Mt Olympus Ólymbos
The highest mountain in Greece, lying near the sea on the borders of Macedonia and Thessaly, is the most famous of a number of mountains bearing the pre-Greek name of Olympus in Greece, Asia Minor and Cyprus. It already features in Homer ("Iliad", 5, 361) as the home of the gods, who were accordingly known as the Olympians.This mighty massif, covering an area some 20km/12.5mi across, climbs steeply up towards the summit, reaching its highest point in Mítikas (2,917m/9,571ft). The highest ridges are difficult to climb: more easily accessible is the most northerly peak (2,787m/9,144ft), on which there is a chapel of Profítis Ilías (Elijah). On the Áyios Antónios peak (2,817m/9,243ft), to the south of Mítikas, a shrine of Zeus has been excavated, yielding remains of sacrifices, pottery, inscriptions and coins.
Litókhoron, 5km/3mi west of the Salonica-Lárisa road, is the best starting-point for an ascent of Mt Olympus. From Litókhoron a road (unsurfaced, but negotiable by cars) climbs to a height of some 1,200m/3,900ft, from which it is three hours on foot to a mountain hut (skiing area) at 2,100m/6,900ft. From there it is another three hours to the summit of Mitikás, the highest peak (2,917m/9,571ft). From Litókhoron there is also a gentle walk through the beautiful Enippeas valley; the route follows the covered watercourse.