Mt Olympus Greece Hike & Walks around Agioi Apostoloi
This Mt Olympus Greece hike at the lower slopes of the northern part of Mount Olympus, starts at Agioi Apostoloi near Vrontou in the northern Greek district of Pieria. The hike takes you to a small cave at 720 meters altitude. If you are not into hiking, you can walk to one of the four places near Agioi Apostoloi: Agia Kori Chapel, Agia Kori Lagoon and Waterfall, Holy Trinity Chapel or the old village of Palio Vrontou. Guaranteed you will take some Instagram- or Facebook-worthy pictures at these places.
Day Trip from Thessaloniki to Mount Olympus Greece
Either you are looking for a day trip from Thessaloniki or from an area around Mount Olympus, when you hire a car you have access to some really hidden beautiful places at the foot of this mythical mountain range.
Katerini near Mt. Olympus
We started this relaxing hike to the cave with adults and kids from the parking lot in front of the office of the Greek Mountaineering Club Vrontou (EOS Vrontou) at Agioi Apostoloi near Vrontou. Vrontou is a rural village about 16 km from the capital of the Greek Macedonian district, Katerini, in the north of Greece.
Entrance Mount Olympus – Agioi Apostoloi
Agioi Apostoloi is located at the foot of Mount Olympus, about 4 kilometers outside Vrontou. Many mountain climbers and hikers start their journeys from this place, as it is the northern entrance to Mount Olympus.
Walking at the Foot of Mt Olympus
If you are not in the mood for a tiring hike to the cave, you can walk or drive as an alternative to one or more of the really special places near Agioi Apostoloi.
Holy Trinity Chapel on Mount Olympus
The picturesque Chapel of the Holy Trinity (Agia Triada) is what is left of an old monastery that existed at this place in the 14th century. It’s visible from Agioi Apostoloi, as it is built high on a rock, on the edge of a steep cliff. It’s a very old small building decorated on the inside with wall paintings. The church has a small balcony from which you can enjoy breathtaking views over the green banks of the Papas stream at the bottom of the gorge, the thickly forested mountain and the peaks of Mount Olympus. Characteristic is the big white cross painted on the outside of the church which can be seen from afar. With some effort, you can also visit a small cave next to the church accessible by a stairway.
Ruins of Village Palia Vrontou
The old village of Vrontou (Palia Vrontou) is a short drive or walk away from the Church of the Holy Trinity. It’s an interesting place to walk around because of the ruins of many old houses and the peculiar landscape. One side of the old village is bordered by the steep cliffs of a ravine, with on the edge the picturesque church of Saint Nicolas, which was built around 1700. If you drive on, nature becomes quite bizarre like a moon landscape.
Agia Kori Chapel
Another inspiring place is the little chapel of Agia Kori (Sacred Daughter). A 169 step stairway runs downhill into a ravine where the little chapel is located next to a stream. The scenery is magical and mysterious, as the place is surrounded by high trees and steep cliffs. The water that runs from the little tap at the chapel is said to be holy water, so be sure to drink some!
According to the legend of Agia Kori, there was a beautiful girl that was chased after by the Turks after she had escaped from being put into the harem of a Turkish landlord. She fled to the ravine on Mount Olympus. When she was found by the Turks, out of fear she jumped into the stream and died. The chapel was built by Greeks in memory of the girl and the hardships she had to endure because of the Turkish rule.
Agia Kori Waterfall and Lagoon
At walking distance from the little chapel of Agia Kori, you will find a true little paradise, the Agia Kori waterfall, and lagoon. It’s very seducing to get into the turquoise blue water of the lagoon, but be warned that it’s cold.
Getting there from the parking lot before you descend the steps to the little chapel is easy, as a path will lead you to it. Another way to get there, when you have already descended the ravine, is by ascending the path next to the chapel of Agia Kori. This is a beautiful hike of about half an hour. Intriguing are the many clothes hanging in the trees. These are clothes left by people who have washed with the holy water.
As said, all these places are at a close distance of Agioi Apostoloi, from which we started our hike to the small cave. If you don’t want to walk to the cave because it is physically more demanding, walk to one of the places near Agioi Apostoloi. They are some of the most enchanting places in Mount Olympus and we have so much enjoyed visiting them.
Mt Olympus Greece – Hike to Cave above Agia Triada Gorge
Having visited all of the above places at other times, we decided to go on a hike to the cave. Even though the hike is not difficult, you will need some physical condition to complete it. Ascending and descending hills can be quite demanding, even when you are in good health. Also, be sure to take enough water and some snacks with you. Wearing proper hiking shoes is also important if you want to enjoy your hike and avoid accidents.
Hiking Trail Mount Olympus Greece
The hiking trail to the cave runs first over a rocky surface strewn with stones. From afar, we have beautiful views of the Holy Trinity Church. Though there are only a few ascents and descents, we have to watch our step because of the irregular surface.
Soon we enter thick forests and our hike continues in the shade of the trees which is pretty relieving because of the heat. Greece in August can be extremely hot! The only things to worry about are the leaves with which the hiking trail is covered and which make us slip easily.
The trail runs almost entirely above the gorge which is also called Holy Trinity or Agia Triada, just as the chapel. The noisy water of the stream named Papas, running through the gorge, fills our ears with some awesome background music.
Huge rocks in the middle of the forests come as a nice surprise, just as the little cave inside them. We don’t enter the cave, because you never know what you will encounter (bats can get caught in your hair!!!). We can’t see inside the cave, but when we turn on the flashlight of a phone, we have an amazing view of the interior of the cave. After making the necessary pictures we take a little rest and follow the same hiking trail for our way back.
Before we return we want to descend a steep forested hill to get to the Papas stream, the beautiful stream flowing through the Agia Triada Gorge. A few people stay behind, as they consider the descent too steep. To get down the hill you have to hold on to trees, otherwise, you would slip and tumble down a few meters. The leaves make it difficult to get a grip on the surface. That’s why it is so important to wear steady hiking shoes with good traction! Had we been hiking in running shoes, the sliding would have been even worse.
Arriving at the Papas stream, at the bottom of the gorge, we are thrilled by the beauty of the place. The children have an amazing experience walking and jumping barefoot from one boulder to another, while the adults are enjoying the view of the crystal clear waters of the little natural lakes created by the boulders in the stream.
During hot summer days, people swim in the stream but beware that the water is freezing. The stream comes down from Mount Olympus from springs located at a high altitude that’s why the water is always cold.
If you are in for another hike, up to some springs at Prionia on Mount Olympus, read about it in our blog post about hiking the Enipeas Gorge.
The place of the cave we visited doesn’t have a specific name as far as I know, but if you show mountain guides of the Mount Olympus area a picture of the cave they will know how to get you there. Make sure you arrange in advance with the mountain guide what you want to visit and to do.
How to get to Agioi Apostoloi in Pieria
First, you drive to the village of Vrontou in Pieria, Central Macedonia. From here it’s around four kilometers to a place called Agioi Apostoloi. You will see at a distance on the right, built at the edge of a cliff, the little chapel of the Holy Trinity. At Agioi Apostoloi is located the office of the Greek Mountaineering Club, EOS Vrontou. Usually outside this office is where people meet to get into the mountains.