Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece, known worldwide mainly for its mythological context, as at its top (Mytikas, altitude 2,918.80 meters) lived the Twelve “Olympian” Gods according to the religion of the ancient Greeks.
It is also the second highest mountain in the Balkans (after Rila in Bulgaria). Its compact mountain range dominates the borders of Macedonia and Thessaly, with a series of high peaks that groove deep ravines, around which an area of particular biodiversity extends. For the protection of this unique heritage, it was declared in 1938 as the first National Park in Greece.
Every year thousands of nature lovers visit Mount Olympus, to admire up close the charm of its nature and to enjoy touring its slopes and conquering its peaks. Organized mountain shelters with a variety of mountaineering and climbing routes are available to visitors who want to explore its beauties. The classic starting point is the town of Litochoro at the eastern foot of the mountain, 100 km from Thessaloniki, where the Mount Olympus Mountaineering Marathon ends at the beginning of each summer.
The shape of Olympus, the multifaceted and changeable charm of its nature, its high peaks, full of fog and low clouds that often bring storms, caused awe and admiration in the prehistoric man who lived at its foot, where archaeological excavations reveal finds from today. settlements of the Iron Age. These first inhabitants of the area will create the legends that will later give the Twelfth of the Ancient Greeks.
The twelve gods live in the gorges, “the aspects of Olympus” as Homer calls them – where their palaces are located. The Pantheon (today’s Mytikas), is their meeting point, the theater of their stormy discussions. The throne of Zeus (today’s Stephanie), hosts exclusively the leader of the gods, Zeus (Zeus). From there he unleashes his lightning, thus showing the “Divine Goddess”. The dodecatheon is completed by Hera, Estia, Dimitra, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Mars, Aphrodite and Hephaestus. ), polycentric.
On the eastern outskirts of Olympus, in Pieria, the mythological tradition placed the nine Muses, patrons of Fine Arts, daughters of Zeus and Titanida Mnemosyni: Cleo, Eutherpi, Thalia, Melpomoteni, Elpermia, Terpsichore. , Urania and Calliope.
Dion was an ancient city of strategic importance and one of the most famous Macedonian states. The geographical location of ancient Dion is located at the eastern foot of Mount Olympus, where the homonymous town is located today. As Strabo and Livius testify, Dion “is not a city on the shores of the Thermaic Gulf in the foothills of Olympus, but as far as seven steps away.” The first written reference to Dion is in Thucydides, who mentions it as the first city through which the general of Sparta Vrasidas passed in 424 BC.