Distance: 13.78 km
Duration: 8 hours
Elevation: 2591.8 m
The trail starts on blue circle, from Prionia, the highest location accessible by car on Mount Olympus.
The first section to the traverse of Gomarostalos is a uphill trail in dense forest. Not much to see except our legs, but the shade of the big trees offered us protection from the burning sun.
Arriving at the traverse (1760 m altitude), we took a few minutes to catch our breath, admire the views and take some pictures. From here, there’s a much smoother slope, the forest thins out and we reach the base of the first proper elevation.
Behind, at the foothills of the mountain, one can spot the city of Litochoro and the sea.
And the fog kept getting thicker and continued to rise. By the time we arrived at the base of the last buttress, we couldn’t see anything around us.
And this is where the technical part begins. There’s a vertical rock equipped with metal steps and secured with fixed metal rope.
My partner started the climb while I stopped to take a picture.
As I started going up, my breathing was getting faster and faster. I realized it wasn’t due to the effort. I continued going further until I reached a bit of flat ground. My heart was pumping fast, I was shaking and hyperventilating.
I’ve been on many trails with via ferrata and never had issues. But this time it was different.
I was having a massive panic attack. I took a few minutes to calm my heart and breathing, then decided I want to go back. I couldn’t risk having another episode while climbing the technical part of the trail that was laying before us.
So, we started our descent. When we reached Gomarostalos traverse, we took another hiking trail: the red circle. The trail goes through the forest and meets the Pironia-Spilios Agapitos (Zolotas) Refuge trail: the E4 Route.
From that intersection the trail becomes a walk in the park. There are wooden stairs and railings making the path accessible to anyone.
At aproximately 2 km from Prionia, there’s Pigadouli Water Spring, viewpoint and resting place. Another interest point on this trail is the Enipeas Waterfall.
Our first attempt to explore mount Olympous didn’t worked out as planned, but it was a great experience and we are eager to come back more prepared to conquer the summits.