Overview for High Trails of Mount Olympus and Pieria
Dramatic Olympus, the Throne of Zeus and the highest mountain in Greece, is the highlight of this walking holiday. The first part of this route is a 4-day fantastic trek over the mystic mountain of Olympus. Continuing to the north you go off the beaten path across Mount Pieria east to west via Flambouro summit.
This is a trip for those who value adventure and exploration over comfort: a demanding hiking tour through stunning mountains and overnights in traditional huts. But you will also have a chance to experience the local culture of this part of Greece while staying at local villages at the start and end of the tour.
- The highest summits of Greece (almost 3000m)
- The lesser-known mountain of Pieria
- Stay in traditional mountain huts and inviting guesthouses
Itinerary for High Trails of Mount Olympus and PieriaGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival at Litochoro
You arrive on your own in Litochoro, a picturesque town at the foot of Mt. Olympus from where most hikers start their journey to the summits. Depending in the timing of your arrival you can make a stroll through the village and make your last preparations for the hike starting tomorrow.
Accommodation: Guesthouse Papanikolaou
Day 2: Walk to Refuge ‘A’
You head to Spilios Agapitos (Refuge ‘A’), you have three different options to get there:
Option 1: You walk the entire route from Litochoro to the Refuge ‘A’ via Prionia
Option 2: You take a taxi to the Ag. Dionysios Monastery and walk from there to Refuge ‘A’ (this route includes a nice section through the Enipeas Gorge)
Option 3: You take a taxi to Prionia and walk the shortest way to the Refuge ‘A’
- Accommodation: Refuge ‘A’
- Walk for the day (option 1): 19 km, ↑2145m ↓405m, 8-9 hrs
- Walk for the day (option 2): 9 km, ↑1250m ↓40m, 4-5 hrs
- Walk for the day (option 3): 6 km, ↑1000m ↓20m, 3 hrs
Day 3: From refuge ‘A’ via the summits to the Mousson plain
A hefty ascent takes you through an alpine area up to the Skala summit (2866m) from where you have a breathtaking view of the Mytikas summit (2918m) and its climbers. You continue over a ridge to the highest point for the day: the Skolio summit (2911m) where you can write your name in the summit register. After enjoying the views, you continue along the Zonaria to the Plateau of the Muses where you stay for the overnight in the mountain refuge Kakkalos, nested among smaller summits.
- Accommodation: Refuge Kakkalos
- Walk for the day: 11 km, ↑1230m ↓650m, 6-7 hrs
Day 4: From the Plateau of the Muses to Koromilia mountain hut
After the demanding treks of the past days, the walk today is easier. Starting from the Plateau of the Muses, you reach the Giosos pass and continue down to the small ridge of Lemos. You descend further until you come to the forested area again, where the paths will occasionally reveal you some great views before you finally reach the Koromilia refuge.
- Accommodation: Koromilia refuge
- Walk for the day: 11 km, ↑55m ↓1675m, 6 hrs
Day 5: From Koromilia to Ag. Konstantinos and transfer to Ano Milia
From Koromilia you descend further to the east via forest trails, steeply at some places. In between the trees you have beautiful views over the plains to the sea. As you reach the church of Ag. Konstantinos you will be picked up by a taxi (from Litochoro) and taken to the mountain hut EOS Katerinis ‘Ano Milia’. Depending on the time of your arrival you may go for a half day trek to the summit Pente Pirgi (literally: the 5 wells), a walk mainly on lovely forest trails offering great views of the Olympos summits where you have recently been.
- Accommodation: Ano Milia hut
- Walk for the day (option 1): 4 km, ↓735m, 2 hrs
- Walk for the day (option 2): 11 km, ↑680m ↓680m, 5 hrs
Day 6: From Ano Milia to Katafygi
Today’s walk is the longest of the trip and mainly following the E4 long distance trail. Through dense forest you ascend easily to a plain with great views of the surroundings. You pass by a cosy hut where you can stop for a picnic and find a spring with refreshing clear and cool water. You then continue to the Flambouro summit: really worth the detour with the breathtaking views all around you! You see the mighty Olympus summits and the artificial lake of Velvendos. You descend to the mountain hut from the EOS Kozani, which unfortunately is usually closed. From here you will be picked up by a jeep and taken to your guesthouse at Katafygi for an overnight.
- Accommodation: Guesthouse Katafygi
- Walk for the day: 26 km, ↑1325m ↓670m, 8-10 hrs
Day 7: From Katafygi to Velvendos
From the village of Katafygi an easy mountain trail winds down to the Skouliaritikos Lakkos stream, which you cross by a bridge. After the bridge you take on a gradual descent along forest paths down the slopes of the Alogomandria mountain. After a sudden glimpse of the Polifitos Lake, you get back into the forest. After a while the whole lake unfolds before your eyes and then the town of Velvendos comes into view. You reach the plain near the lovely little church of Agios Georgios, where you can take a break. There is an optional detour back and forth to the local waterfalls: the scenery is really worth the effort of 3 kilometres of asphalt road. Back at the outskirts of Velvendos a path takes you into the town.
