Hiking in Greece. Greece is located on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, and it encompasses not only the mainland but also plenty of islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Famous for its mythology, philosophy, literature, and political sciences, while walking in Greece you will find great diversity, breathtaking nature and exquisite cuisine. Looking for hiking tours in Greece? From hiking on Mount Olympus to hiking in Meteora, Greece is a great destination for trekking lovers.Go trekking in Greece and discover the beauties of this amazing country!
For those who love trekking as much as we do, Greece is a great option for a new adventure. The greek landscape is complex and varied. From the rugged beauty of its mountains in the north to the crystal clear beaches to the south, this country has an option for every taste. Conquer Mount Olympus, the house of the Greek Gods, or go trekking in Crete and discover its pink beach. Or better still, do both! From north to south, hiking in Greece is always an exciting adventure. Get your trekking boots on and get going, Greece is calling!
Check all our offers to go on a Walking Holiday in Greece here!
Where can I go on hiking tours in Greece?
This is actually the most important question to ask yourself when looking for a trek in Greece. Despite being a relatively small country, Greece has a wide variety of options to go trekking and hiking and the destination you choose will have a significant impact on the whole trek. As you will find below, most answers to the questions about hiking in Greece depend on where you are actually going. So let me break it down for you before we go on:
If you are looking for a more adventurous, real hiking experience in the mountains, then climbing to the top of Mount Olympus is the best option for you.Mount Olympus is undoubtedly one of the most famous mountains in the world. Being the home of the twelve ancient Greek Gods and featuring the highest peak of Greece (Mytikas at 2,917m), the mountain captivates the visitor at first sight with its incomparable natural beauty and the wealth of its ancient history.
If you want to go to the mountains but you are not interested in conquering any peak, you can opt for a trek in Pindos or in the Zagori region. The treks in this region of the country take you through breathtaking mountain landscapes but at a more relaxed pace. Discover deep gorges and emerald blue lakes in west Greece!
If you are more a beach person, you can choose one of our walking holidays in Crete! Explore the beautiful Cretan coast & mountains, discover spectacular gorges, picturesque remote villages, and incredible beaches. Go hiking in Crete and discovera local side of Crete that few people know about!
What is the best season to go walking and hiking in Greece?
Now, this is a tough and tricky question. As I explained above, the best season actually depends on where you are going to be trekking. Greece has many different destinations to go trekking. The most advisable months are usually during Spring and Autumn. If you are planning on climbing Mount Olympus, then summer is definitely your season, since it can get quite cold up in the mountain during the rest of the year. Now, if you are thinking of trekking in Crete, then you can do it all year round, being Spring and Autumn always the most recommended seasons. This also applies to treks in Meteora. Finally, if you are looking for a trek in Zagori, then you must know that the treks are available between May and October. Find the best trek for you here.
How fit do I need to go trekking in Greece?
Just like in the previous question, the answer depends on which trek you want to do. Treks in Crete and Zagori are rated easy to moderate, which means that any healthy person with a normal level of fitness should be able to complete them without any trouble. If you are going for the Mt. Olympus trek, then you should know that this trek requires a bit more training.Though previous experience is not necessary, a basic fitness level is required for this trek. You are strongly advised to be prepared for a real trekking experience. While hiking in Mount Olympus, you will have to carry clothes and gear for 3 days on the mountain, hopping from refuge to refuge and walking up to 8 hours a day.
Being fit for your trek in Greece will not only make the hike safer for you, but also for your team. If you are unsure about being able to complete your trek, we advise you to start training a few weeks in advance, walking a few hours a day. Climbing stairs also helps. Being fit is always good both for your physical and mental health, and trekking contributes hugely to keeping your body healthy. Here are some of the health benefits that you get from trekking and hiking, in Greece or anywhere else!
What is the accommodation like while hiking in Greece?
The accommodation while you trek in Greece will depend on the trek you choose. Most treks include accommodation inlovely authentic family-run guesthouses and hostels at picturesque locations. The owners are very hospitable and helpful and are known to provide the most delicious breakfasts and meals. They are all traditional and have a local character. The owners are friendly and will do everything in their power for you to have a pleasant stay.
