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6 Beautiful Things to Do at Mount Olympus Greece (with Map)

Best things to do at Mount Olympus Greece

Bordering Thessaly, Greece and Macedonia, Mount Olympus is Greece’s largest mountain, with an elevation of 9,573 feet. A hiker’s paradise with many trails, Mount Olympus rewards visitors with lush green wooded landscapes and inviting waterfalls, combined with history and mythology. Let’s explore together some favorite things to do at Mount Olympus Greece.

While most visitors take a day trip from Thessaloniki to Mount Olympus, there are so many places to explore that you can easily spend more than one day. Let’s explore my favorite things to do at Mount Olympus National Park.

What to Expect when Visiting Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus National Park is a large area. What can you do at Mount Olympus? Well, it all depends on how much time you have available for visiting this area. Here are the favorite attractions in Mt Olympus National Park in Greece.

  • Enipeas Gorge is an easy day trip from Thessaloniki and provides beautiful views of the dramatic landscape that marks this area.
  • Saint Dionysios trail is a beautiful wooded trail that is easy to walk.
  • Mount Olympus itself is an entire day affair if you want to hike to the top. An amazing experience, hiking Mount Olympus requires you to be equipped and prepared for an all day hike. Check the weather and come ready to do it. Easiest place to start is at Prionia, but you can also start from Litochoro on the Enipeas Gorge.

Map of things to do in Mount Olympus Greece
Map of things to do in Mount Olympus Greece
(green: hike, blue: drive)

With our map in hand and some comfortable shoes we started exploring Mount Olympus National Park in Greece.

1. Mount Olympus

The small Enipea Waterfall right at the beginning of the trail to Mount Olympus
The small Enipea Waterfall right at the beginning of the trail to Mount Olympus
See my photos from Olympus National Park

Mount Olympus, part of a mountain range rising sharply from a flat plain, is filled with scenic beauty. Considered the home of the gods, Mount Olympus is a popular destination that, attracts hikers seeking a good, yet challenging and strenuous hike.

Those hiking Mount Olympus can pick up the trail at the Prionia restaurant west of Litochoro. The hiking trail climbs uphill through dense and lush pine, fir, and birch forests before reaching the Spilios Agapitos Refuge. Past the Refuge, the trail takes you above the tree line, with views of the summit. Scrambling along loose gravel, you’ll reach Mytikas, Olympus’ tallest peak at 9,570 feet. The 5.6 mile hike takes, depending on your pace, between five and nine hours.

Weather-wise, June-September are the best months for hiking Mount Olympus. May and October offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Between November-April, snow and ice may be present on the trail, requiring crampons. While this is a good hike for experienced hikers, novice hikers in decent shape can traverse the trail.

Plan Your Hike to Mount Olympus

How far is Mount Olympus from Thessaloniki? From Thessaloniki to Litochoro, at the Eastern entrance of Mount Olympus National Park, is about one hour drive. From Litochoro to the end of the road at Prionia is another 30 minutes drive. When driving from Litochoro to Prionia, make sure you stop at the Zilnia Viewpoint, as it offers enchanting views of Enipeas Gorge, with the Enipeas River flowing beneath the gorge.

The highest point on Mount Olympus accessible by car, Prionia is a base for hiking Mount Olympus due to the shorter distance to the mountain’s summit. The small Enipeas Waterfall, small yet beautiful with water flowing over the rocks, is accessible from a trail located southwest of Prionia. You can find the trailhead to Mount Olympus from Prionia at the end of the parking lot behind the small restaurant.

2. Sacred Cave of Saint Dionysios

The old sacred cave of Saint Dionysios
The old sacred cave of Saint Dionysios
See my photos from Olympus National Park

Tucked under an overhanging rock at the top of the Enipeas Gorge, reached via a beautifully forested Mount Olympus, Greece hiking trail, the Sacred Cave of Saint Dionysios is home to a small church, holy water spring, and shed. Located on the trail connecting Prionia and Litochoro, the Sacred Cave was where Saint Dionysios prayed and lived.

Saint Dionysios, a hermit, preferred to pray at the quaint chapel and sleep in the neighboring shed instead of staying at the monastery he founded. The Sacred Cave attracts hikers and pilgrims who stop to pray and light a candle. Mount Olympus hikers coming from the Prionia Restaurant will pass Saint Dionysios’ monastery on the way to the Sacred Cave. If driving from Litochoro, park at the monastery’s parking lot where you will find the trailhead for Saint Dionysios Cave. It is a half-hour walk from the trailhead to the Sacred Cave, and you can visit the monastery after returning to the parking lot.

