The Hidden Treasures of Olympus, the Mountain of the Greek Gods



Photo: Ron Clausen/Wikimedia Commons

Many people come to visit Greece with a mission in mind – to visit Olympus, the mountain of the ancient Greek gods — and tour the nearby town of Litochoro and the sights nearby.

Mount Olympus is one of the great treasures of Greece. It is a famous not only because of Greek mythology but because of its great beauty and the challenging climbs it offers to adventurers. For untold thousands of years, it has inspired hundreds of stories and myths.

August 2 marks the anniversary of the first time it was summitted successfully in 1913, and every year tens of thousands of people travel to the mountain to climb it.

The peak of Olympus was reached for the first time on August 2, 1913 by the Swiss climbing team of Frédéric Boissonnas and Daniel Baud-Bovy, who were assisted by a mountain guide called Christos Kakkalos.

Kakkalos remained the official guide for Olympus until his death in 1976.

It is estimated that around 10,000 people climb Olympus every year, with most of them only reaching as far as one of its secondary peaks, called Skolio.

Whether you want to hike the trails of Mount Olympus, or experience the untouched nature of the area, let’s take a look at some of the amazing experiences waiting for you.

Tourists often stay in Litochoro, since almost all climbing trails for Mount Olympus begin in the southwest part of that town. One popular hike is between Prionia to Litochoro. It has a number of river crossings, bridges and untouched nature.

 

There are other activities for you to check out near Litohoro as well, including Orlias Waterfalls. These peaceful, cool waterfalls are the perfect place to cool down amidst the backdrop of the pine, cedar and fir trees of the forests of Mount Olympus.

A view of Mount Olympus from Litochoro. Photo: E.asphyx/Wikimedia Commons

If going to the beach and swimming in clear, sparkling blue water sounds relaxing to you then check out the coastal area known as Pláka or Pláka Litochoro, which is located just east of the town of Litochoro.

You will find everything you need to enjoy yourself in Pláka Litochoro from seaside resorts as well as hotels, campsites, restaurants and beach bars.

If you are interested in the history of Litochoro, check out the Old Monastery of St. Dionysius. This Greek Orthodox monastery on the slopes of Mount Olympus comprises ruins of the original monastery, which was first established in 1542.

It has been destroyed many times, the last time by the Nazis during WWII in 1943.

Another interesting fact is that the first recorded mention of the town of Litochoro is in an account of a visit by Saint Dionysios to Mount Olympus way back in the 16th century.

You can visit the unique chapel of Saint Dionysios, which is located some 20 minutes from the monastery along the Enipeas River.

Also, be sure to visit two important ancient sites in Litochoro: Dion for its archaeological park and museum, and Leivithra, with its acropolis and Leivithra Park.

Where to stay?

The Litohoro Olympus Resort Villas and Spas, located in Pláka Litochoro, is a one-of-a-kind boutique-style hotel.

Located very close to the famous Litochoro Village, with all its attractions, here you will find accommodations ranging from deluxe rooms with sea views to VIP villas with private gardens and pools. It is a great place for couples, weddings or families with children.

While staying at the Litohoro Olympus Resort Villas and Spas, you will enjoy the best Greek and Mediterranean cuisine at their own restaurant, Elia.

There is also a private spa, Aphrodite, where you will find many different therapies for your relaxation and rejuvenation along with a choice of the best beauty treatments and work-out facilities.