ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Unique Places to Visit Near Thessaloniki, Greece: Mount Olympus

Updated on July 26, 2012

Mount Olympus, the legendary home of the Greek Gods and the tallest mountain in Greece, is starkly visible on a clear day from the city of Thessaloniki. In autumn and winter it gleams in its shroud of snow, but in spring the snow begins to melt, and by summer it is accessible to stalwart climbers. If you visit northern Greece and feel you have the spunk and strength to attempt it, climbing Olympus is a wonderful experience.

Plan Ahead

First of all, you must plan ahead. Do you want to try to climb it in one day, which is possible only for the fittest individuals, or do you want to make it a two-day trek, and stop about halfway up at a rest house on the way, stay overnight, and summit on the second day? If you are based out of Thessaloniki and try the one-day climb you must leave in the dark hours of the early morning and begin the attempt before daybreak, or you will not be able to make it back down before dark. Even if you plan the more leisurely two-day option you should start early, as at midday the summer sun on the bare-rock parts of the slope is blistering hot.

How to Get There

To reach the base of the mountain from Thessaloniki you take the national highway towards Athens. You will pass the city of Katerini, and then go through a beautiful stretch of road with the Aegean Sea on your left and rolling hills on your right. Clear signs along the highway will lead you to the proper exit, and more signs will guide you along the smaller roads to the parking area at the beginning of the trail.

What to Take

Whether you plan a quick or slow climb, bring plenty of water or you will quickly become dehydrated, and plenty of food because you will get ravenously hungry. There's nothing like a climb up a steep mountain to build up a terrific appetite. And food never tastes so good as when it is a reward for such strenuous effort. Bring a camera, of course, because you will come across terrific panoramic views.

The First Leg

There is a trail and clear signs all the way from the parking lot at the beginning to the summit. On extremely steep slopes steps are carved out of the rock. But that does not mean that it is an easy stroll. It is arduous; in the heat of the sun it can feel like you are walking forever and cannot take another step. The first leg of the climb, about halfway to the top, takes four or five hours, depending on what shape you're in and how fast you can climb. If that's all you can handle and you have no overwhelming desire to get to the summit, you can rest for a few hours at that point and then return. There is a rest house/hostel with a small restaurant. You can buy either packaged food or fresh hot fare; it is expensive, because it all has to be packed in. You can sit and relax and enjoy the view, eat the lunch you have brought and supplement it with food or drinks from the restaurant, and then return.

Onward to the Summit

If you have begun early enough you can continue onward after your rest, another four hours or so, spend a brief time at the summit, and then hike down, hoping to make it all the way before dark. Or you can stay at the hostel, rest up, and summit in the morning with plenty of time left for your descent. The hostel is run by the government, and there is little chance you will find vacancies on the spot; you must book in advance through the Greek government tourist office. Don't expect to find much help on line; the last I checked there was very little help or information. You should write to them or go in to their office yourself well in advance of your trip.

Worth a Try

All in all, though, despite the difficulty of the undertaking, despite the thirst and the hunger and the heat, it is a journey worth taking. Mount Olympus is not just any mountain – it is replete with the residue of mythology. Who could not be moved standing on the site of the home of the gods that helped shape the literature and legend of western civilization? Give it a try. You won't regret it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)