On the list of iconic mountains of the world, Mount Olympus surely has a place. Not only is it a geographically impressive peak, rising straight from the Aegean Sea to a height of 2,917 m, but it’s also one of great mythological importance. Eleven of the twelve major Greek gods resided in the gorges of the mountain, while Zeus himself claimed Stefani peak for his throne. The gods would come together on the highest summit, Mytikas, to determine the fate of the mortals they ruled.
The first known ascent of Olympus was in 1913. Today, an estimated 10,000 people climb the peak annually, though far fewer attain the ultimate summit of Mytikas. Despite the popularity of the mountain, I had a hard time finding information about climbing Olympus. The best info is at the website for one of the refuges, but it only covers the trail that passes by that refuge.
The town of Litochoro, at the base of the eastern side of Olympus, is the classic base-town for the mountain. There are frequent buses to Litochoro from Thessaloniki and Katerini to the north. We started our trail towards the Petrostrouga refuge. We walked though the woods which was providing us shade from the summer sun.
Once we have reached the Petrostrouga refuge we had a small great for snacks and water. Soon after we left for our second destination of the day which was the mythical Mousses plateau (Oropedio Mousson). The trail is clean and there only 2 passages that the climber needs to pay attention. Otherwise the ascent to the plateau is rather easy.
After few hours of walk we have finally spotted from far the famous Throne of Zeus (Stefani).
Once arrived at the Mousses plateau we set up our tents and we had a delicious “mountaineering” at the Kakalos refuge.
Around 22.00 we were off to our tents and the temperature had dropped to just 2 C. The morning after we woke up around 5.30 and the temperature was just above 0 C. At 6.00 we left the camp and we moved towards “Stefani” and later on to the “Louki” where we started the climb to the peak of Mytikas. The climb is not very difficult though someone has to be careful for stone falls from above that might occur naturally or from other climbers. Finally, at 7:15 we reached the peak. We reach the highest point of Greece and Zeus welcomed us on the top of his throne.