3. Monastery of Saint Dionysios

Newer rock arches and construction at the Monastery of Saint Dionysios
Newer rock arches and construction at the Monastery of Saint Dionysios
See my photos from Olympus National Park

Mount Olympus, Greece hikers trekking along the trail between Prionia and Litochoro will discover the Eastern Orthodox Monastery of Saint Dionysios inside the Enipeas Gorge. The Monastery, also accessible from the road connecting Prionia and Litochoro, is an archaeological gem resembling a small fortress and is considered one of the region’s most significant religious sites.

Founded in 1542 by Saint Dionysios, the Monastery served as a shelter for soldiers and local citizens during times of conflict and war. The Monastery was destroyed in 1821 by Ottoman commander Veli Pasha. Rebuilt, the Monastery sheltered citizens and soldiers during the Olympus Revolution of 1878 and the Macedonian Struggle. The Monastery suffered severe damage by the Nazis, as it sheltered Greek resistance fighters. The monks abandoned the Monastery, whose buildings have been restored and are open to the public.

4. Epineas Gorge

Beautiful view of Epineas Gorge leading into Olympus National Park seen from the road to Prionia
Beautiful view of Epineas Gorge leading into Olympus National Park seen from the road to Prionia
See my photos from Olympus National Park

Visitors enjoying a day trip from Thessaloniki to Mount Olympus who want to go for an easy hike can, once in Litochoro, head west to the Olympic Mountain Trail. The flat, paved trail runs parallel to the Epineas River and traverses through the beautiful Epineas Gorge. The Epineas Gorge trail, is considered one of the best hike for nature lovers inside Mount Olympus National Park.

Hiking along the Epineas Gorge, you will find lush greenery growing out of bedrock and caves, and tranquil and relaxing waterfalls. The Bath of Zeus, located at the end of the trail, is an inviting waterfall-fed pool where Zeus enjoyed Aphrodite’s company. Returning to Litochoro, soak in the stunning views of the Aegean coast. You can find the trailhead for Epineas Gorge to the West of Litochoro.

5. Litochoro

Beautiful view of the courtyard of the Church Agios Georgios
Beautiful view of the courtyard of the Church Agios Georgios
See my photos from Litochoro

As you drive to Mount Olympus from Thessaloniki, you will reach Litochoro, located three miles from the Aegean Sea. Stunning views of both Mount Olympus and the Aegean Sea greet the town’s visitors, making it a great place to spend the night.

Litochoro is an ideal base for those wanting to hike Mount Olympus, Greece, with most of the hiking trails starting in Litochoro’s southwestern outskirts. During the heavily touristed summer months, Litochoro possesses a lively energy, especially along Agiou Nikolaou, the main street where many of the restaurants are located.

6. Short Day Trips from Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus seen in the background from Panteleimon Beach
Mount Olympus seen in the background from Panteleimon Beach
See my photos from Panteleimon Beach

Panteleimonas Beach, on the Aegean coast, is one of the most picturesque beaches in Macedonia. A 20-minute drive from Litochoro, the golden sand beach offers spectacular views of Mount Olympus. The Gallaria Café Beach Bar, on the beach, serves delicious food from a former train car located inside a train tunnel.

View of Panteleimon Beach and Mount Olympus area from the walls of the castle
View of Panteleimon Beach and Mount Olympus area from the walls of the castle
See my photos from Platamon Castle

Sitting on a hilltop overlooking Panteleimonas Beach, Platamon Castle is a 13th century fortress that served as an observation point by Lombardian Crusaders, Byzantines, Turks, Venetians, and World War II allied troops. Open daily, Platamon Castle has gorgeous views of both the Aegean Sea and Mount Olympus.

Plan Your Trip to Olympus National Park

Stay in Litochoro. You can find budget hotels in Litochoro, or simply take a day trip from Thessaloniki. Litochoro is the best place for exploring Mount Olympus National Park as it provides easy access both to Prionia and the Epineas Gorge trail.
Hike in Mount Olympus National Park. If you’re coming to Mount Olympus National Park, you have to plan for some hiking. While hiking the Epineas Gorge is the best thing to do at Mount Olympus Greece, there are many other trails in this beautiful area. Check out this great list of trails with information about difficulty and terrain.
Driving from Thessaloniki to Mount Olympus, in about one hour drive you will arrive at the foothill town of Litochoro. From Litochoro, it is a fifteen-minute drive along winding roads to the Zilnia Viewpoint and then another 15 minutes to the end of the road at Prionia.

Is Mount Olympus Worth Visiting while in Greece?

If you are visiting Thessaloniki and you like hiking, then it’s definitely worth taking time to explore Olympus National Park in Greece. On the other hand, if you just want to see great views of Mount Olympus but you don’t want to hike the mountain or the many trails around Epineas Gorge, then a visit to Platamon Castle will be sufficient for you.

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