Bike tours mountain Olympus
The idea to cycle on the paths close to the peaks of Mount Olympus, was born a few months ago on the slopes of the Pindus mountain range, while we were setting up our wonderful route around Zagori villages (Zagorochoria).
In the past we used to see photos of people climbing uphill by their bicycles, or even… reaching the peak! So we thought, carried away by our enthusiasm, that, if it’s possible for some people to enjoy cycling on Mount Olympus, we would have to discover this and proudly incorporate this route in our schedule.
When, finally, a few days ago the conditions were favourable, i.e. clear weather and availability in the refuge, we packed our small rucksacks with our favourite chocolate bars, a few dried figs, thrumpa olives, and a lot of water.
We knew, of course, that for most part of the mountain we would have to carry our inanimate companions, our bicycles, but we expected a grandiose reward on our descent in the west side of the mountain that… did not happen!
Anyway, we took dozens of wonderful photographs of “Mytikas” (the highest peak of Mount Olympus at 2,918 m), the “throne of Zeus” (distinctive rock formation), and of happy wild goats looking puzzled at us.
The narrow upward and, in a lot of places, steep and worn paths at 2,850 m were followed by a downward dirt road with a lot of stones that led us to the bank of a very beautiful stream, which was, though, completely unsuitable for cycling, and carried the risk of forced overnight, which we fortunately avoided.
We completed our scheduled route following the E4 path until the little village of Kokkinopilos (1,140 m altitude), where, under the sullen eye of Zeus, we arrived exhausted in the night of our second day on the mountain…
The reward for our hard work came, though, on the return, following a regional forest route by our bicycles, back to Gortsia trailhead (1,100 m altitude), where we had left our car. We enjoyed cycling among Rombola pine trees, beeches that had begun turning gold, we marvelled at the spectacular view of the peaks and passed by numerous springs willing to quench our thirst. We crossed abandoned villages, gorges of stunning beauty, passed by small stone chapels and streams flowing through meadows that were still green!
If we want to visit again the peaks of our beloved Mount Olympus, we will do it not by bicycles but on foot, like people used to do it since the ancient times. We will cycle, though, at a lower altitude around the mountain and in the endless forests, leaving the quiet plateau to the disposal of the Muses, when they want to visit Mount Olympus from the neighbouring Pierian Mountains just to have some fun…
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Bike tours mountain Olympus