Mt Olympus

Top choice mountain in Macedonia

Image by mahout Getty Images

The cloud-covered lair of the Ancient Greek pantheon, awe-inspiring Mt Olympus is simply spectacular. It fires visitors' imaginations today, just as it did for the ancients who venerated it. Greece’s highest mountain, Olympus hosts more than 1700 plant species, some rare and endemic, as well as wolves, jackals, deer and more than 100 bird species. Its slopes are thickly forested and its peaks often shrouded in fog.

The first known mortals to reach Mytikas (2918m), Olympus’ highest peak, were Litohoro local Christos Kakalos and Swiss climbers Frédéric Boissonnas and Daniel Baud-Bovy in August 1913. Olympus became Greece’s first national park in 1938.

Although you can drive up Olympus, many people hike; consult the Litohoro-based hiking associations for maps and current conditions, or check with the Management Agency of Olympus National Park, which also lists the hiking routes and the regulations for visitors. Both provide info on the mountain's 15 refuges, where hikers can sleep.