A Mount Olympus Adventure
Have you ever thought about climbing one of the most famous mountains in the world and the one that you probably heard of in your Greek History lessons? Me neither, but I’m here to tell you why you absolutely should reconsider. Unless of course you answered yes to that question, and you’re already on my wave length.
Walking and climbing, as a sport or interest, is not something I dabble in often. My family are keen walkers, but I have never found as much enjoyment from walking from A to B in 9 hours, or found it worthy of taking up my weekends, as they do.
Yet, here I was in Thessaloniki in Greece, with 6 other blogging and youtubing friends and about to embark on a ten hour hike up and down Mount Olympus. It sits proudly overlooking the region, the tips covered in snow and a dolphin cloud as its halo and I’ll admit I was nervous for how this was going to play out.
We had our Olympus cameras at the ready, shorts for the heat and trainers on our feet. And off we went.
I was joined by my other half, Alex, who I’m sure youre starting to get to know quite well now. And two of our newest besties, Carly Rowena and Leon Bustin, from the Lean Machines. Two hard working Personal Trainers and therefore two very excited activity lovers who couldn’t wait to get on the hike. I was a little more apprehensive, as a fashion blogger, rather than a fitness blogger, a ten hour hike seemed a little out of my league. But I wasn’t willing to let this opportunity slide. How often does the opportunity to climb the mountain of the Greek Gods come along? For me, it had never even occurred to me that Mount Olympus was a great place to hike.
The hike consisted of 6 hours up hill, I’m not joking. Think walking up shallow steps for 6 hours, climbing over 1000metres into the air I think. It was tough, and whilst everyone else managed to keep their cool, there were a few moments when I let out little whimpers to show I was in need of a sit down and a bucket of water. But after three hours we made it to the first camp, and another three hours later, we made it to the second. We didn’t quite make it to the summit, as we would have needed two days and a stop over for that, yet where we did get to, was sat so high up on its own that it definitely looked like we had reached the piste. We had climbed so high and the views were out of this world.
A number of Greek men owned a little hut on the top, overlooking the throne of Zeus, and cooked up Greek salads and spaghetti for us to indulge in after our slog. We stayed here for around an hour, taking photographs, eating, drinking and laughing at our utter exhaustion. Running up here is also a no no, as the air is so much thinner, my head was spinning after a jog to the bathrooms outside.
But that feeling, of reaching such a high point after a climb that truly pushed you to your limits, is like no other. It’s such a proud and almost euphoric moment.
We decided to descend, which in honesty was almost as hard as walking uphill. Stones and rocks covered the landscape and you had to watch every single footstep or suffer a broken ankle if you toppled over from ill-footing. For this walk, you absolutely need walking poles, as without them, this is just too difficult to explain. Luckily our guide let me borrow one of his poles, and the other guys found large sticks on the walk to commandeer. But without them, I would have surely fallen several times. Especially on the walk up, when the ground below is miles away and you could literally topple off the edge at any second. It’s quite a dangerous climb, I’ll be honest with you, and many people fall each year from ill-footing, but it does make the trip so much more enjoyable when you feel there’s a little bit of danger involved in the climb. That’s why people strive to climb larger and larger mountains each time.
We made it down in four hours, on a downhill climb that seemed to go on forever and forever. Me and Carly chatted about everything and anything for that time whist the boys bonded and chatted with our guide about his expeditions. Our guide was fantastic, and I would highly recommend hiring a guide if you’re planning on heading up this mountain.
Here are lots of photos of the hike that I wanted to share, you might want to get yourself a cup of tea for this one.
For any walking and hiking enthusiasts out there, this is definitely one to add to your list. When I had reached our highest point, I sent a video message to my family to show them the sights and to encourage them to come and climb the mountain. Often, when climbing spots are a bit further afield, climbers may be a little deterred from making the trip. But climbing abroad often has a lot more to offer, including the weather, but offering completely new sights from the British landscape. I remember climbing in America was just out of this world and its the sort of hiking I could do regularly, as the buzz you get from the vistas in front of you is overwhelming.
This is a trek I would absolutely recommend, based in a really beautiful area of Greece. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay nearby, I would point you in the direction of the Litohoro Villas as they are truly stunning and offer some luxury for when you crawl home exhausted from this hike.
And be sure to take your cameras with you. We were all armed with the Olympus Pen EPL7, which you may know as my newest and most favourite camera. The camera I use for all of my outdoor outfit shots, when Alex is taking my photos for me, and my vlogging and travel camera. With the 45mm lens, which the majority of these photos were taken on, the depth of field and sharpness of the images is so beautiful!
I truly hope I might have inspired any hiking lovers out there, or perhaps some of you who are up for a challenge!