Visiting Greece's Famous Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus in Greece.
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Mount Olympus is said to be the home of Zeus and the rest of the 12 Olympian gods and goddesses, who have the right to live with Zeus at his home in the clouds. It is possible that the original deity was a "mountain mother" rather than a god such as Zeus.

Mount Olympus is not that dramatic a mountain in terms of its height. At its highest point, called Mytikas or Mitikas, it is 2919 meters high or approximately 9577 feet.

It's located in the northeast of Greece in the region of Thessaly. 

While it is said to not be too technically difficult, closer to a hike than a climb, it is still challenging and every year a few unlucky or over-confident people get into serious trouble on the mountain. Fatalities occur.

There are both standard and tourist buses from both Athens and Thessaloniki taking the traveler to Litochoro, the village which provides the best access. There is also train service to the area. You can also drive up the mountain, so don't feel you are missing out if you are not up to a full trek. A nice experience of Mount Olympus is a visit to the small church of Agia Kore, reached by an easy walk over a footbridge which crosses a torrential small river. The site is said to be built on an ancient temple dedicated to Demeter and her daughter Persephone, the "Kore" or maiden. 

At the foot of Mount Olympus, the archaeological site and museum of Dion offer an exhibit on the mountain and the remains of major temples of Isis and other divinities.

The village of Litochoro is charming and is a popular starting spot for treks up the mountain.

A recent archaeological expedition found ancient pieces dating back to Minoan times, indicating that the worship of a deity on the mountain may be even older than was first thought.