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Monday October 23 , 2017
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From the Gods to the centaurs

Fromthegods1

 

Trip profile:  This 8 day / 7 night walking holiday program incorporates the mountains of higher Olympus, Kissavos (Ossa), the famous and "heavily" historicall Tempi valley which separates the two and Mt. Pelion. It is a long crossing, mainly on foot and partly by road, as it covers a great area, giving the opportunity, apart from enjoying great walking, to see and visit a wide range of places of natural beauty with great historical and cultural interest.

 

Trip dossier:

Country: Greece.

Region: Mt. Olympus, Mt. Kissavos (Ossa), Mt. Pelion.

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights.

Period: May to October.

Type: Mainly adult groups, organizations, corporate, clubs e.t.c. covering a great variety of terrain, starting at the south east of Macedonia, to the south east of Thessaly.

 

Fromthegods2

 

Itinerary:

fromthegods3Day 1. Transfer from the airport to your accommodation in Litohoro or the greater area the eastern Mt. Olympus, as here is the closest to the start of this trip. You meet with your local guides over the welcome meal. Time to relax before your program starts.

Day 2. Today we move by road to the location of Prionia at 1100m. Here we start walking up to the mountain refuge B or Spilios Agapitos at 2100m. A good rest and a light meal at this amazing spot, will give us the right push to continue for another 2.00’ to 3.00’ hours of moderate walk, to our today’s destination, the meadow of the nine Muses (the muses’ plateau) at 2650m. We spend the night at one of the two mountain refuges on the plateau. Altitude covered, 1500m up. Approximate net walking time,  6.00’ to 6.30’ hours, easy / moderate.

Day 3. We have an early start from the plateau to ascend the highest peak of the mountain Mytikas at 2917m, hopefully to enjoy one of the best sunrises of your life and stand on the highest point of Greece, the 12 gods’ home and the second highest by a few meters, in the Balkans. We go up the summit via the “Louki” route (east face) and come down via the “Kakoskala” route (south ridge). The views from the summit?...beyond words! We should be back to the refuge Spilios Agapitos at about 12:30 for a well earned rest. Filled with great emotions after today’s amazing climb, we return back to where we started from, the Prionia location, to be transferred by road back to the first day's accommodation. Altitude covered, 218m up and 1818m down. Approximate net walking and scrambling (up and down Mytikas) time, 7.30’ hours, moderate / challenging / scramble.

Day 4.  After breakfast, we are transferred to the high hills above the north rocky side of the Tempi valley, at a height of 220m. A very important geologically and geographically land mark, very rich in history and mythology. Here we start our walk. We follow a path, which takes us along and over the cliffs of the Tembi Valley and onto the Pinios River. This is a high crossing of the valley with stunning views of the river down below and Mt. Kissavos, all the way along the trek. We will have a lot to talk about, as we cross this historic valley. The place holds amazing stories and myths from the very - very old times… We finish at a picturesque chapel where the picnic is waiting for us, at about 100m. A wonderful walk indeed! The longest main section of the walk is almost flat and the last part is downhill. Altitude covered, 200m down. Approximate net walking time, 2.30 hours, easy.

After the walk we will visit the near by village of Ambelakia, where you will have the opportunity to visit the Schwartz Museum and be introduced to the rich history of the place. Your remaining time will be free to explore or indeed, relax at the peaceful village square enjoying a drink or a meal along with the locals. Spend the night not far from there, in the northeast side of Mt Ossa, in a hostel / refuge  type woodhouse in the forest.  

Day 5. After breakfast we move to the eastern side of Mt. Ossa (Kissavos) and by forest dirt road we reach our hike’s starting point at 1000m. Our today’s destination is the highest summit of the mountain (1978m). The path unfolds in a rich birch and oak tree forest in the first half of the way and in alpine terrain in the second half, until we reach the Kanalos location and the local club’s mountain refuge at 1500m after 2.00’ to 2.30’ hours of walking. Here we have a good break for a light lunch and herbal tea and cookies. The summit dominates the area above our heads. 

From this point onwards, we continue the walk to the summit. The first part of it is up the northwest slopes of the mountain and then, in a south wfromthegods4est direction, we move with great views all the way up the eastern ridge, which leads us to the summit (1.00’ to 1.15’ hours). While on the summit, you are rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the region including the Aegean Sea, the Plain of Thessaly, Mount Olympus, Mount Pelion, the Pinios River delta and in clear weather – not very unlikely – the huge pyramid of Mt. Athos emerging out of the sea in the very distance to the east. We return by the same route back to Kanalos (45’ to 1.00’ hour). Have our picnic lunch here. Altitude covered, 978m up and 478m down. Approximate net walking time, 4.00’ to 4.30’ hours, easy / moderate. From here, we are transferred by road back to the eastern side of the montain and via the coastal road to the small fishing port and local summer resort of Kamari, further to the south, situated at the very north edje of Mt Pelion, where your accommodation will be for this night (1.30' hours by road). We will have done a very long step to the south, along the coast of Mt. Kissavos and Mt. Mavrovouni, giving us the opportunity to see this unknown but so beutiful coastal line of the country. Along the way we will stop for a drink by the sea, in one of the numerous seaside places!

