Greece Tour: A Hiking Odyssey to Mount Olympus – Home of the Gods

This Greece tour and mountaineering adventure to Mount Olympus is an ideal program for teens, group of friends, or family vacation. Greece is the ideal European tour destination. Ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, terrific culture, amazing cuisine, gorgeous beaches – Greece has it all!

Towering above the Aegean Sea stands one of the most famous mountains in Europe: Mount Olympus. Mythical home to the ancient Greek gods, Mt. Olympus is visible for miles around and is the highest peak in Greece. A World Biosphere Preserve, Mt. Olympus is noted for its rich biodiversity and flora.

Olympus is a mountain that has held the attention of mankind for thousands of years. Dotted with welcoming mountain refuges and with dozens of summits accessible to walkers, the Mount Olympus massif is far more than just the main summit. It’s a mountain range that deserves your time.

On the short 5-day mountaineering adventure we traverse the Olympus massif over three ‘and a bit’ days of walking, staying at different mountain refuges and exploring everything from high peaks, to impressive ridges, to lush forested canyons with pools to bathe in sparkling streams. All this in the heart of the landscape that inspired the myths and legends of ancient Greece. On the 8-day itinerary we take more time and explore a wider range of the area.  

This trip to Greece can be combined with visiting Athens and customized with a post-climb at one of the famous Greek Islands like Mykonos, Santorini or Crete.

For a custom quote based on your ideal dates:

Why Choose This Program

  • Summit the highest and most mythical mountain in Greece in a 5 day long weekend or an 8 day journey.
  • Explore the plateaus, ridges, forests and peaks of Mount Olympus with qualified International Mountain Leaders and a small group of fellow mountaineering adventurers.
  • Admire the changing landscape, from secluded gorges, wide open plateaus, and of course the main summit itself, home to Zeus.
  • Stay in mountain refuges where all our food and bedding is provided, meaning light packs, where for a few nights we’ll be the highest people in Greece.
  • Finish with a descent down Olympus’ spectacular gorges, and a final night in a hotel by the sea, where you can relax in the waves and look back up at the peaks.
  • Can be combined with two nights in Athens where you will have a guided tour of the Acropolis and historic Plaka district
  • Add-on a sun and sea getaway to one of Greece’s famous islands!

What Is Included

5 Days

  • UIMLA International Mountain Leader who will be with you for the whole adventure.
  • All in-country transport (excluding local buses in Thessaloniki).
  • Food in mountain huts.
  • Dinner on day 1
  • Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner for day 2 and day 3.
  • Breakfast and packed lunch on day 4
  • Breakfast on day 5
  • Accommodation (three nights in mountain huts and one night in a hotel)
  • Office support from the Days on Trails team to deal with any questions and give you advice and support.

8 Days

  • UIMLA International Mountain Leaders who will be with you for the whole adventure.
  • All in-country transport (excluding local buses in Thessaloniki).
  • Food in mountain huts.
  • Dinner on day 3
  • Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner for days 4,5,6.
  • Breakfast and packed lunch on day 7.
  • Breakfast on day 8.
  • Accommodation (three nights in hotels and four nights in mountain huts)
  • Office support from the  Georgia Hardy Tours team to deal with any questions and give you advice and support.

What Is Not Included

  • International airfare to Athens and domestic airfare to Thessaloniki 
  • 5 Day Trek: Food when not in mountain huts (lunch on day 1, snacks for the trek, evening meal on day 4).
  • 8 Day Trek: Food when not in mountain huts (lunch on days 1 and 2, snacks for the trek, evening meal on days 1,2,7).
  • Extra mountain hut food (we provide an evening meal and drink, plus breakfast and a packed lunch – if you want any extra food, for example at the evening meal, you may want to bring some cash (euros) to cover this)
  • Personal walking equipment
  • Entry into historical sites
  • Optional Travel Insurance
  • Optional pre or post excursion to Athens and island(s)

Payment Schedule

  • Deposit at time of booking and registration
  • Second payment due three months after registration 
  • Final payment due no later than 90 days before departure

Daily Breakdown

5 Days

Note: Ground conditions, weather & group factors may lead to changes in the program by the guide(s). The goal is always to offer the best possible experience, but safety & wellbeing are always the priority and basis of all decisions made. 

Day 1 

After arrival at Thessaloniki, we transfer to Litochoro in time for a late lunch and a briefing about the journey to come. Then it’s a short walk of a few hours’ to our accommodation for the night in our first mountain hut.

Day 2 & 3

On these days we climb higher on the mountain and take a variety of paths, which your leader will choose depending on the weather, choosing a good weather window for the ascent of the main peak, which does require a short scramble. While we will be walking all day (6-8 hours), the emphasis is on enjoying our surroundings, hearing about the ancient Greek myths, looking out for wildlife, and admiring the fantastic views. As well as the main summit at just under 3000m, there are other peaks of the massif we can aim to summit as well.

Day 4

Leaving our final mountain hut, we spend the day descending, seeing the landscape change from rocky mountainside to scrub and finally beautiful beech forest. Sparkling pools and ancient stone bridges become our territory, and there’ll most likely be a swimming opportunity. Arriving back in Litochoro, we transfer to the coast and check into our hotel by the sea, before our final meal.

Day 5

Transfer back to Thessaloniki airport. Today we’ll make sure we have time in Thessaloniki to go round some of the ancient sites you can readily find all over the city centre. It’s time to thank the Gods for letting us up their mountain.

8 Days

Note: Ground conditions, weather & group factors may lead to changes in the program by the guide(s). The goal is always to offer the best possible experience, but safety & wellbeing are always the priority and basis of all decisions made. 

