Mount Olympus Express

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Period of operation :End of May - October
Price :

315€/person for min 2 participants (for less or more participants please contact us)

Duration :2 days
Minimum attendance :1 participant
Level requirements :In this program we walk 8-9 hours per day, we mostly follow good forest paths; above the tree - line, the terrain varies from grassy uplands to rocky ridges, with some scrambling required for the peak ascents. A good level of fitness and experience is required to climb the peak and the guide reserves the right to make the final decision if we climb the final peak.

Mt.Olympus Is the most famous mountain in Greece, mythical home of the ancient Greek Gods. From its steep rocky summit, first climbed only 100 years ago, Zeus supposedly hurled his thunderbolts against humankind. Its eastern flanks were the country's first national park (created in the 1930's), with dozens of endemic species of flowers, as well as some endangered bird and butterfly species; there are no roads within it apart from the trailhead access road. There is also no habitation apart from the two-staffed refuges, which bring together groups of mountaineers from across the globe in their cozy and homely atmosphere. The mountain's watershed divides the regions of Thessaly (south) and Macedonia (north); to the east is the Aegean Sea, which brings in the afternoon/evening mist so characteristic of this mountain. 

The program begins and ends in the village of Litochoro in the foothills of Mt.Olympus.

In case you are flying to Greece, we recommend flying to Thessaloniki airport (Greece’s second biggest town) from where the trip to Litochoro is about 1,5 hours. In case you fly to Athens, the trip is about 6 hours long and we recommend traveling one day before and spending a night in Litochoro.  In case you need assistance with hotel bookings or other services please contact us.

Day 1: Litochoro & Walk to Refuge A - Spilios Agapitos, alt. 2.100 m -  Refuge Ch. Kakkalos, alt. 2,700 m
(Estimated Walking Time: approx. 8-9 hours)
Arrive and meet your guide and rest of the group in Litochoro square – taxi station. Transfer to Prionia, from where we begin our hike, at an altitude of 1.100 metres. The route from Prionia to Spilios Agapitos Refuge is the most frequented hiking path on Mount Olympus and makes up a part of the E4.  Prionia is the highest point which can be reached by car. Most of the hike is through a thick forest of pine, beech and fir trees, and the path is in good condition. We make our way up to 2.100m alt. and reach the refuge. From the refuge, we follow a short zig zaging path which will bring us just under the mountains main summits; soon we will see an alpine plateau at an altitude of 2700m where a small but friendly refuge will accommodate us.

Day 2: Peak ascents – Gkortsia
(Estimated Walking Time: approx. 8-9 hours)
After an early wake up and breakfast, we have two options according to participants fitness and weather conditions: We either climb  first Skala at 2.882 meters and then crossing a narrow ridge climb to the summit of  Skolio at 2.911meters. Or if weather permits and there is no snow, we ascent to the main summit - Mytikas (2.917meters), Greece’s highest peak, following a narrow gorge ( it involves about 1Km of scrambling ) ! ( 4-5 hrs walking on narrow paths – some scrambling involved – altitude gain of 800m ). After reaching the summit we descent by the same way to the main path and crossing the spectacular precipice under the summit of Stefani - the throne of Zeus, we emerge to the plateau of Mouses. In about 2 hours we will reach the refuge of the Hellenic rescue team (Petrostrougka @ 1.940m) where we can have our lunch and relax. From this point the end of our tour is near, we continue to our final destination, Gkortsia (2 – 3 hrs walking) from where we transfer back to Litochoro.

  • Accommodation in berths on refuges on Mt. Olympus
  • Trekking Hellas English speaking guide during the ascent of Mt.Olympus
  • Transfer Litochoro - Prionia & Gortsia - Litochoro
  • Vat

Price does not include:

  • Personal expenses
  • Drinks and beverages
  • Meals
  • Optional gratuities to leader, guides and local staff
  • Transport from Athens or other towns to / from Litochoro

Please try to travel as light as possible; remember that you must carry everything you bring on all the days' walk.

