Mount Olympus:
A Mythical Destination

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Looking at Mount Olympus from afar, it is clear why the ancient Greeks believed that only gods could reside in such an unreachable yet mystical place.

 

Mount Olympus, or Olympos as it is called in Greek, is the highest mountain of Greece, located between Thessaly and Macedonia, and easily accessible by car in less than 2 hours from the airport of Thessaloniki, the second-largest city of Greece.

 

Every year, thousands of enthusiastic visitors from all over the world visit Mount Olympus, ambitious to reach the peak of Mytikas at 2,917 meters high, where they can sit on Zeus’ throne and gaze at the ever-expanding Aegean blue.

 

In Greek mythology, Olympus is the place where the gods reside, hence their name “The Olympian Gods”. In the Illiad, Homer makes frequent mention of the sacred Mount Olympus, which at times personifies Zeus’ emotions:

 

Zeus spoke and nodded his head with the dark brows, and the immortally anointed hair of the great god swept from his divine head, and all Olympus was shaken.

 

Nowadays, the intimidating mountain presents a challenging opportunity for many who wish to explore not only Mytikas but all 54 peaks. Hiking Mount Olympus is certainly a favoured activity by all, with trails as short as 2km and as ambitious as 2,917 meters high. The way to the top is beautiful and encompasses a great variety of terrains. The low forest slopes quickly give way to an extra-terrestrial landscape of stone and snow, posing a challenge to even the most experienced hikers. The steep slopes and deep gorges of course are well-known and offer an adrenaline rush while providing extraordinary views.

 

Lodging at Mount Olympus is an equally gratifying experience. There are several refuges which are frequented by a truly international pool of visitors. There, one can have the best spaghetti with meatballs after a long and tiring hike, enjoying the views and Greek mountain tea with new and old friends.

 

Mount Olympus, however, is not reserved only for the adventurous (and ambitious) climbers but offers many trails that are equally beautiful and accessible to families and nature-goers alike. Of special interest are the waterfalls found in Orlia and the springs of Prionia, which during the warm summers offer shorter hiking opportunities and rejuvenating dives in some of the most clear and turquoise tidepools.

 

The mythical Mount Olympus still presents a challenge to those who wish to conquer it, but with enough commitment, patience, and water breaks, you can make it to the top and take a seat among the Olympians. 

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