Mount Olympus, Greece: description of where it is, how to get there? Excursion to Olympus
Greece. Sacred Mount Olympus. With these words, magnificent antique monuments, temples, fearless heroes of ancient Greek myths and immortal gods arise in the imagination. According to the myths, they kept the life of ordinary mortals under observation from steep tops, presented or punished them, sometimes shared the secrets of the universe with the Greek sages, from time to time abducted beauties, accomplished feats in the intervals of their personal life, in short, led the most ordinary divine life. Everyone heard about the famous myths of ancient Greece, which were not just fiction, they told the story of ancient Greece in a fairytale form, reflected the character of an entire nation.
What is Olympus like?
In reality, Olympus in Greece is not a separate mountain, but a large mountain range with its summit — Mitikas Mountain. Its height reaches 2918 m.Now the Olympus massif is a national park with about 50 mountain peaks, among them are the highest peaks: Antonios - 2815 m, Skolio - 2911 m, Scala - 2866 m, Mitikas mentioned above, Stephanie - 2909 m. The air on the mountain tops in the winter the time is cooled to minus 20 ° C; in the summer it is also freezing to minus 5 ° C. The mountain range of 2,918 m is the highest in Greece. It is surrounded by deep abysses, and its top is covered with snow.
Where is the famous mountain?
Few people know that Olympus is in Greece. Its more precise location is: in the region of Thessaly, on the east coast of the mainland, near the Aegean Sea, 90 km from Thessaloniki. The mountain is part of a mountain range stretching north to Bulgaria and south to Turkey. The chain of Thessaly and Macedonia goes along this chain. The area where Olympus is located in Greece has not only historical and mythological significance, but also represents a magnificent natural oasis with stunning landscapes and unique beauty.
The territory of the modern mountain range has been declared a “National Park” and part of the archaeological and historical heritage of UNESCO.Housed within the borders of the nome Pieria and partly within the borders of the nome Larisa-Thessaly, the National Park, is world-famous for its diversity of flora and fauna. Here you can see about 1,700 species of plants, which is 25% of all species found in the country. In addition, 23% of them are endemic, that is, unique and grow only here. The fauna includes 8 species of amphibians, 22 reptiles, 32 wild mammals, 136 species of birds that live only in the area of Olympus in Greece.
How to get there?
The city of Litochoro, which translates as "City of the Gods" - a favorite place to start any ascent to Olympus. You can get to Litochoro either by train or by bus. This is a small town for passive recreation. It is located near the sea with a clean beach and warm water, where a regular bus leaves every half hour. Not far from the beach there is a tent camp - an excellent budget option for the explorers of Olympus. It will take 2 days to climb and descend, although experienced tourists can return in one day. Along the paths there are shelters where you can spend the night and eat. Before traveling tourists appear magnificent area of pristine beauty.It is known that the legendary Mount Olympus is a set of peaks, which in tandem with deep crevices create stunning paintings for lovers of natural beauty.
Routes of varying degrees of difficulty lead to the top. Climbing Olympus in Greece to the top of Mitikas is considered simple, while its route originates from Prionia. Then it follows a marked forest road for 3-5 hours on foot to the “Agapinos” shelter. From this place to the Skala Pass, the route leads along rocky slopes, and then about another kilometer along low cliffs to the maximum mark of Olympus - the top of Mitikas. From the pass, the trail is completely observed, and the ascent route seems to be difficult, but in fact it is quite suitable even for beginner climbers - the rocks are simple, markings are clearly visible, there are insurances or railings for the off-season climb. The most difficult rocky stretch of 400 meters in good weather is overcome in half an hour. Since most often unprepared tourists are confined to only the foot of Mount Olympus, here you can also admire the stunning mountain peaks under the snow-white caps of the clouds.
The Conquest of Olympus
Given that in ancient times Mount Olympus in Greece was known as the abode of the gods, for a long time none of the mortals dared to climb the sacred summit. However, people visited the Olympic mountains in ancient times - the archaeological work on the nearby Mount Antonius in 1961 testifies to this. It was also discovered the temple of Olympian Zeus, where there are many inscriptions, walls of marble, coins and the remains of sculptures. Only in 1913, Olympus was able to conquer officially. For the first time the ascent to the top of Mytikas was officially registered on August 2, 1913, when it was conquered by a resident of the town of Litochoro, located at the foot of the eastern slope of the mountain, Christ Kakalos. Before that, many brave souls died during the ascent, as they underestimated the difficulty of the ascent. And today, the dream of conquering the summits of Olympus in Greece does not give rest to climbers and climbers from around the world.
Today, tourists are organized excursions and walks at the foot of the mountain range, and only people who have the appropriate mountaineering training and equipment can climb the summit.Since 1938, this mountain has become a national reserve of Greece. Excursion to Olympus is very popular. The mysterious mountain is really worth it. Here you can not only admire the fantastic views and step foot on the paths along which the gods allegedly walked, but also look at the very real unique structures. One of them is the monastery of St. Dionysius, the second is the monastery of the Holy Trinity. Both monasteries are located on steep peaks (820 and 1020 meters), both have an interesting architectural design, both are active. Excursions are organized from Thessaloniki. They are group and individual (up to 7 participants). The price includes climbing the observation deck (940 m), visiting monasteries, lunch in a Greek village.
Located at the foot of Olympus, the attraction of Greece is the ancient city, named after the god Zeus, whom the Greeks called by another name - Dii. For lovers of antiquity, a visit to this town, famous for its ancient excavations and a museum where rare exhibits are kept, can be interesting. Dion lasted a whole millennium.This city has played a significant role in the economy, culture and religion of Macedonia and Greece. It was first mentioned in the 5th century BC. From this city, Alexander the Great went to his famous eastern march. In the city there were sanctuaries with temples and places of sacrifice, a theater, a stadium, where ancient athletes competed. Dion was famous for its huge complex - Great Baths (baths), in which they not only swam - they communicated, read, prayed and rested there. For the collection and removal of water in Dione used aqueducts made of stone, pipes made of lead and ceramics, taps made of bronze. The streets were filled with a large number of divine statues. The city has preserved the original standard of measures and weights - a special stone with holes of different diameters and depths for calculating the volumes of liquids and solids. In our time there is an archaeological museum and reserve.
Mount Olympus has become one of the symbols of not only Greece, but also the whole of ancient culture. This is known to everyone since the time of school. After all, it was here, according to the religion of the Greeks, that the Olympians lived. Mount Olympus in the myths was known as the home of the 12 most important gods that were inhabited by the well-known: Zeus, Hera, Hades, Ares, Athena, Apollon, Hermes, Hephaestus, Artemis, Aphrodite, Poseidon and Hestia.
The ancient Greek Olympus was of paramount importance for ordinary people, ruled their destinies. What did the gods do? On Olympus, the main god - Zeus arranged tips, Apollo played soft music on the lyre, and Zeus' wife, the goddess Hera, treated everyone to immortal nectar. Three Moira twisted the thread of fate, and three Ora controlled order. The crystal palaces of Olympus were built by one-eyed giant Cyclops. According to the myths, Mount Olympus in Greece is the area where Gaia gave birth to the titans. They were so big that the mountains of Greece served as thrones, and Kron, the most powerful of the titans, lived on Mount Olympus.
Later, Olympus became the place where all the ancient Greek gods lived. According to myths, they lived in crystal palaces, fed on nectar and ambrosia, which gave them immortality. Precisely because the divine family “lived” in such a place, they were called “Olympians”. Here, the ancient Macedonians before the military campaigns made sacrifices to the inhabitants of Olympus, in the hope of their favor.