Authentic Greece | Hiking Tour Mt. Olympus & Zagori
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Hiking Mt. Olympus – Zagori

To the peaks of the gods!

Our hiking tour to Mount Olympus and Zagori leads through this unique and mythical mountain world. According to Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is the home of the twelve Olympian gods. Thanks to its unique flora and fauna, Olympus was declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1981. Over the course of three days, we explore the incredible mountain wilderness of Mt. Olympus on spectacular hiking tours.

Afterwards, we spend a further three days in Zagori, one of the most fascinating regions in northern Greece. On the way there, we visit the royal burial site at Vergina, said to have been the capital of the former kingdom of Macedonia until 419 BC.

In Zagori, forested mountains, crystal clear rivers, and deep gorges, as well as picturesque mountain villages, are waiting to be explored. Here it feels as if nothing has changed in hundreds of years, as if time simply stood still and the modern world passed the region by. Traditional architecture, stone arch bridges, and small monasteries against a fantastic, mountainous backdrop combine to create the wild beauty of this exceptional stretch of land near the Albanian border.


Highlights

  • Godly views: Climb Mt. Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece
  • Follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great: Discover Vergina
  • Spectacular natural phenomena: Hike through the imposing Vikos Gorge
  • Journey back through time: Stroll through the picturesque villages of Zagori


9 days/8 nights
Jun, Sep
Moderate – Demanding
Athens
Athens
Persons: 4+
Age: 14+

Included Activities

  • Guided hiking tour on Mt. Olympus and in Zagori as described in itinerary
  • Guided tour through the archaeological site of Vergina

Dates

  • 11-19 Jun 2022
  • 10-18 Sep 2022

For groups of 4+ participants, we can organise the tour on your desired dates on request.


DAY 1
Athens (Arrival) | Individual journey to Athens. Airport transfers can be arranged on request. Check-in at the hotel is possible from 2 pm onwards.

Though Athens is a bustling metropolis today, it was once the intellectual beacon of antiquity. The heart of the city is the Acropolis, one of the most important landmarks in the western world.

While strolling through the surrounding quarters, you are retracing the footsteps of those who once created and left a lasting mark on democracy, philosophy, and theatre. 

At 6 pm we meet in the hotel lobby to discuss the upcoming trip. Afterwards, we take a walk together through Plaka, one of the oldest quarters of the city, before enjoying a festive welcome dinner. Overnight in Athens.

DAY 2
Litochoro & Hike to Apilios Agapitos (4.5 km / 3 mi. / 3 hr) | Today we leave Athens after a rich breakfast and drive to Litochoro situated at the foot of Mount Olympus. The drive takes about 4.5 hours.

After a light lunch in Litochoro, we start today’s hike which leads us to the most iconic of the Greek mountains – Mount Olympus. In Greek mythology, the mountain is known to be the home of the 12 Olympian gods, and it is the highest mountain in the country.

Due to the mountain’s proximity to the sea and its steep slopes that rise to 2,918 m / 9,573 ft. above sea level, Mt. Olympus has a very specific microclimate resulting in unique flora and fauna. For this reason, the mountain has been a protected National Park since 1938.

We begin our climb at Prionia and hike to the stone cabin Spilios Agapitos, from where we can enjoy an incredible view over the mountain landscape. Overnight stay in the cabin.

DAY 3
Olympus: Summit day – Plateau of Muses (approx. 11.5 km / 7 mi. / 4 hours) | If the weather is good, we can look forward to climbing two summits today. We first head up to the 2,911 m / 9,550 ft. high Skolio, the second-highest peak on Mount Olympus.

Once we reach the top we are rewarded with an incredible panorama. From here we have a great view of Mytikas – the highest peak of Olympus. Weather permitting, we climb Mytikas next.

Breath-taking views, rugged rocky landscape, and ridges accompany us on our hike up the mountain of the gods.

We end today’s tour on the beautiful Plateau of Muses, a sweeping grassland surrounded by cliffs. The plateau is also called the “Throne of Zeus” due to its spectacular view. Overnight stay in a cabin.

DAY 4
Olympus: Plateau of Muses to Prionia (approx. 11 km / 7 mi. / 4hr) | Today’s hike leads us through beautiful pine and beech forests back to Prionia. The Olympus Mountains are a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve consisting of four different vegetation zones.

