A day trip to Mount Olympus is just enough time to disconnect and immerse yourself in the enchanting mountain of the Gods. This guide will take a look at easy day hikes at Mount Olympus, starting from Prionia the highest point a car can reach on the mountain. There are several easy and routes starting from Prionia for first time hikers or for anyone just looking for a laidback route. In fact you have several options to take from Prionia depending on the level of difficulty and adventure you’re aiming for.
Standing tall at 2,917 meters (9,570 ft), Mount Olympus is just an hour away from Thessaloniki, and visiting the tallest mountain in Greece is truly an unforgettable experience. You can check out more day trips from Thessaloniki in this blog post. Legend has it that Mount Olympus was home to the original 12 Gods of Greece with Zeus being their king and ruler of the mountain. Although there are no signs of any Olympian Gods today, the mountain still has a mythical quality with its overabundance of flora and fauna, impressive waterfalls, gorges and ravines and charming wooden bridges. Due to its unique landscape, there are several hiking trails you can take throughout Mount Olympus. From hiking to the summit, to easy and laidback treks, there are hiking paths for everyone’s preferences and abilities. In this Mount Olympus day hike guide, we’ll look at the different paths you can take starting from Prionia.
The starting point to these easy day hikes at Mount Olympus, along the Enipeas Gorge start at Prionia, which is already at an altitude of 1,100 meters (3,609 ft) high. You can reach Prionia from Litochoro either by car or by taxi. This is the last point of the road – from here you either hike up the mountain to the summit or hike down on the international hiking path E4 that eventually leads back to Litochoro. There is a free parking lot here where you can leave your car for long periods of time as well as a restaurant.
Table of Contents
- 1 Breakdown of the Easy Day Hikes at Mt. Olympus Starting from Prionia
- 2 Prionia – Agio Spilaio – Agios Dionysios Monastery Hike
- 3 Prionia – Litochoro Hike
- 4 Prionia – Spilios Agapitos Refuge Hike
- 5 When to Visit Mount Olympus
- 6 Things to Know Before Going to Mount Olympus
- 7 Explore Hotels Near Mount Olympus
Breakdown of the Easy Day Hikes at Mt. Olympus Starting from Prionia
There are three different trekking routes you can take from Prionia that are all equally majestic and impressive. Starting from the Prionia parking lot you can take the Prionia – Agios Spilaio – Agios Dionysios Monastery route, the Prionia to Litochoro route, or the Prionia to Spilios Agapitos Refuge route.
Prionia – Agio Spilaio – Agios Dionysios Monastery Hike
If this is your first time visiting Mt. Olympus, this is a great trekking route to try, as it encompasses many elements, such as a breathtaking waterfall, a small hut in the mountains and a monastery dating back to the year 1542 where a single monk now resides. From the Prionia parking lot head down to the E4 trail that leads down to Litochoro. Along the way you’ll cross a wooden bridge with breathtaking, panoramic views of the mountain. At some point you’ll take a left to follow the path leading down to the Enipea waterfall. After your visit to the waterfall head back to the E4 for another 20 minutes before coming across Agio Spilaio where Saint Dionysios lived as an ascetic. From here you can visit the Agios Dionysios Monastery, which is open from April to October. To return back to Prionia follow the E4 trail otherwise continue the trail down to Litochoro.
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 2 hours
Length: 6 km (3.7 miles)
Prionia – Litochoro Hike
As mentioned above, you can take the international hiking trail E4 from Pionia all the way down to Litochoro. Likewise, you can start from Litochoro and make your way up to Prionia. This route is quite challenging due to the ascents and descents but the various stops along the way such as the Enipea waterfall, the Agios Dionysios Monastery and the open valleys of precious green land make it all worth it. Pack a water and a lunch and make a day out of this hike. Since this hike is the longest, it is a great way to test your endurance and abilities to prepare you for the hike to the summit one day.
Level of Difficulty: Medium Difficulty
Duration: 5 hours
Length: 9 km (5.6 miles)
Prionia – Spilios Agapitos Refuge Hike
Of the three hiking trails from Prionia, this is the only one where you’ll hike uphill towards the summit. But do not let the idea of an uphill ascend intimidate you as the hike is only 4.5 km (2.8 miles) long, allowing you to take plenty of breaks along the way. The majority of the walk is through the forest, with lush vegetation and diverse flora to observe along your hike. The path is in very good condition with frequent opportunities to take in all the astonishing views of the Mountain of the Gods. After about 3 hours of hiking this trail you’ll come across Spilios Agapitos Refuge, a stone building situated on a natural flat surrounded by pine trees. If you aspire to reach the top one day, this is a good taste of what’s to come, as this refuge is the starting point to the summit, otherwise whenever you are ready make your way back to Prionia before it gets too dark.
Level of Difficulty: Medium Difficulty
Duration: 3 hours
Length: 4.5 km (2.8 miles)
When to Visit Mount Olympus
The best time to visit Mount Olympus is from June to end of September. With that being said, if you are not planning to hike to the summit and the weather permits, you can enjoy day hikes at Mount Olympus all year round. I personally find the fall months, September to November to be the most worthwhile as the trees change colors and the air is crispier.
Things to Know Before Going to Mount Olympus
- There is no signal on the mountain
- There are no WC’s along the trails
- Agios Dionysios Monastery is open from April to October
- There are no garbage cans throughout the trails, only at the parking lot at Prionia
- Bring a water with you
- Bring snacks
- Layer up in clothes as it can get pretty chilly in the shade
- Wear comfortable shoes
Eva Ejlskov says
I’m planning a trip to Thessaloniki and want to take a daytrip to the mountain. You write that Mount Olympus is only an hour drive from Thessaloniki, but when I look it up on google maps, it’s a 3 hour drive from Thessaloniki. Am I looking at the wrong mountain?
Thank you for a lovely and very helpful blog.
Urban Wanders says
Hello! The village of Litochoro which is found at the base of the mountain is only about an hour away. Most hiking trails start from there.