Mountaineering & Hiking
You can explore Greece’s variety of landscapes, remote coves and the ruins of ancient cities, walking! Greek islands and mainland are a hiker’s paradise with numbered routes, and well-organised systems of trails.
Discover “the unspoiled Greece” while following walking paths through wild flowers, lush valleys, ancient sites, watermills, and old pathways. Get to know the locals, drink wine with them, and taste the food in restaurants and tavernas.
You can also find local guides who lead botanical tours along the ancient paths of the islands, while sharing with you their knowledge on folklore, history, agriculture, and archaeology. Master with them the ancient art of bee-keeping and find out how old remedies made from herbs and flowers heal new wounds.
Let’s start walking down these paths!
The core of Mainland Greece runs from the European Long Distance Walking Path Ε4 (- GR), beginning from the Pyrinaia it arrives in Greece via Yugoslavia, at the Nikis guard-post in Florina. The E4, crossing the Peloponnese, stops at Gythio and continues on to Crete. The mountain-climber is thus given the opportunity to see the enjoy of the Greek scenery and the wealth of Greek nature.
The highest elevation along the total route is the peak of Olympou Skilio (2,911 m). The ideal period for hiking along the Ε4 in Greece is from May 15th up to the beginning of October. Frequently the opening of new forest roads confuses the mountaineer. Some villages along the route are deserted during winter, which therefore limits the possibility of staying overnight. The climate is Mediterranean, very dry in summer with high temperature variations between day and night. Snow will be encountered along the route from November to June.
The route to the southern section of the Walking Path (the Peloponnese and Crete) is more “walkable” than the northern section, as the hiker can walk here throughout the year since the climate is milder. All necessary information and details of other mountain routes and paths –concerning assess-ways, facilities, possibilities and local conditions for hiking, mountain-climbing or rock-climbing, can be obtained by local mountain-climbing clubs and the Greek Mountaineering and Rock-Climbing Association.
Here are some ideas to discover that in Greece walking tours are not only about walking.
In Crete: Participate in the organised excursions to the Gorge of Samaria, the most imposing gorge in Europe, proclaimed National Park of the White Mountains of Crete in 1962. Walk along its rich ecosystem, and admire its rare morphological formations. Read more…
In Kea: A walker’s delight with paths of total length of 36 km! Due to its close proximity to Athens (2 hours by bus and ferry), Kea (Tzia) is a particularly popular destination featuring unspoiled beaches and rocky landscapes. Most of the hikes here are a must. Read more…
Trace Skiathos walking routes, and discover its hidden beauties. With your mind’s eye follow the footsteps of great writers, such as Alexander Papadiamantis, as they walked through dense forests and olive groves, and watched rare birds in the surrounding wetlands. Read more…
Thus, in recent years and with financing from various bodies (Municipalities, mountain-climbing clubs, private individuals, etc), many sections of these “road-paths” throughout Greece and creating a broad network with a total length of approximately 3,500 km.The major part of this network is extensions of the European Long Distance Walking Paths, Ε4, Ε6 and categories Ο (3,000 km), while another 500 km of smaller walking paths have been created, which are also of comparable interest.
Mountain climbing is the hardest form of hiking. Usually the goal of the climber is to conquer a peak. In mountaineering, distance is not important. The most important element is that around 300 m of elevation is covered per hour, which means that a 1,000 m climb requires about 4 hours, together with stops. A usual mountain climb lasts 7-10 hours, including the descent.Finally, rock climbing is characterized by an ascent under summer conditions (under winter conditions it is called alpinism), on any mountain peak, on very steep slopes (cliffs), where climbing techniques will then be required (smaller or larger degree of difficulty) with the use of auxiliary equipment. In Greece,, many regions are suitable for free rock climbing, while there are also schools offering technical or artificial climbing.
Hellenic Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing
5 Milioni str., 106 73 Athens
Tel: +30 210 36 459 04, +30 210 36 36 617
Fax: +30 210 36 44 687
All necessary information on mountain routes and paths/trails, access to them, facilities, mountain shelters throughout the country, organized excursions and local conditions for hiking, mountain-climbing and rock-climbing is provided by the Greek Mountaineering and Rock-Climbing Association (Ε.Ο.Ο.Α.) and local hiking and mountaineering clubs.