Day 1

Arriving in Greece’s northern city, Thessaloniki, we immediately head out into the city to see some of the ancient Greek sites that stand right next to the modern buildings. In the late afternoon we’ll head to the hotel, right on the sea! During the evening we’ll brief you about the week ahead and our attempt on the highest summit in Greece, Mount Olympus.

Day 2

Day walk on Mount Chortiatis, where we’ll start to see the nature of Greece up close while enjoying an excellent walk up the slopes and through the forest of this popular mountain, just on the outskirts of Thessaloniki.

Day 3

Leaving Thessaloniki, we drive approximately 2 hours to Litochoro, the town beneath Olympus. After lunch we walk to our first mountain refuge at Petrostrouga 

Day 4

A day of traversing the slopes of the mountain through lush beech forest, we actually descend quite a way, making our way round to the northern flanks of the mountain.

Day 5

A major day of ascent, we make our way up the spectacular Barbalas ridge to the Plateau of the Muses, to stay at one of the highest buildings in Greece. The views during this day are outstanding.

Day 6

The summit day! Only a short distance from our accommodation lies the summit of Mount Olympus, known as Mitikas. The final section to the very top does require some use of your hands, all witb the support of your leaders. We allow plenty of time to enjoy being on the roof of Greece before a pleasant saunter down to our hut for the last night on the mountain

Day 7

This is a day of descent, down through the pine forest and then following the jaw-dropping Prionia gorge back to Litochoro. There are lots of beautiful pools on the way down if anyone fancies a dip! From Litochoro we take a taxi the short distance to the seaside and our hotel on the Aegean.

Day 8

Today we depart Greece, but on the way back to the airport there’s the chance to see other ancient sites you’ll definitely not want to miss, such as Pella, Alexander the Great’s capital. 

Extra

How Difficult is this trek?

A typical day on the Mount Olympus trek is around 10-15 km and includes 1000-1200m of ascent, with a pack slightly bigger than a normal walking day bag (8-10kg). We will be walking for between 6-8 hours per day. The paths are mostly good, though rocky. The main summit does have some exposed scrambling (you’ll need to use your hands), but no specialist climbing equipment is needed. At under 3000m, the summits we head to are in the region where you might experience some effects of altitude. Your guide is there to ensure the pace is manageable for everyone and to ensure the best route choice.

What to expect in terms of accommodation and served meals.

For three nights we’ll be staying in Mountain Refuges. In these we’ll be in mixed dormitories, where a mattress and pillow is provided. For this reason you’ll need to bring a sheet sleeping bag liner, toiletries, slippers, a towel and some ear plugs. The refuges also contain washrooms, often a restaurant, and communal seating/social area. Due to their rudimentary nature, electricity (outlets) and more than cold running tap water are not to be expected.

Food choice is limited due to the remote setting of the huts, but will often include some choice. A meal might consist of potatoes or rice with tomatoes, veal or meatballs, and sides such as cheese and eggs. Sometimes there is a menu and we have a choice – sometimes we all eat the same meal. This is why it is important for you to inform us of any dietary requirements before the trip so we can check with the huts.

The hotel rooms for the last night are planned around 2 people sharing. If you wish to have a single room for this night please contact us in advance and we will see if this is possible, and what supplement needs to be paid.

What equipment do you need?

We can advise you with detailed packlists, how to pack a backpack, and connect you with our resident International Mountain Leader to give you advice and answer any questions you may have.

What kind of weather can we expect?

We chose to go when the weather is usually mild (15 – 25°C) and stable. We should have enjoyable mild summer conditions, but can’t guarantee there won’t be any rain. On hotter days, we can expect afternoon thunderstorms.

Passport and Visa requirements

Greece is part of Schengen and EU citizens can travel freely. US and Canadian citizens are allowed to travel to Greece and to all other members of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa, as long as your passport is valid for at least 3 months after your planned return to the United States!

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Want to learn more about this trip?

Contact Georgia Hardy Tours directly for pricing and availability.

[email protected]

416-483-7533 ext.100

Fine Print: It is the responsibility of all participants to ensure that they have a valid passport and that no additional travel documents are necessary. Georgia Hardy Tours Inc. is not responsible for inadequate travel documents. Georgia Hardy Tours reserves the right to make changes in the itinerary when necessary for the convenience and safety of tour participants. Any extra cost in the unlikely event of itinerary changes must be borne by the individual participant.

Responsibility and Jurisdiction: Georgia Hardy Tours and their agents act only as agents for the passengers with respect to services supplied to passengers by others, including but not limited to transportation, hotel and restaurant services, on the express condition that they are not liable for any failure in such services, or injury, loss or damage, delay or inconvenience arising out of or in connection with any defect in any vehicle or any act, omission, accident or error in providing such transportation, hotel, restaurant or other services. There is no refund for unused portions of the tour. In case of an accident occurring during the land portion of any tour, the passenger must submit any claim therefore only to the competent judicial authorities of the jurisdiction where such accident occurred, to be determined exclusively in accordance with the laws of such jurisdiction. By accepting the coupons and tickets and utilizing the services, the passenger agrees that Georgia Hardy Tours nor any affiliated or subsidiary companies or representatives shall be liable for any loss, injury or damage to the passenger or belongings or otherwise in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or resulting directly from any occurrences beyond its control including breakdown in equipment, strikes, theft, delay or cancellation or changes in itinerary or schedules, etc. Georgia Hardy Tours and its agents reserve the right to refuse to accept or retain any person as a member of this tour. The right is reserved to withdraw any or all of the tour or portions thereof. All tour services including, but not limited to hotel accommodations, restaurants, guide services and transportation are furnished by independent contractors.