The awe felt with the view from the highest summit in Greece explains why ancient Greeks considered Mt. Olympus the Throne of Zeus and Hera, Hermes and Aphrodite, Artemis and the other gods.
Thousands of years later, with those deities lost in the distant past, climbing Mt. Olympus or other mountains in Central Macedonia is still a unique experience. Try paragliding, skiing down the snow-covered slopes, trek along the footpaths, drink an aromatic herbal tea from local plants at the beautiful villages, enjoy the Mediterranean way of life – people here commune with nature, and enjoy the mountains and the sea whatever the season of the year.
Follow the European Long Distance Path Ε4, and gauge you strength; Choose one of the nine shelters on Mt. Olympus to set off from, and attempt to conquer Mytikas Summit, at an altitude of 2,917m. The dense forests, deep ravines, alpine meadows and thrilling view of the sea, the snowcovered steep tops make Mt. Olympus one of the most beautiful in the world.
This is what enchanted the Greeks and made them place the seat of the Dodecatheon, their 12 main deities, on Mt. Olympus and found Dion, a city dedicated to Zeus (or Dias), king of their gods, at the foot of the Mountain. Today, Dion is one of the best preserved archaeological sites.
If you climb during winter, you will need an experienced guide and sound equipment. In the springtime, the waters of the Enipeus River and the colours of nature seem miraculous – one can spot truly rare wild flowers endemic to Mt. Olympus, such as Haller’s Anemone [Anemone halleri] with its wonderful violet petals and yellow centred flowers.
In March you can participate or watch the International Ski Mountaineering Competition and in June the Mountain Marathon Race. In the summer and autumn Mt. Olympus teems with life; Climbs are easier and all shelters in operation. But beware – the divine mountain is never as easy as a dip in the shores of Pieria!