Eagles Palace Hotel in Halkidiki offers the opportunity to challenge your physical endurance with the Single Day hiking excursions! Mountain Olympus is located at the North-East of Thessaly and at the South-West of central Olympus, near the region borders of Larisa and Pieria.
It is the highest mountain of Greece (2918m) as well as the second of the Balkans. It covers a relatively small circular area that is pretty solid in shape, with a diameter of 25km. It has a pretty rocky terrain with numerous peaks, long ridges and steep cliffs. Accordingly to its size, Olympus has many peaks. Mt. Olympus’ wonderful nature of rich flora (over 1700 species, more than 20 of which endemic) and fauna (more than 30 species of mammals, 100 species of birds, 18 species of reptiles) left the modern Greeks with no choice but to proclaim it the first National Forest in 1938.
Here are some of the most beautiful trails that can be visited in a single day excursion:
Prionia – Agio Spileo – Monastery of St. Dionysus
This is the exciting route, of medium difficult that you can follow: Leave your car at Prionia and start walking down the E4 path towards Litohoro. Turn right at the hut after the glades and before the old St. Dionysus monastery. You are just minutes away from the waterfalls of Enipeas. Breathe in the serenity and return to the E4 path by crossing Enipeas gorge through a wooden bridge. Before long you’ll find the Agio Spileo. Tradition has it that St. Dionysus spent his days of asceticism here. At the completion of your two-hour walk you will have been up to 1100m and you will have visited some of the most important historical and religious sites of the mountain.
Litohoro – Prionia
The hikers who are familiar with routes of high difficulty are going to challenge their physical endurance by starting off at the Mýlli (Myloi) spot (400 m) and will be needing 5 hours to get to the Prionia spot (1100 m). The international and well-maintained path of E4 will make your life easier with its signs and it will lead you through wooden bridges to cross the Enipeas gorge seven times. On the second half of the walk you’ll go past Agio Spileo to reach the Monastery of St. Dionysus 20 minutes later. After another 10 minutes, trace the path on your left and follow it to the waterfalls of Enipeas. The continuous ups and downs require stamina, but the sources, the ponds, the geological formations and the sheer slopes around you will be a fair reward.
Gortsia – Petrostrouga – Plateau of the Muses
Another exciting route which is going to reward all those who love hiking is the Gortia – Pestrostouga – Plateau of the Muses routes. At the 14th kilometer on the road Litohoro – Prionia, go up a narrow road on your right hand and leave your car at the car park on its end. That’s the area of Gortsia, as well as the beginning of a wide path leading to the “Plateau of the Muses” and the refuges “Christos Kakkalos” (or “refuge C”, at the height of 2650m) and “Yossos Apostolidis” (the highest Greek refuge at 2700m).
The two thirds of your six-hour-long walk will be through a beautiful forest, leaving the remaining one third to be done in alpine scenery with low vegetation. Attention: make sure to carry enough water supplies as you will come across no running water on your way. Your first reference point will be the plateau “Barbas”. Your next one will be a cistern. In between the two you will be walking up a beech forest. At the height of 2000 meters there is the spot called Petrostrouga, known for the age-old white pine trees. Go further up to get to the “Skourta” peak (2485m) in the alpine ambience. If you ever have enough of the breath-taking view all around you, continue on the narrow ridge to the Plateau of the Muses. Entering the plateau, the path splits in two. The left part leads to the “Christos Kakkalos” refuge (30 mins) and the right one to the “Yossos Apostolidis” refuge (40 mins). Take short walks from the former to the peak Toumba (2801m) and from the latter to the peak Profitis Elias (2803m).
Refuge Spilios Agapitos – Skala – Mytikas
Those of you who possess advanced level off-roading skills and technical abilities then you can choose the Refuge Spilios – Skala – Mytikas Also known as “Refuge A”, Spilios Agapitos is situated at 2100m and your starting point for this three-hour-long walk. Go upwards until you get to the turn for “Zonaria” on your right hand. You are now at 2480m. A bit further up you come across another path, leading to Stavraities and Agios Antonios. But if you follow the main path, E4, you’ll find yourself on a sloppy ridge of sheer alpine gorgeousness. The peak of Skala, at 2866m, is just a stop on the way to Mytikas. Attention: this last part of your walk is rather difficult.
For ideal outdoor activities in Greece the Explore Outsides can offer you what you seek for!