Hiking in Greece on Mount Olympus offers a wealth of mountain trails. Depending on your experience, physical condition and company you will have to choose the most suitable mountain trail.
A beautiful, easy walk at about 1000 meters altitude on Mount Olympos, is along the path that runs from refuge Stavros to the river Mana.
The walk starts at 940 meters height and ends at Mana at 1020 meters height. This means there is only a height difference of 80 meters, so there are hardly ascents and descents. According to experienced mountain guides of Mount Olympus this is a trail very suitable for family hikes. Though beware not to have fear of heights as at some places the path is narrow.
First, you drive from the village of Litochoro, which is at the base of Mount Olympus, to refuge Stavros at 940 meters above sea level over an excellent paved road. Here you can park the car. The view from this place over the plains of Pieria and the Aegean Sea is breathtaking. At the refuge you can even spend the night if you want, and they serve different dishes.
At the parking lot of the refuge you will see a few signs hanging on a tree. One of them, a red sign, indicates “Mana 2.5 km”. The path starts after a gentle descent from the refuge. The first part of the route you will walk between meters high ferns and colorful flowers.
Soon you will reach the historic forest path which the shepherds used to go their animals to the river to drink water. The remains of stone walls along the route indicate that the path is really old. While walking you will have steep rocky mountains covered with trees towering to the left of you. While on the right side you will see several meters deep, forested, rather steep, ravines.
You walk the entire route in the shade of oak and pine trees over a path covered with leaves. At some places the path is narrow and rocky, or blocked by a fallen tree or boulders. Because the path’s surface is pretty even, many runners take this route, even in the dark!
Returning to the refuge after walking the route, is possible either via the same path or via a forest road that runs from the river Mana to the paved road Stavros-Prionia.
How to get there
Refuge Stavros is easy to reach from Litochoro. Just outside the village the road bends into the mountains to Prionia. You will see the road signs pointing to the direction. After about nine kilometers (approximately 18 minutes) you will arrive at the refuge.
It’s best to explore the mountains under the guidance of an experienced mountain guide to prevent accidents or for you to get lost. Usually a pick up from your hotel can be arranged.
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