Mt. Olympus, reach the Greek gods and go for a swim
Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece and the second highest mountain in the Balkans. If you ever want to climb a high mountain this is your chance. Reaching the high viewing points is quite easy. Reaching the summit is for the more experienced hikers. If you want to do this trip, take 3 days for it.
Arrive in the area and relax. Take a hostel at the sea side and while you are swimming in the sea you can admire the beauty of the mountain. The brilliant thing Mt. Olympus is that it is located next to the sea. So before and after your hike you can get some energy by entering the sea.
Wake up early and be sure you have enough water and food with you for the next two days. Also have some warm clothes for on top on the mountain and some rain clothes. The first day hike is marvelous. You will walk through a valley.
While you ascend you will discover some religious places. There is a chapel in the mountain and somewhere further on is a church that you can visit. Both are beautiful and impressive places. How more you ascend, how more view you will get.
In the end you will reach a hut. This will be your sleeping place for that night. You will have a perfect view from here on the sea. Sunrise is from this direction, so wake up early so you can see the sunrise from the mountain over the sea. There isn’t anything more romantic than this right!
Final day. Also for this you have to wake up early. You don’t want to hurry while you are at the summit. This day is tough. I was with a friend and we met 3 other people from our age in the hut. We climbed together. And while we were climbing higher and higher, and the trees disappeared, we looked over the sea and we climbed together with some mountain goats who kept us company.
On the top you reach a junction. One ridge is going into the direction of Mytikas (2,918 m) the highest point of Mt. Olympus and the other one is going to Skolio (2,912 m). My friend went with one person of the other group to Skolio because he found the path to Mytikas to dangerous. I joined two other people for the fight against Mytikas.
I understand why my friend chose for Skolio. The path to Mytikas is steep. Real climbing is essential. And definitely don’t do this when you are not a confident climber and when it is winter or wet and slippery. We saw during our way some memorial stones of hikers that died on their way to Mytikas.
Luckily we didn’t belong to this group and in the end we were able to reach the summit with a wonderful view. Going down was basically sliding down from the other side. We also discovered that the path that we took to reach the summit was not taken by a lot of hikers. A lot of people arrive from the east side while we arrived from the south side.
We met my friend back in the hut. The great thing is from this mountain at the moment you reach the bottom of the mountain and you are back in your hostel. You can relax by jumping into the sea. Not many high mountains have this luxury.
For everyone who wants to have a challenging, beautiful hike this is definitely one that you need to do. It has everything, from nature, culture and fun hiking paths to relax possibilities in the end. Hopefully you guys will enjoy your time in Greece!
Be aware of altitude sickness on mountains.
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