With its 17,000 recorded plant species and diverse animal population, the region has an extremely rich plant and animal life. Once in Prionia, we drive on to Litochoro. This small town lies at the foot of the mountain, right by the spectacular Enipeas Gorge.

We spend the afternoon at the beach of Plaka, where we can recover from the hiking tour with a refreshing swim.

In the evening, we celebrate our summit adventure with a cosy gathering at a traditional restaurant in town. Overnight stay in Litochoro.

DAY 5
Archeological site of Vergina – Monodendri in Zagori | During today’s drive to Monodenri, we stop after about 1.5 hours at the impressive Macedonian tombs of Vergina.

Here we visit the monumental palace, richly decorated with mosaics and unique paintings. We also visit the burial site with over 300 tumuli, some of which date back to the 11th century BC. 

Lunch is followed by another 3 hours’ drive to our destination of Monodendri which is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Zagori.

The complex of 46 picturesque traditional mountain villages is situated in the middle of a unique environment. Pine and fir trees, traditional stone architecture, arched bridges, and wells characterise the region.

Tourism developed very slowly and organically here, so visitors feel transported back to bygone times and can sense the beauty of simple life in the mountains. Overnight stay in Monodendri.

DAY 6
Zagori: Hike through the Vikos Gorge to Mikro Papigo (approx. 16 km / 10 mi. / 6 hr) | The breath-taking Vikos Gorge is one of the deepest gorges in the world. It stretches over a length of almost 10 km from Monodendri to the village of Vikos and is bordered by the Stouros mountain massif to the west and the Tymfi mountain massif to the east.

Our hike today takes us through the impressive green gorge, surrounded by monasteries and rivers. Due to its geological isolation and the lack of any significant human influence, this part of Greece has hardly changed in hundreds of years.

From Monodendri, we first walk to the Voidomatis springs before continuing to Mikro Papigo. This beautiful village is nestled into a mountainside and is characterised by its picturesque stone houses with slate roofs. Overnight in Mikro Papigo.

DAY 7
Zagori: Hike from Mikro Papigo to Dragon Lake (approx. 12 km / 7.5 mi. / 6 hours) | Today’s hike to the Dragon Lake starts in Mikro Papigo. Following a steep climb, we take a break at the Astraka hut.

After lunch, during which we can enjoy the fantastic mountain panorama around us, a beautiful, quiet hiking trail leads us to Dragon Lake, which lies at an altitude of 2,050 m / 6,725 ft. above sea level on a plateau on Mount Tymfi.

Formed 10,000 years ago by the melting of a former glacier, the lake is a place where not only current environmental changes but also the geological history of the Earth’s crust can be seen. Overnight stay in a cabin in Tymfi.

DAY 8
Hike to Tymfi peak and Tsepelovo (approx. 14 km / 8.5 mi. / 7 hr) | Today we can fully enjoy the small wonders of nature. From the mountain cabin where we spent the night, we climb the 2,497 m / 8,192 ft. high Tymfi peak.

We take the time to enjoy the view from the summit before continuing to our destination, the village of Tsepelovo. The path to the small village leads us through lush alpine meadows scattered with numerous wildflowers.

Along the way, we also see spectacular, bare limestone peaks, which are rooted in myth and legend. According to the cattle-herding legend of Sarakatsanei, two dragons once lived at the lakes of Smolikas and Tymfi.

There was great animosity between these two dragons, so they were constantly quarrelling. One day the dragon of Tymfi threw huge tree trunks the dragon of Smolikas.

According to the legend he responded by throwing back giant white stones, the very white stones that are the peaks we see on our hike. Overnight stay in Monodendri.

DAY 9
Monodendri – Ioannina – Athens  | The last day of our journey begins with a one-hour drive to Ioannina, the capital of the Greek region of Epirus. Here history merges with tradition.

The influence of the former Ottoman Empire can still be seen here, as you will experience on our tour through the old citadel. The city once flourished as a centre of arts and crafts.

After discovering the vibrant history of the city and enjoying lunch together, we start the return journey to Athens (approx. 4.5 h), where our eventful trip comes to an end.

On request, we can organise an extra night in Athens or a transfer to Athens Airport.

