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Experience with Mt. Olympus / Dion area?

Would love advice for those who have experienced Northern/Central Greece. We are 2 couples 2 -50 and 2 - 79 (very fit and active) in May 2017 we did our own road trip through the Peloponnese taking mountain roads over fast roads and loved every minute. We then did Santorini (beautiful but far too touristed for us) Naxos and Athens.

For May 25-June 11 2020 we Presently fly to Milos (3n) Ferry to Sifnos (4n) Ferry to Paros (3n) Fly to ATH (rental car) drive to Kalastraki (2n) drive to Delphi (1n) drive to Galaxidi (2n) drive to Sounion (1ni) depart ATH next day.

After reading information about Mt. Olympus and Litohoro, I am so intrigued. Considering dropping Paros, ferry back; Drive to Lithohoro area and stay 2 nights. We would visit the area, including ancient Dion, and head to Meteroa on our original schedule.

I would love to hear input from people who have done the drive from ATH to Litohoro regarding your driving experience as well as your feedback of the Litohoro area itself. The area looks lovely and a bit off the typical tourist track, which we love. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
162 posts

If you love rugged, off the beaten path, then definitely make the change to Litohoro, Dion, and Meteora! We did the drive several years ago and it was full of the two lane winding roads with impromptu stops for roadside stands (Litohoro and Dion). Meteora will have bigger highway roads, but the base village remains quaint. The drive is scenic and fun and if you have adventurous spirits, it will fit the bill without being taxing. The walks and hikes in Meteora will be fine for all based on your fitness levels; try to go up to the main sanctuary early in the day so that you beat the tour bus(ses). Then you can explore the other areas away from the crowd while tour groups go up.

Mt. Olympus may be more challenging. Regardless of how fit you are, there is a big elevation change around Mt. Olympus that can impact you and you will be far from any medical assistance so be prepared. We did the hike from the base just to the "night before" camp area where the hikers stay the night before ascending to the peak and that was beautiful and plenty of hiking for us.

Dion was amazing--huge and we had it nearly to ourselves. Read up on the significant sights before you go as there is not a lot of information there for tourists (at least not when we went).

You may want to devote one night (the night before touring to get an early start the next a.m.) to each location, then spend the whole day touring each spot before driving to the next town. Even though they appear nearby on a map, the pace is slow. Hope you have a great trip whatever you decide.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. I found this wonderful hotel (Ktima Ballou) near Mt. Olympus which will be our base for a couple of nights. One day we will spend in the "local" area; one day doing Dion.

Trying to figure out if it is feasible to do the Royal Tombs in Verginia (Michelin says about 1 1/2 hours away) and then drive to Meteora after. We have 2 nights planned for Meteora. Sunset the night of arrival (hopefully) and private hiking tour the the next day. Day 3 we depart for the leisurely drive to Galaxidi - stopping where we are "moved" to stop.

At this point, I may just have to come back for Trip 3 to Northern Greece, Macedonia and the Ionian Islands. :-)

Posted by
162 posts

LOL--I was going to suggest a visit to Vergina, but didn't want to go over board . . . the museum there is one of the best my family has been to in the world--truly amazing and chilling. You literally walk into the tomb underground to view the exhibits and the items there are unequaled. If you plan a future trip to the north with more time, there is much more to see as well--nature, museums, ruins.

Posted by
10 posts

Well that seals the deal. Verbinia is on the list for this trip. We like "road tripping" and an hour and a half drive there isn't bad. Then after the visit it will be about a 2 1/2 hour drive (per Michelin) to Meteora. What do you think of doing it in conjunction with Dion on its own day? It does seem to be in the same general direction. Just a thought. :-)

Posted by
162 posts

Dion and Vergina in a single long day works; I would leave Meteora for a 2 day/1 or 2 night after that as your timing to avoid crowds will be easier once you are in the locale. Plus, it is a more spread out area where you will want to meander. Enjoy!

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you for your reply! That is exactly our plan! 2 nights in Kastraki after our Litochoro stay.