Large, comfortable rucksack (45-60 litres) with padded straps and waist belt, internal frame preferred; waterproof liner recommended keeping clothing, etc. dry inside.

Sturdy, worn in trekking shoes

Good waterproof top with hood

Warm clothes, both for windy / cold daytime conditions and for the cool evenings (fleece tops or similar)

Shorts and long trousers for walking, preferably quick-drying material (cotton or polycotton not denim)

Sweatshirts or T-shirts for walking, at least one with long sleeves and collar (against sun-burn)

Sheet sleeping bag or similar (e.g. duvet cover), for the overnights in the refuge, although blankets will be available.

Sunglasses, towel, sun hat or cap, sun block

Penknife

Water bottle

Wash bag and simple first aid kit (plasters or blister kit, aspirin or similar, antiseptic)

Photographers: bring your cameras

Torch (head torch if you have one)

Walking sticks

FB supplement: 40€ / person
Includes: 1 breakfast, 2 lunch packs, 1 dinner
 

HB supplement: 20€ / person
Includes: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner   

MT OLYMPUS Q&A’s

Climate – Weather – When to go

When are the best months to visit Mount Olympus? 

The total climbing season is between mid-June and late October. Sometimes, climbing season starts from mid-May, but this depends on last winter's snow accumulation. Best climbing weeks are early July and early September. Mid-July to late August is also a good period, however may be too warm and high possibility of afternoon thunderstorms.

What is the climate like during these good months? (Maximum/minimum/average temperature?

The weather conditions on Mt.Olympus are generally unpredictable and temperatures can vary widely. The local variations are the result of the impact of the sea and the rugged relief of the region. In the lower areas, (Litochoro and the foothills) the climate is typically Mediterranean, i.e. hot and dry in the summer, while humid and cold in the winter. Higher it is more humid and severe, with more intense phenomena. The temperature varies in the winter from -10 °C to 10 °C and in the summer from 0 °C to 20 °C, while winds are an almost everyday occurrence. Generally the temperature falls to 1 °C per 200m of altitude. As the altitude rises, the phenomena are more intense and the variations of temperature and humidity are often sudden. The coastal northeast slopes of Olympus, receive more rain than the continental northwest, so, as a result, there is a clear difference in vegetation. In some places the winds gather snow, 8–10 meters thick, ('anemosouria' in Greek), while in some deep ravines the snow is maintained all over the year. However, during the climbing season (June to October) these snow patches do not affect hikers. The weather may change several times in the same day. In summer, rainfalls are frequent, commonly as evening thunderstorms, many times accompanied by hail and strong winds. 

Hiking – Safety

How long and what elevation change we experience?

Route

Distance

Elevation Changes

 

Km’s

Miles

Meters

Feet

Prionia-Spilios Agapitos

6,5 Km’s

4 miles

Ascend from 1.040m to 2.060 = +1.020m

Ascend from 3422 ft to 6742 ft = +3.320 ft

Spilios Agapitos – Mytikas – Kakalos Mountain Hut

6,8 Km’s

4,2 miles

Ascend from 2.060m to 2.918m = +858m

Descend from 2.918m to 2.650m = - 268m

Ascend from 6742 ft  to 9460ft= +2.718 ft

Descend from 9460ft to 8700ftm = - 760 ft

Kakalos Mountain Hut - Gortsia

10 Km’s

6,6 miles

Descend from 2.650m to 1.120m = -1630m

Descend from 8700ft to 3675ft = -5025 ft

 

Are there many steep sections?

Except for the last 200m of vertical climb, involving the summit of Mytikas (2919m), which is a UIAA level 2 technical scrambling/climbing route, the rest of the route is easy or medium difficulty hiking path. Ropes though not necessary, are being used for extra safety. The second highest summit, Skolio, (2911m) is only 8 meters lower, has an equally amazing summit view, a summit log book, and can be reached by easy/medium difficulty hiking path, without any steep sections. Finally, on the hiking paths accessing the summits there are some sections of impressive drops next to the otherwise easy hiking path that could be scary for people with fear of heights, although they don’t pose any significant danger, as the path is relatively safe.