Accommodation: 9 Muses Guesthouse
Walk for the day (option 1): 14 km, ↑160 m ↓1155 m, 5 hrs
Walk for the day (option 2): 19 km, ↑35m ↓1030m, 4-5 hrs
Day 8: Departure
Departure on your own after breakfast or extension upon request.
Hotels for High Trails of Mount Olympus and PieriaGo to top of page
Three nights at guesthouses with en-suite facilities and four nights at mountain huts (refuges) with bunk beds in dormitories and shared facilities. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Guesthouses are subject to availability. In case a particular place is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with an alternative of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days and there are possibilities for dinners ordered on the spot at your overnight accommodation. Lunches and snacks can either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your guesthouse/hut the night before.
Travel for High Trails of Mount Olympus and PieriaGo to top of page
Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is the one at Thessaloniki.
Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
In case you arrive at Thessaloniki airport, you can either book a private transfer with us, or travel by local bus (line 78) to the intercity bus station and take the KTEL bus to Litochoro.
Luggage transfers are NOT included. However transfer of luggage from Litochoro hotel via Ag. Konstantinos -Ano Milia to Velvendos (allowing guests to leave main luggage in Litochoro and change part of their luggage during trip Ag. Konstantinos-Ano Milia) is possible at an extra cost.
Timezone: GMT +2
Language: Greek. In big cities, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel personnel where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. Road signs/markers are normally in both Greek and Latin alphabet – and you can always call our 24/7 helpline if there are any problems.
Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50Hz, two-pin round plugs.
Currency: Euro (€). We strongly advise taking adequate cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are not available outside of big towns but credit/debit card payments are accepted in most places.
Cost of living: in Greece it is cheaper than in the UK. Some sample prices follow:
- A 3-course meal in a standard restaurant: 12€
- A litre of mineral water from a street shop: 1€
- A cup of coffee: 2.5€
Up-to-date travel advice on Greece is available here.
Detailed up-to-date travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
Trip Info for High Trails of Mount Olympus and PieriaGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Strenuous
The routes go on mountain paths taking up to 8-9 walking hours per day, reaching elevation gains of up to 1200 meters, and involving carrying all your luggage for several nights. This holiday is appropriate for very experienced walkers and requires an excellent level of fitness (read more about difficulty grades).
We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes,maps as well as GPS tracks, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
The best time to travel to this area of Greece is from June until the end of September.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.
Olympus’ climate can be described as one of Mediterranean type with continental influence. Its local variations is the result of the impact of the sea and the rugged relief of the region. In the lower locations (Litochoro and the foothills) the climate is typically Mediterranean, i.e. hot and dry in the summer, while humid and cold in the winter. Higher it is more humid and severe, with more intense phenomena; in these locations it often snows all over the winter, while raining and snowing is not unusual, even in the summer. The temperature varies in the winter from −10 °C to 10 °C and in the summer from 0 °C to 20 °C, while winds are an almost everyday occurrence. Generally the temperature falls 1 °C per 200 m of altitude. As the altitude rises, the phenomena are more intense and the variations of temperature and humidity are often sudden.
Τhe average temperature is −5 °C in winter and 10 °C in summer. The average annual precipitation heights vary from 149 cm at Prionia (1,100 m) to 170 cm at Aghios Antonios, about half of them rainfall and hailstorms in summer and the rest snowfall in winter. The weather may change several times in the same day. In summer rainfalls are frequent, commonly as evening thunderstorms, many times accompanied by hail and strong winds. However water springs over 2,000 metres are scarce and visitors should ensure that they have always water and of course the necessary clothing for any weather conditions.
What to Bring
We recommend you bringing a backpack big enough (35-50L) to carry the belongings you will need for the entire trek. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots with ankle support
- Hiking socks (at least 3 pairs)
- Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket / Goretex jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat for sun protection
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
- Quality telescopic hiking poles
Included for High Trails of Mount Olympus and PieriaGo to top of page
- Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, route notes and maps
- 7 nights in accommodation as described in the itinerary on B&B basis
- Taxi transfer Ag. Konstantinos – Ano Milia on Day 5
- 4×4 transfer from mountain hut Kozani to Katafygi guesthouse
- 24/7 assistance by phone
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Single room supplement is possible only on day 1 and day 6 and 7, as the rest of the accommodation is on dormitory basis.
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers for safety reasons.
Please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options, extras and supplements for your desired dates.
- Flights and connecting transfers
- Luggage transfers
- Travel insurance
- Admissions and entrance fees of any kind
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal expenses such as other meals, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers etc.
- Any items that have not been specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
Extensions and Optional Extras
- Transfer of luggage from Litochoro hotel via Ag. Konstantinos-Ano Milia to Velvendos (allowing guests to leave main luggage in Litochoro and change part of their luggage during trip Ag. Konstantinos-Ano Milia)
- Additional nights at any of the accommodations along the way as well as in Thessaloniki.