If you are going for a trek deeper into the mountains, like for example, to the top of Mout Olympus, you will be staying some nights at mountain refuges. Mountain refuges in Greece are to be found in some of the most dramatic landscapes of the country’s mountains. They vary in size and style, but what they share in common is a cozy and warm atmosphere, with welcoming hosts and heart filling food. When visiting a refuge expect to be surrounded by a colorful crowd of people all over the world, who share the same love for the mountains with you. However, you are going to be sharing common spaces, bathrooms and sleeping rooms with bunk beds. Expect not to have the privacy and amenities of a hotel room. Most of the refugees will have blankets but not linen or towels so it is advisable to carry a small sleeping liner if you don't wish to sleep directly on the mattress.
Book hikes offered by our local partners in Greece on Bookatrekking.com
What should I pack for my Greece hiking adventure?
Packing the right clothes and equipment is always one of the most crucial parts of getting ready for a trek. Here is a summary of what you should bring with you for this trekking adventure in Greece:
• Hiking boots
• Trekking trousers
• Baselayer shirts
• T-shirts and/or casual shirts
• Fleece jacket or warm jumper
• Waterproof jacket
• Sunhat or cap
• Daypack minimum 35 litres
• Sun protection (including for lips)
• Water bottles x2 1 Litre (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
• Washbag and toiletries
• Small Towel
For Mt. Olympus
• Gloves or mittens
• Headtorch and spare batteries
• Sheet sleeping bag liner (for the huts)
Enjoying the peace and quiet of nature is one of the pleasures of trekking. However, sometimes we need an extra push to keep going. When you feel like giving up, having the right playlist in your bag can help you to get the motivation necessary to reach the top. Here are our top picks for your Walking Holiday in Greece's playlist. Don't forget to take your headphones and some extra batteries in your backpack!
Should I tip the guide after the hike in Greece?
Tipping in Greece is expected in most places, but it is by no means obligatory. Of course, there is no set standard for how much to tip when you got a good service. As regards tipping your tour guide, tipping between 2 to 5 Euros per person, per day of trek, is a good reference.
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What are the options to go hiking in Greece?
Despite being quite a small country, Greece has plenty of trekking options for those looking for a thrilling walking holiday. From Mt. Olympus to Vikos Gorge, Zagori Islands, Meteora, and Crete, this diverse and culturally rich country has a lot to offer to its visitors. The biggest challenge will be having to choose which trek to do! Here are 2 of the most popular treks to do in Greece:
Mount Olympus and Meteora, Greece hiking
During this 7-day trek offered by our partner No Footprint, you will explore two of the most famous destinations in Greece, Mount Olympus and Meteora. Dramatic high altitude sceneries and incredible landscapes will be a feast for your eyes! Here is their itinerary:
DAY 1: ARRIVAL AT THESSALONIKI & TRANSFER TO LITOCHORO
Meeting and transfer to Litochoro, the “basecamp” town for all expeditions on Mount Olympus. The town is divided in two parts, one lying next to the sea and the other one by the riverbed of Enipeas gorge, at the foothills of Mount Olympus. Litochoro offers a slow-paced atmosphere inspiring visitors to stroll down its shady streets and wander around its solitary beaches. After accommodating yourself at our guesthouse, we’ll walk into Enipeas gorge to admire its amazing rock formations. We’ll discuss the week’s itinerary over a traditional drink and ‘meze’ by the river. You’ll enjoy a traditional meal at our favorite local tavern.
DAY 2: VISIT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF DION & ASCEND THE MOUNTAIN OF GODS
After breakfast, we will visit the archaeological site of Dion, theancient Macedonian Sanctuary of Zeusand its adjusted museum. During the Hellenistic period, it was the religious center of Macedonia. Zeus was venerated here and Olympic games were held in his and the Muses honor.
You will then be transferred to therefuge of Koromilia(1,000m), stopping on the way to gaze thecanyon of Orlias, one of the finest canyons in Greece. Lunch will be served at the refuge. Having had enough time to relax and breath the fresh air, you will start ascending towards our first stop on the mountain of the Gods, therefuge of Petrostrugka. The path traverses through thick pristine forest, gaining smoothly but steadily altitude until it reaches the refuge after around three hours. The refuge is situated at an altitude of 1,940m, in a beautiful spot amongage-old Bosnian pine trees, offering you panoramic views to the valley of Katerini, Mount Pelion and the Aegean Sea. You’ll enjoy a delicious warm dinner at the refuge.
(Distance: 5,5km. Technical difficulty: Moderate. Actual walking time: 3 hours.)
