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It is worth a visit nevertheless which is an easy thing to do thanks to its close proximity to Athens. It is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a beautiful hike close to Athens but far away from the crowds.
Signposting, difficulty & when to go
At only 1.172 meters, Mount Olympus of Euboea may seem like an easy mountain to tackle. In reality, this hike was much more challenging than I expected mainly due to the lack of proper signposting.
Officially, the trail is marked by red signs. However, the markings were extremely sparse especially at the lower sections of the mountain. What’s more, there was no sign indicating the beginning of the trail.
Additionaly, the trail doesn’t seem to be frequented very often meaning that in some sections it was almost unnoticeable.
At the upper part of the mountain, there was no trail whatsoever. We had to find our way through rocky terrain blocked by fallen trees and bushes.
I didn’t find any map of the area either so we had to stick to a Wikiloc recording of the trail (check out our recording HERE). For some reason, the signposting was much better on the way down. This wasn’t very helpful as we already knew the way.
At around 15 kilometers in length and with an altitude gain of 850 meters the hike was physically challenging, too. It took us about 6 and a half hours to complete with just a few short breaks.
The timing of our visit couldn’t be better! We visited Olympus Euboea’s at the end of October and were treated to an explosion of colors all around.
It was caused by the lovely smoke bushes covering the slopes of the mountain with their round leaves turning all shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple.
I wouldn’t recommend this hike for the summer months though as there was very little shade along the way. There were no springs either so come prepared with enough water and snacks.
How to get to the Olympus of Euboea from Athens
The drive from Athens to the beginning of the trail took as about one and a half hours and wasn’t too complicated. We followed the Lamia highway until we saw a sign for Chalkida. After crossing the bridge towards Chalkida we turned south before entering the city.
The road followed the coast until Eretria where it turned inland towards the village of Theologos. Leaving Eretria, the road started a steady climb across the bare slopes of the mountain offering beautiful views over the South Euboean Gulf.
After a while, the road crossed a saddle and started its descend towards Theologos. To find the correct spot to stop and park the car you’ll need to rely solely on GPS. There is nothing indicating the beginning of the trail.
There is a dirt road branching off to the left a little bit further down that served us as a parking spot. You can check the directions to the trailhead on Google Maps HERE.
Climbing Mount Olympus (Euboea)
Based on the instructions I found online there should be red paint on a rock marking the beginning of the trail.
We didn’t find any such thing and after a bit of hesitation, we decided to follow what looked like a narrow, dry riverbed.
In the beginning, we made our way across rocks and around bushes while trying to keep up with our Wikiloc recording. After a while, the dry river bed turned into a path and later joined a dirt road.
We turned right on the road and after about fifty meters we arrived at a crossroad. We continued straight here following a wide, comfortable dirt road ascending gently among the colorful bushes.
In retrospect, we may have started our hike in the wrong place which would explain the lack of signs. I later found THIS recording on Wikiloc which starts a little bit higher up and follows a slightly different trail in the beginning.
After about 2 kilometers of easy walking, we arrived at a small abandoned quarry at a beautiful spot in the Vira Valley. After a short break here we continued straight following the same road.
Shortly after leaving the quarry, the road narrowed until it finally turned into a trail. It continued on the right side of a gully with an eastward course.
There were other tracks climbing up on both sides of the ravine making the search for our path quite confusing.
What’s more, we kept losing GPS signal and the mountains above us were completely hidden in thick clouds making navigation quite challenging.
After a while, our path descended to the bottom of the gully and followed it for about one kilometer. Once we reached a dirt road, finding the trail become much easier.
At this point, we passed a group of hunters, startled by the appearance of four female hikers casually strolling through the misty wilderness, and joined a well-marked trail on the other side of the road.
It climbed through a dense coniferous forest at first but it didn’t take long until we come out on grassy meadows. The trail disappeared and we followed our red signs across the treeless slopes while stumbling over rocks and fallen trees.
The climb ended in a saddle with stunning views towards the top and the eastern side of the mountain. We turned left here and followed the edge of a rocky ridge towards the summit.
The final climb to the summit was quite steep but not too long. When we arrived at the top it was hopelessly covered in clouds and very windy so we took a few obligatory pictures and retreated.
But on a clear cloudless day, you’ll be treated to beautiful views towards Dirfy, Xerovouni, and the sea. We return back to our car the same way while enjoying the beautiful autumny landscape bathing in the golden afternoon light.