Day 6. We leave Kamari early in the morning to go by road (45') to the small picturesque village  of Veneton at about 200m, the starting point of our today’s walk. Just before Veneton we stop at Keramidi for a drink at its beautiful square. The Pelion architectural elements are quite distinct here. We are almost in northern Pelion. From Veneton, a very nice path on the north eastern slopes of Mt. Pelion takes us to the very old monastery of Flamouri at 580m, where we stop, rest and talk about the monastery’s history over a light meal in an amazing setting.The walking route as well as the natural environment in general, are quite different from what we have done up to now. Mediterranean type vegetation and great views towards the sea at first, give their place to dense birch and oak tree forests, as we move higher and away from the sea. The first part of the route progresses on the eastern slopes of north Pelion to Flamuri and then goes across towards the west to the renewed Monastery of Sourvia at 700m, with its very old restored main church building.  We set up camp for the night. Altitude covered, 480m up. Approximate net walking time, 5.00’ to 5.30' hours, moderate.   

Day 7. From Sourvia we move to Hamorigani location at 1185m, and from there we cross the south east Pelion to reach the well known village of Makrinitsa at 610m which overlooks Volos and the Pagasitikos gulf. The views we enjoy from Makrinitsa are just amazing! Here we have completed our crossing! Transfer back to the hotel in the north Mt. Ossa (Kissavos) area. Recall all nice times of the trip over the farewell meal! Altitude covered, 485m up and 570m down. Aproximate net walking time, 5.00' to 5.30' hours, easy to moderate.

Day 8. Transfer to the airport for the return home.

 

Price:

980.00€ p.p. (Based on two sharing room).

 

General information about the program

Accommodation: Great care is taken in selecting appropriate accommodation for your holiday. Nights 1, 3, 5 & 7 are spent in well selected traditional hotels and pensions as stated in the itinerary. Nights 2 4 & 6 are spent in fully equipped mountain refuge and hostel (days 2 & 4) and Olympos Trek organizedfromthegods5 camp (day 6).

Meals and meal plan: This trip is organized in a combination of a mostly full and lesser a half board basis. Only on days 3, 4 and 5 is on half board. On arrival day 1 as well as day 7, we all seat around the table for the welcome and farewell evening meals, which are included in the price. On days 2 & 6 you can taste the very good food that they serve at the refuge, and the cooked food at the camp (both included in the price). On days 3, 4 & 5 the evening meals can be taken in traditional Greek tavernas and this will give you the perfect opportunity to sample real Greek hospitality, delicious food and very fine wine, typical of the region (not included in the price). Breakfast is included at your accommodation and on the camping out day it is provided by us (included). Breakfast at the mountain refuge and hostel on days 2 & 4 is also included in the price. Lunch pack for every day's walk is provided by us, (included), taking of course under consideration your nutrition preferences, for the day’s walk, along with coffee or tea and cookies.

Transport: Transfers will be in minibus, taking you from your accommodation to the starting point of the day’s walk, according to the itinerary. The support vehicle (minibus or jeep or both) will also be waiting for you at the end of every walk to transport you to your next accommodation with your luggage (the one you do not carry on the walk, but you need for the evening and night). Some of your luggage (only what you need for your last night and your return home day) will stay at your first day’s accommodation to wait for your return on day 7, prior to your departure.

From the airport to your arrival day's accommodation, in case you do not have your own or hired means of transport (rented vehicle), the best suggested way is the public transport (train or bus), as our area of activities and the accommodation establishments are very close to the main road and rail streams of transport on the eastern side of the country. The nearest airport is the Makedonia airport of Thessaloniki, less than 1.00’ hour by train or bus to N. Pori or Rapsani train stations, being the starting point for the Mt. Olympus ascent and the first day's accommodation place. The “Proastiakos” train runs almost every hour from Thessaloniki to the above destinations for less than 28.00€ return. From the airport you take the bus (number 78) to the main train or bus station in Thessaloniki. It takes 20’ to 30’ and costs €01.00. The buses also run in the same manner, although a bit more expensive than the train. They run from Thessaloniki central bus station and stop at the Rapsani train station on their way to the south. From either station you have arrived (Rapsani or N. Pori), we pick you up and take you to your accommodation, 15’ away by road

If you land at “Eleftherios Venizelos” airport in Athens, the train seems to be again the best option.Only the journey in this case takes 4.15’ to 5.00’ hours, depending up on the train you are using. From the airport you take the metro or the Proastiakos train to the “Stathmos Larisis” (Larisa’s station) in Athens, from where you take the train to Larisa. In Larisa you take the "Proastiakos" train to Litohoro, from where we pick you up to take you to your accommodation in Litohoro. In special request, we can pick you up from the station in Larisa to transfer you to your accommodation area according to the program, about 0.45' to 1.00' hours by road.

Essential equipment: Apart from your seasonal clothing for the walks, you should bring with you the following:

. A day back pack (50 to 70 lt.).

. A pair of good walking boots.

. Fleecy jacket and pullover.

. Wind proof / water repellent breathable jacket.

. Extra tee shirts, under wear and three pairs of good socks for walking.

. While on Mt. Olympus, it is advisable to have a sheet or a very light sleeping bag for using it as a sheet, as the refuges provide only blankets.

. Two - three seasons sleeping bag for the camp.

. Water flask or simply a plastic water bottle.

. Sun glasses.

. Sun and head worming hat.

. Sun protective cream.

. Telescopic poles.

. Head lamp.

Group size and staff: Maximum group size is 16 people and minimum 6. This trip is led by Olympos Trek and supported by expert local guides. Guides are not provided for clients not taking part in the group’s walking program.

Responsible tourism: Tourism has an effect on any area. It is essential to minimize the negative impact that we may cause. We do not allow our clients and staff to damage the physical environment, living litter or rubbish lying around. Anything we take in to an area, we must take out again.

First aid: Our guides are qualified in first aid and curry a complete first aid kit at all times. We are also connected with the Greek mountain rescue and the National Center for Immediate Medical Help.

 

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