The impressive height (nearly 3000m) and formidable slopes of the Thermaic Gulfs Mt. Olympus so awed the ancients that they proclaimed it the dwelling place of the gods. A network of well-maintained hiking trails now makes the summit accessible to anyone with sturdy legs and a taste for the divine. Two approaches to the peaks begin near Litochoro (elev. 340m); the first and most popular starts at Prionia (elev. 1100m), 18km from the village, and takes one full day round-trip. The second, a longer and more picturesque route, begins at Diastavrosi (also called Gortsia; elev. 1300m), 14km away. There is no bus to the trailheads from Litochoro, so you’ll have to walk, drive, or take a taxi (from Prionia ‚20). Unless you’re handy with a crampon and an ice axe, make your ascent between May and October. Mytikas, the tallest peak, is inaccessible without special equipment before June.

Trains ( 23520 22 522) run to the Litochoro station from Athens (6hr. 4 per day, ‚15) and Thessaloniki (lV&hr. 4 per day, ‚3); a taxi from the train station to the town costs around ‚6. KTEL buses (a 23520 81 271) run from Athens (5Hhr. 3 per day, ‚25) and Thessaloniki (lMhr. 17 per day, ‚6). The tourist office is on Ag. Nikolaou by the park. ( 23520 83 100. Open July-Nov. 8:30am- 2:30pm and 5-9pm.) The EOS-run USpilos Agapitos (Refuge A or Zolotas) is about 800m below Skala and Mytikas peaks. The English-speaking staff dispenses info over the phone to prospective hikers and can also help reserve spots in other refuges. ( 23520 81 800; Meals 6am-9pm. Lights out 10pm. Open mid-May to late-Oct. Dorms ‚10, members ‚8. ‚4.20 to camp nearby and use facilities.) Camp at Olympus Zeus ( 23520 22 115; sites from ‚11) on the beach about 5km from town.


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