochoro, with a changeover in Larissa, and costs between €22 and €25.

By car

Renting a car directly from Thessaloniki airport is an excellent option for those wishing to visit Mount Olympus and the surrounding area!

It takes around 3 hours to get to Mount Olympus, taking theE75 to Katerini and then national road 13 to Litochoro.

Above all, a vehicle allows you to explore the region between Thessaloniki and Mount Olympus at your leisure. It is rich in historical sites, such as the Macedonian sites of Pella and Aigai. And the Aegean Sea is nearby, with the beaches of Korinos and Platamonas.

Are combined tours available?

Visiter les alentours

Photo credit: Shutterstock – dinosmichail

As mentioned above, there are indeed combined tours with Mount Olympus. In general, these tours focus on the historical remains of the region, in particular the town of Dion. So it’s perfectly possible to combine archaeological visits with hiking!

You can also spend the beginning or (rather) the end of the day at Platamonas beach, close to Mount Olympus.

Good addresses

What better way to visit Mount Olympus than with the right accommodation, a delicious restaurant or a few memorable spots?

For general accommodation, there are three options: Thessaloniki, Litochoro and the refuges of Mount Olympus.

Thessaloniki

Thessalonique

Photo credit: Shutterstock – trabantos

Staying in Thessaloniki is recommended for those who don’t have much time to travel or who don’t want to climb to the top.

The first excursions on offer leave from Thessaloniki. A wide range of accommodation is available. To find yours, don’t hesitate to consult a hotel comparator or Airbnb for a more authentic experience.

Litochoro

Litochoro is the ideal base for almost all travelers. Whether or not you want to go all the way to the summit, it’s often necessary to leave early in the morning or return late at night.

Located on the edge of the national park, the village’s location is perfect in so many ways! Generation Voyage has selected two Airbnb accommodations to help you enjoy a superb stay near Mount Olympus.

1. Overnight accommodation
Logement idéal pour visiter le Mont Olympe

Photo credit: Airbnb

A comfortable apartment for a peaceful night’s sleep. Well-equipped and spacious, it’s ideal for a family of four and has access to a garden!

2. Accommodation for a few days
2ème appartement pour un séjour dans les montagnes grecques

Photo credit: Airbnb

If you love color, then this apartment in Litochoro is for you! In a very pleasant location, the apartment can accommodate up to six people and has everything you need. With its large terrace, the apartment is ideal for sharing time with friends.

In addition to a large family or a group of friends, this apartment is especially suited to those who want to enjoy a home that’s not just a roof over their heads for the night!

Mont Olympe refuges and camping

The refuges are reserved for those who want to visit Mount Olympus all the way to the summit. In fact, it’s more than advisable not to do it all in one day. On the one hand, even in summer, it’s best to avoid descending in the middle of the night. On the other hand, it’s important to enjoy the view from the top and not come back down 5 minutes later!

There are many refuges along the way. The Agapitos hut is the most popular, and is recommended for those wishing to meet rope partners. However, it is closed from October to May, unlike the Kakkalos hut, which is open all year round. Overnight stays generally cost around €15.

Camping is permitted around certain sites, for €5 per night.

Restaurants around Mount Olympus

Restaurant près de Mont Olympe

Priònia Restaurant. Photo credit: Facebook – prionia-olumpou

On Mount Olympus, we particularly recommend a restaurant: Priònia. The restaurant is ideally located in the heart of the national park! Priònia is close to the start of the real ascent to Mount Olympus and the more challenging hikes. What’s more, the restaurant offers top-quality local cuisine, sure to delight you before you set off for the summits!

The other restaurants are all located in Litochoro. The one we recommend is Meze Meze. Although its name might immediately bring to mind a Lebanese restaurant, it’s actually moussaka or gyros that you’re about to taste! A traditional Greek cuisine, which will also delight vegetarians, as the restaurant offers several meatless specialties.

Spotlights on Mount Olympus

cascade d'Orlias

Orlias waterfall. Photo credit: Shutterstock – RODKARV

Mytikas Peak is clearly THE spot on Mount Olympus. From the top, when the weather is clear, you’ll find an extraordinary view! Our eyes are enchanted by the surrounding peaks and villages in the distance. In fact, if you’re not only in the mood, but also fit enough to reach the summit, don’t hesitate!

Another spot is the Orlias waterfall, north of Litochoro. This waterfall is famous for its sublime emerald-green color!