Traditional hotels & mountain shelters

On this trip, we stay 3 nights in mountain shelters and 5 nights in carefully selected small hotels, where tradition meets utmost comfort. The friendly staff will ensure you want for nothing. Every day starts with a rich and varied breakfast. WIFI is usually available around the clock in the hotels.

When can I do this tour?
This tour takes place on two fixed dates in June and September. Between May and September, you can request your desired dates for groups of 4 or more.

What are the age requirements for this tour?
This tour is not suitable for children due to the length and difficulty of the hikes.

In our opinion, teens 14+ with very good physical fitness and hiking experience should be able to take part on this tour.

What meals are included in the tour?
The tour price includes full board catering consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This begins with dinner on the day of arrival and ends with lunch on the day of departure.

As is typical of Greek culture, our groups usually eat together. This allows us to try a wider variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. However, there is no obligation to do so.

If you would like to eat vegetarian or if you have food intolerances, please let us know before the start of the trip. Unfortunately, we cannot offer vegan meals on this tour.

Please also note that alcoholic drinks are not included in the price.

Are changes to the tour itinerary possible?
We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences. The hikes, accommodations, and visits listed are therefore subject to change.

We reserve the right to make changes to the published itinerary if, in our opinion, weather conditions warrant it or the safety of participants can no longer be guaranteed.

How difficult is this tour?
The moderately difficult hikes require a certain basic level of fitness. The tours include occasional steep climbs.

Participants should have hiking experience, be in good physical condition and be able to walk for 3-5 hours. The more challenging hikes require considerable physical stamina. We cross rough, mountainous terrain and certain hikes can include 6 hours of active walking.

What is the terrain like on the hikes?
Although the trails are fairly well maintained, the terrain is often very rocky and stony. We mainly hike along walking paths and mountain trails. There are often steeper ascents, especially on the summit hikes, where a good capacity to deal with heights is highly advantageous.

On our hike up the highest peak of Mount Olympus, Mytikas 2,918 m / 9,573 ft., you will need to use your hands at times. These climbs are not too difficult or technically demanding.

For safety reasons we always carry technical equipment such as ropes, carabiners, harness helmets, GPS etc. However, we don’t usually need most of it.

How do I get to Athens?
Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport is about 27 km east of Athens.

There are direct flights to Athens from various cities in Europe, North America, and Asia. We can arrange a transfer from the airport to your hotel in the city centre on request.

What should I include in my packing list for this tour?
Greece has a temperate climate. It is a good idea to dress in layers so that you can always take a layer off or put a layer on if it is too warm/cold.

We also recommend packing as light as possible, as heavy luggage can quickly become a burden. Here is a small list of things we recommend bringing with you on the tour.

This is only a guideline, and you can always modify it to suit your own needs.

Luggage:
40L backpack for carrying clothes, climbing gear, camera, water bottle, snacks, etc.

Outdoor clothing:
Fleece jumper
Rain jacket
Possibly rain trousers / poncho

Clothes:
Hiking shorts
Quick-drying synthetic T-shirts
Casual clothing made from light fabric
Hiking trousers
Comfortable underwear
Swimming gear

Footwear:
Good hiking boots / walking shoes (preferably with ankle support)
Comfortable shoes for the evening

Accessories:
Sun protection (cream, hat, glasses etc.)
Headlamp
Personal hygiene items

Optional accessories:
Safety bag or money belt
Trekking poles
Camera
Personal 1st aid kit
Travel pillow
Insect repellent
Electric adapter

Basic Tour Price

2,050 € per person in a double room

INCLUDED SERVICES

  • 9-day hiking tour on Mount Olympus and in Zagori
  • 3 nights in mountain shelters (dormitory) and 5 nights in 3-star hotels (double room)
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Full board: 8 x breakfast, 8 x lunch, 8 x dinner
  • Transfers and luggage transport during the trip
  • Guided walks and sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Entrance & guided tour to the archaeological site of Vergina
  • English speaking guide throughout the tour
  • Climbing equipment (helmet, harness, rope, carabiners, slings)

NOT INCLUDED

  • Journey to/from Athens
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Entrance to individually visited sights
  • Tips for guide and transfer driver

ADDITIONAL BOOKABLE SERVICES

  • Single room (only possible with hotel accommodation)
  • Airport transfers in Athens
  • Additional nights in Athens

Trip

Tour Extensions