This national park includes the highest mountain in Greece Mount Olympus. It’s located in the Olympus Range found on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia. Altogether Mount Olympus has 52 peaks with the highest being Mytikas which in Greek means “nose”. Olympus National Park is very rich in flora and is a World’s Biosphere Reserve.
You could say that it is also a place where you could step back in time. Back to the time in Greek mythology. Mount Olympus was the home of the Twelve Olympian gods. In mythology it formed itself once the gods had defeated the Titans in the Titan War.
It is a great challenge for visitors to climb Mount Olympus. Every year around 10,000 people climb the mountain and a lot of them only get as far as the Skolio summit. The usual place to begin the climb is from the town of Litochoro known as the City of Gods. Climbers then take a road which leads them to Prionia and this is where the hike begins right at the foot of the mountain.
There is a great sense of adventure taking on Mount Olympus as it offers sheer rocky peaks, alpine fields, deep gorges and thick forest. You’ll find no lakes here except for small periodic lakes in Bara and Dristela formed by melting snow. At the mouth of Xerolakki Stream you can find a small man-made lake just above the village of Petra. The mountain itself is covered by snow about seven months of the year.
Mount Olympus has more than 1,700 plant species. There are four vegetation zones. The first one from 300 to 500m has short bushes and trees such as the holm oak, Greek strawberry tree and kermes oak among others. The second one from 600 to 1400m includes the European black pine, beech trees, and wild cherries to name a few. The third one from 1400 to 2500m has a cold-hardy conifers zone and the fourth at more than 2500m is the highest forest limit in the Balkans.
Mount Olympus is also home to 32 species of mammals including the chamois, deer, wolf, wild pig, fox, ferret, squirrel, jackal and wild cat as well as others. There are also 108 bird species among them the golden eagle and the rare woodpecker. Visitors can also find various amphibians and reptiles and a large number of butterflies.
Photo source: http://www.greentours.gr/destinations/2