Do participants need rock climbing or scrambling experience for the climb of Mytikas? Scrambling experience is required if ascending to Mytikas is a must. It is not a pre requisite (eg we don’t ask people before hand) but experience shows that people who don’t have the experience might not make it. Ropes though not necessary, are being used for added safety.

In case of groups, how many people will be roped together for the climb of Mytikas? Each guide can have 3-5 persons roped together (depending on weather conditions and experience level). But there is the option of climbing it in via-feratta style as well. 

If a participant is not comfortable climbing Mytikas, is there somewhere safe they can wait for the group before the descent? Yes

Will participants need to carry all of their own equipment, or are there porters?

Travelers must carry all their equipment. There are no human porters available on the mountain. There is a mule caravan going up & down the refuges for the purpose of resupplying the Mountain Huts, and can load luggage at an additional charge. The caravan has specific times of arrival and departure from the Mountain Hut. It is also possible for mules to accompany the group on our specific timetable, but at a much higher additional charge, as this will involve the mule caravan following an additional, unplanned route. Certain sections of the mountain routes, like Zonaria path and Kofto path, connecting Refuge A' with Kakkalos refuge, may not be physically accessible to mules.

How challenging would you grade the trek out of 5?

The trek of the mountain paths would be rated 2. The last part, the climb for Mytikas peak would be rated 4. The alternative climb to Skolio Summit, would be rated 2.

Is there mobile phone signal anywhere on the mountain? There is mobile signal on about 60% of the route. In some areas you need to get to a specific location to have signal. There is no phone signal inside Enipeas Canyon, on the Plateau of the Muses nor on sections of the route between Gkortsia and Petrostruga.

Sleep, Eat, Drink

Where do we sleep?

In all mountain huts there are communal rooms with bank beds. You can also camp out of the mountain hut with your tent and use the mountain hut facilities.

What is a typical menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

  • Breakfast: bread, butter, marmalade, honey, cheese, coffee- tea- milk, nutella
  • Lunch: either lunch box - sandwiches, fruits, eggs, energy snack, chocolate or in Mt.Hut see below
  • Dinner in Mt.Hut: sample menus: Soup, Pasta with sauce, Salad, Bread, cheese / Lentils with rice, Beef with pasta, rice or mashed potatoes, salad, bread, cheese / Soup, Sausage with pasta, rice or mashed potatoes, meat plate, salad, bread, cheese.

Is bottled mineral water provided in the tours? Not in the price - bottled water is on sale in the Mountain Hut, rates 1-2€/bottle depending on size. 

How can clients refill water bottles each day?  There is a mountain spring on Prionia. There is also one mountain spring (with less water supply) 45 minutes hiking over Prionia. There are no other mountain springs close to the hiking routes so buying bottle water is the only option.

Are Mountain Hut heated? Mountain huts have heating availability, either a fireplace or petrol heaters, but they are activated only when temperature falls below roughly 10 degrees Celsius. There are no clothes/boots drying facilities. Warm blankets are provided in all Mountain huts

Are there hot showers? No there are no showers on the mountain huts. On Mountain Hut, depending on water availability, there are showers, but have snow-melt-water supply and temperature.

Is there electricity at the Mountain Hut for people to charge cameras and other electric equipment? Mountain hut electricity is supplied by solar panels and generators, and is available for a few hours daily. Usually, electricity is available from dusk until about 10 or 11pm, and sometimes from dawn and for a few hours. The plugs are limited so it is preferred to have extra chargers with you especially if being part of a big group.

How much spending money will the clients need to budget each day for drinks, snacks etc.? Drinks cost between 2€-4€, there is a big variety of hot drinks (tea, coffee etc) / soft drinks and alcohol (beer and wine)

How much would you recommend they budget for tips for the guides? Mountain guide tipping is optional and can vary depending on the traveler’s satisfaction of the service provided. A usual tip is about 50 euro per day.