Mt Olympus was home of the ancient Greek gods, and while the World Travel Fiend is indeed so chiselled & ripped that he resembles a Greek deity, there was no sign of Zeus, Hera & the rest of the gang when I was up there. Still, it’s a hell of trip up to the summit of Greece’s highest peak, and climbing Mount Olympus should be achievable for anyone of moderate fitness. No special climbing skills are required, but it’s a pretty steep slog up to the top, so if you’re an out of shape bitch with proportions akin to the Michelin Man then get training now fatty as this is one adventure you will not want to miss.
The traditional starting point for climbing Mount Olympus is a little place called Prionia, which is basically just a carpark with a restaurant – you can catch a cab here from Littochoro, which is the closest sizeable settlement to the mountain and is where you’ll probably be staying, for around 25 euro. But, here’s a little tip for ya, instead of getting a ride to Prionia you can hike from Littochoro to Prionia through the Enypeas Canyon. Not only will this save you some cash, but the hike through the canyon is bloody beautiful, plus it will get you all warmed up for the main event. This hike should take you around 3-4 hours, through beautiful forest, with several little bridges zigzagging across the river. Btw, while the river & the little water pools that form off it are beautiful & clear, and you’ll no doubt be sweating your ass off during the hike, the river provides the majority of Littochoro’s water supply, so stay the fuck out. Swimming, frolicking, and engaging in intimate relations in the water would be considered poor form, and you know the citizens of Littochoro won’t appreciate it when their drinking water starts tasting a bit saltier than usual.
From Prionia the climb up Mt Olympus starts, and it should take you about 2-3 hours to reach Refuge A. By the way, there are a bunch of other refuges up on the mountain too, called “Refuge B”, Refuge C” etc (where the fuck do the Greeks come up with these zany names?), so you can put together a longer, less direct route up the mountain if you desire. But if you are heading straight up, you can see that hiking from Littochoro to Prionia, then on up to Refuge A is easily doable in a day, so don’t be a lazy douchebag, start from Littochoro for the full experience.
A lot of people actually turn back at the Scala summit, but come on you soft piece of shit, you didn’t come all this way just to not reach the highest point did you? That’s like almost bringing a woman to orgasm & then rolling off & turning on the TV cos you’re too tired – harden the fuck up. I’ve read a lot of hysterical shit online about how the assent to Mykitas is incredibly hard & downright dangerous, and I can say that, at least if you’re approaching from Skala, this is straight BS. Yeah you gotta be careful & keep your concentration, yeah if you slipped you’d probably hurt yourself pretty bad, but I met a bunch of people on the summit including a 15 year old girl, & a guy who looked like he was in his late 60’s, so if they can do it you can do it, pansy.
For the duration of climbing Mount Olympus the final ascent from Skala to Mykitas is the only section where there is no path, it’s a steep scramble across jagged & sometimes loose rocks. There are markers to show you the way though, and it’s not like it’s a sheer cliff or anything, if you lost your grip you would not plunge to your death. But, you could certainly get hurt if you’re not careful, so take your time, stay focused, and soon you will be on the summit, enjoying a massive sense of achievement, awkwardly high-fiving strangers, and taking in the incredible vista.
The final section from Skala to Mykitas should only take 45 minutes or so. Once you’ve had your fill of standing on the summit of Mt Olympus feeling like a badass you can start the descent – needless to say this is easier, but loose rocks combined with total-body fatigue will no doubt have you falling on your ass & looking like a clumsy doofus. Allow 3 hours or so back down to Prionia, where it’s easy to catch a lift with other people heading back to Littochoro. No matter how many times you fell on your behind on your way down the mountain, avoid telling the people you’re sharing the car with that your ass has been taking a pounding all day – they will think you are weird.
So in summation – is climbing Mount Olympus doable for your average world traveller? Yes. Is it easy? No. Will you get painful chafing of your inner butt cheeks from the extended hiking & sweating? Possibly. But despite all that is it worth doing, and more importantly - will it make you feel like a badass? Fuck yeah.