DAY 3: HIKE TO PLATEAU OF THE MUSES AND PROFITIS ILIAS PEAK
After breakfast, we will start our ascent to the Plateau of the Muses, one of the most breathtaking places of Mt. Olympus. Our path will lead you to the Skourta peak (2,485m) where the alpine landscape dominates, offering outstanding 360-degree views. From this point, a narrow ridge called Laimos (neck) begins which will lead you to the plateau. Walking through the ridge is an experience on its own, giving you the opportunity to admire the amazing geology of Mt. Olympus’ rock formations.
As you reach higher altitudes, you will have many opportunities to spot theendemic wild goat of Mt. Olympus, a rare and endangered species looking more like a deer than a goat, inhabiting mostly Mt. Olympus’ alpine zone. The 4-hour walk will finish at therefuge of Kakalos, located at an elevation of 2,650m. It was named after Christos Kakalos, a localhunter who guided the Swiss climbers Fred Boissonnas and Daniel Baud Bovy to realize the first recorded ascent to Olympus’ highest peak, Mytikas, in 1913. After a small break and lunchat the refuge, wewillwander around the magicalalpine landscape of the plateau and reachAgios Profitis peak(2,830m) after an easy 40-min walk. An ascend to Profitis Ilias peak allows breathtaking views to the north slopes of Mt. Olympus and neighboring mountains, intensified by the colors of the sunset. Dinner will be served at the refuge.
(Distance: 6km. Technical difficulty: Easy to moderate. Actual walking time: 4 hours.)
DAY 4: ΗΙΚE TO SCOLIO PEAK & DESCEND TO SPILIOS AGAPITOS REFUGE
After a warm, filling breakfast at the refuge we will aim at summitingScolio peakat 2,904m. Scolio is the third highest peak of Mt. Olympus which you will reach through a relatively easy path. Scolio gives superb views to the highest peaks of the mountain, Mytikas (2,918m) and Stefani (2,912m). (It is possible for experienced climbers onlyto climb up to Mytikas peak at their own risk through Skala or the steep gully of Mytikas. They are considered Class III ascents andthere’s moderate exposure.)
After enjoying a snack at the top of Scolio peak, you’ll follow a scenic path through an area called Zonaria where the barren rock landscapes of Mt. Olympus are overwhelmingly stunning. After a 2-hour descent, you’ll reach Spilios Agapitos Refuge, a magnificent stone building at a beautiful location forming anatural balcony, at an altitude of 2,100m. This cozy refuge is an ideal spot for relaxing. Dinner will be served later in the evening.
(Distance: 6km. Technical difficulty: Moderate. Actual walking time: 4hours.)
DAY 5: HIKE THE E4 EUROPEAN PATH AND STROLL DOWN ENIPEAS GORGE
Today we will start our descend from Spilios Agapitos Refuge (2,100m) to the location ofPrionia(1,100m). The long but scenic descent is the most frequented hiking path on Mount Olympus and makes up part of theE4 European path. The path is in very good condition and the combination of thick pine trees with beech and fir trees gives a unique charm to the area. There are several vantage points to stop and observe the surrounding evergreen forest and sceneries. Upon arriving at Prionia you will admire theEnipeas waterfallsand enjoy a light lunch at the only local cafe. We’ll then follow the Enipeas river all the way down to Litochoro Village.
On our way, you will have the opportunity to visit the oldmonastery of Agios Dionysiosthat dates back to 1542. It is a monument of rare architectural and aesthetic beauty, built as a fortress from stone and wood on a natural fortified plateau. The total duration of the trek from Prionia to Litochoro takes about 5 hours, crossing the canyon seven times overbeautiful wooden bridges. The route is quite tiring due to the ascents and descents, but the varied geological features, thesmall lakes with crystal watersand the sheer mountain slopes provide a rare beauty and entirely reward you for your effort.
Tonight you’ll sleep at aguesthouse by the sea, completing your descend from an altitude of 2,100m all the way down to sea level. To congratulate yourself on such an achievement you will enjoy dinner at the bestfish tavernin the area.
(Distance: 15km. Technical difficulty: Moderate. Actual walking time: 8hours.)
DAY 6: REST & TRANSFER TO METEORA
In the morningyouwill enjoy the beachfront location of our guesthouse, have a swim or just rest by its beautiful surroundings. Early in the afternoon, wewill hit the road again heading to themysterious region of Meteora. The story has it that in the 9th century AD a group of monks moved into the area and lived in caves on top of the rock pillars, seeking complete solitude. During the 11th and 12th century AD a monastic state was created and by the 14th century, there were already over 20 monasteries at Meteora. Today only 6 survive and are open to visitors.
