Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece standing at 2917 m high. The mountain has about 52 peaks and multiple trails leading around the mountain. However, the E4 trail leads you to Mytikas, the highest point of the mountain . While the climb isn’t difficult you will be using your hands and crawling a bit at the last part. You will need about 6-8 hours to finish the climb in one day, so start early and be prepared. We did the hike in running shoes, but we did see a few people climb the mountain in flip flops!
Its best to stay in the town of Litohoro the night before. It is one of the closest towns and provides easy, but not cheap, access to the mountain. The day before you should arrange your transportation for the next morning. If you go to the taxi rank at the top of the town talk to any of the taxi drivers and tell them what time you would like to leave and they will be there the next morning. The price is €25 one way and if you are going to do the hike in one day you should aim to leave around 6 AM. The taxi driver will drop you off in Prionia, where you will start your hike up the mountain. Make sure to get a card so you can call them to pick you up!
After arriving to Prionia walk past the bottom restaurant and enter the trail. You will be following the E4 trail up to Refuge A. From Prionia to Refuge A is about 6 km and 2.5-3.5 hours. The hike twists and turns as it climbs up the mountain with varying terrain and scenery.
Once you reach Refuge A you can stock up on water or get some food and snacks. The prices are reasonable based being in the middle of a mountain and knowing all the supplies have to be brought up via donkeys. We’ve certainly seen higher in less remote places!!
From the back of Refuge A is the path up to Skala. Its about 3 hours and the terrain can be fairly steep. The trail is very well marked though and all you need to do is stick to the path.
Once you reach Skala you have two choices on which way you would like to continue. To your left is the way to Skolio, the second highest peak on Mount Olympus at 2912 m. Its about 20 minutes to Skolio and very simple, making it easy for anyone afraid of heights or kids.
To the right is the way to Mytikas, the highest peak on Mount Olympus at 2917 m. This is classified as a YDS class 3 rock scramble and might not be the easiest for the unexperienced or ill prepared. It is doable without hiking boots but as always its at your own risk. We haven’t heard of anyone getting hurt or stuck, but things change everyday. This way will take about 45 minutes to get there and back.
Once you make your way back from either peak head back down the mountain towards Refuge A and then back down to Prionia. Here you can ask the restaurant to call your taxi driver to come and pick you up and grab a cold beer while you wait.