After a light lunch at Kastraki town, at the foothills of Meteora, we will start our tour of the monasteries. During our relaxed exploration, you will experience spectacular views from above, having Kastraki and the Thessalian plain at our feet, as well asunobstructed viewsto all surrounding mountains. Dazed by the scenery and amazed by the monks’ decision to climb the steep rocks of Meteora, we will havedinner at a local tavern.
DAY 7: METEORA CIRCULAR WALK WITH PANORAMIC VIEWS
Longing to start walking again after yesterday’s rest, we’ll startearly for ourcircular 6-hour walk around the Meteora rocks. Starting from the village of Kastraki we’ll follow apparent paths and secret passes used by the monks inthe old days. We’ll visit three of the sixoperating monasteries such as the“The Great Meteoro Monastery”. It was named “meteoro”, meaning “suspended in the air” because of the formation of the gigantic rock on top of which it was built. Founded in the 14th century AD by a monk from Mount Athos, it is the oldest, largest and tallest one (615m above sea level). Inside the church of Transfiguration, there are fine icons and frescoes dating from the 14th to 16th centuries.
Our next stop will be themonastery of “The Holy Trinity”, widely known from the James Bond film “For your eyes only”. It was built in the 14th century and the access to the monastery until 1925 was only by rope ladders and the supplies were transferred by baskets. The last monastery to visit will be“The Varlaam monastery”, founded in 1350 by a monk named Varlaam, the only one to live on the rock. Rumor has it that it took the monks20 years to gather all the materials on topby using ropes and baskets and only 20 days to finish the construction.
Passing from the roots of the giant boulders, moving in the dense forest you’ll enjoy alternating sceneries of trees, small clearings, low vegetation, wildflowers, mushrooms, and the majestic Meteora rocks. We’llascend to the most panoramic pointto admire the Meteora cluster and have a small picnic. We will continue our hike through the old and not so obvious paths in a fairytale-like forest with streams and vegetation so thick that creates arches to pass underneath. At the end of the trek, we will descend following an ancient stone-paved path (kalderimi) at one of the local taverns of Kastraki to celebrate the end of our adventurous week.
(Distance: 11km. Technical difficulty: Easy to moderate. Actual walking time: 5hours.)
DAY 8: FAREWELL BREAKFAST AND TRANSFER BACK TO THESSALONIKI.
Important:The above itinerary is subject to changes according to the weather conditions or other special events taking place during the week.
Trekking in Crete
Another popular option for trekking and hiking in Greece is a trek in West Crete. Our partner No Footprint has a great 7-day itinerary during which you will explore the beautiful Cretan coast & mountains, three spectacular gorges, picturesque remote villages, and incredible beaches. Here is their itinerary:
DAY 1: WELCOME & HISTORICAL WALK AROUND CHANIA
Meeting at Chania. Transfer to your guesthouse within the Old Town. Opportunity to swim at one of the nearby beaches. Early in the evening, we’ll walk around the historic old town to explore the beautiful architecture and monuments, the lively 100-year-old market and the picturesque Venetian harbor with its distinctive lighthouse. As you stroll through narrow lanes and hidden back streets you’ll discover the neighborhoods where once Christians, Muslims, and Jews used to coexist, secret gardens, ancient ruins, parts of the Byzantine wall, the Venetian fortifications and buildings and Ottoman mosques and dwellings… myths and legends about invasions, occupations, resistances, and independence will come alive and fascinate you. Supper at one of our favorite local taverns.
DAY 2: EXPLORE TWO OF THE LUSHEST AND MOST SOLITARY GORGES
The Gorge Kydoni is a small lush green paradise starting from the fountain of the village of Karanou. Along the route, you’ll discover caves and small waterfalls till you meet the river Mavropiliotis and head west to the second lush gorge of the area, Boriano. You’ll be amazed by the dense vegetation, the tall oak and plane trees covered with ivy, the various herbs and wildflowers, especially in spring, and the many migratory & resident birds.
These 2 gorges constitute the perfect setting for our naturalist guide to introduce you to the unique biodiversity and flora of Crete. Our circular walk will end at Karanou village where you’ll enjoy a drink at the local “kafenio” with panoramic views to the surrounding mountains covered with olive groves. Time for lunch and a swim at the nearest beach!
Walking distance: 7km, 2.2 hours. Actual walking time: 3-4 hours. The path is considered easy.
DAY 3: ADMIRE HISTORICAL MONASTERIES & CAVES TOWARDS THE BAY OF STAVROS
We’ll start the day with a visit to the monastery of Agia Triada of Tzagarolon, often described as the richest and most beautiful monastery in Crete. Built by the Venetian nobles and scholars Jeremiah and Lawrence Tzagarolo, its architecture was influenced by the architect Sebastiano Serlio from Verona, Italy. It hosts a lovely olive oil and wine museum where you can taste various wines, olive oils, and vinegars produced from the monastery’s olive groves and vineyards. Our hikestarts from the oldest monastery in Crete, Gouverneto, built in 1537 and situated on a rocky site near the entrance of the gorge Avlaki. Its architecture is unique as it resemblesa fortress withfour towers with bastions to protect its corners. It is believed itwas founded by the hermit monks of the seaside Katholiko Monastery (whose ruinswe’ll visit shortly) on top ofa pre-existing ancient temple so as to protect themselves from pirate raids. We’ll descend towards the sea and Avlaki gorge by following the stone-paved path. On the way, you will meet Arkoudospilio Cave, the ruined monastery Katholiko and the cavernous church of St. John, where the hermit lived. Our hike will end at the beautiful bay and beach of Stavros where you can enjoy a lovely swim and lunch.
Walking distance: 9km, 3hours. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy.
DAY 4: WALK THE SAMARIA GORGE, RICH IN PLANT & ANIMAL LIFE
The famous gorge of Samaria, the 2nd longest in Europe, is situated in the National park of Samaria, at the White Mountains. We’ll start the hike from the village of Omalos, from an altitude of 1230m and hike 16km down to the Libyan seashore and the picturesque village of Agia Roumeli. In the gorge, you will find around 450 unique plant species, protected under international law, in order to safeguard this delicate ecosystem. You’ll walk past huge pine and cypress trees and you may meet its famous inhabitant, the endemic wild goat of Crete or “Kri-kri”. The walk through the Samaria Gorge takes 5-8 hours depending on your pace and it is totally worth it! Six hours is the normal time including stops to rest and appreciate the natural landscape and wildlife. We’ll end the day with a swim at the deep blue waters of Ag. Roumeli and then we’ll take the boat toPalaiochorawhere we’ll spend the night.
Walking distance: 16km, 5 hours. Actual walking time: 6-8hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered moderate.
DAY 5: FREE DAY
A great opportunity to rest at one of the beautiful beaches of Palaiochora.
DAY 6: COASTAL WALK ALONG THE E4 PATH TO THE INCREDIBLE ELAFONISI
Today we’ll start early in the morning from Palaiochora and walk along the European hiking route E4 towards the cedar forest and the stunning Elafonisi. Elafonisi is a peninsula of exceptional natural beauty, part of the Natura 2000 Protection Program. You’ll walk through the sea to reach its small islet, lie at its small coves and sandy beaches and admire its interesting rock formations as the island stretches out into the sea and into the sunset. You’ll return by boat to Palaiochora in the evening.
Walkingdistance: 10 km, 3.1 hours. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours with stopsfor observations and rest. The path is considered easy to moderate.
DAY 7: WALK TO THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF LISSOS & SOUGIA VILLAGE
Another amazing coastal hike that crosses beautiful beaches and coves as well as the archaeological site of Lissos. We’ll explore Lissos and soak up its incredibly peaceful atmosphere, its Asklepeio temple, the Roman necropolis and the two chapels with interesting frescoes. You’ll enjoy a swim and continue walking to the laid back village of Sougia. Lunch and rest before taking the boat back to Palaiochora.
Walking distance: Option for 9km or 16km, 3-5 hours. Actual walking time: 4-6 hours with stops to swim, visit Lissos and rest. The path is considered moderate.
DAY 8: RETURN TO CHANIA IN THE MORNING
If you want to check all the options we offer for your hiking adventure in Greece, check this page.
How much does a hiking holiday in Greece cost?
Walking holidays in Greece range from EUR 60,-/ USD 65,- to EUR 1300,-/ USD 1425,- per person. As you can see, there are options for every budget. Treks go from 1-day trekking tours to 11-day adventures. The prices depend on the number of days and what is included in each of them.
Where to book your hiking holiday in Greece?
The great thing about the internet is that you can find anything anywhere. The same goes for hiking and trekking providers. However, since there is so much on offer, it can be overwhelming to find a trekking operator of your liking. That is why Bookatrekking.com does the selection for you.
We only join hands with the best hiking and trekking providers we can trust. You can rest assured that the trekking operators on Bookatrekking.com are reliable. Find your perfect walking holiday in Greece here!
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