Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities globally, with more than 47 million hikers in the US in 2018. But if you’re looking for a superb destination for your next hiking trip, Greece should be on top of your list.
Hiking in Greece is a chance to enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean weather while being surrounded by the local culture and the interesting mythology that has fascinated the world for centuries. So, what are the best hikes in Greece? What are the best hiking spots in Naxos specifically? Keep on reading to learn more about this topic.
Best Hikes in Greece
Stunning weather, incredible scenery, and the traces of an ancient culture all make Greece one of the best hiking spots in Mediterranean Europe. And luckily, there are multiple trails that you can try upon your next visit to Greece. So, we decided to list some of these hiking trails to help you enjoy your hike and grab some out-of-this-world photos of the country’s beautiful landscape.
You can either choose to explore the inland mountain range, which is a hikers’ favorite, or go on a special island hiking in Naxos, which lies right in the South of the Aegean Sea. Each hiking trail offers a unique experience, so you can explore different hiking spots and moods during your visit to Greece.
Mount Olympus is probably one of the most historically significant mountains in the world, as it was known to be the throne of the Greek God Zeus and home to other gods like Hera, Apollo, and Poseidon. The mountain itself is 2918 meters high, but the whole trail isn’t that steep, so it should be on your list even if you’re not that experienced.
The first part of the hike starts in the town of Litochoro, and hikers who wish to reach the summit, usually complete their hike in a couple of days. This also involves spending the night at one of the mountain refuges.
The final section of the hike or climb is considered a class-3 scrambling, where some rock climbing knowledge will come in handy. But if you’re not sure about your skills, it might be a good idea to postpone this section of the trail for another visit.
The scenery is mesmerizing, from the rocky summit to the green forest down below. It’s an excellent hike for beginner and experienced hikers and climbers.
Best Hiking in Naxos
Right in the middle of the South Aegean Sea, you have a chance to go hiking in Naxos. In addition to its beautiful hiking trails, visiting Naxos is a chance to explore its sandy beaches and get to know the locals in the island’s numerous villages.
If you’re interested in the best hiking in Naxos, you’ve got multiple trails to explore and experiment with. Each one of them offers a unique experience.
Mount Zeus is an 8.4km moderate trail with rare flowers and offers a chance to take wonderful photos. If you’re more experienced, you can try the Naxos Trail Race 31K, which is rated as difficult, but definitely one of the best hikes in Greece.
The Kinidaros to Engares is a moderately difficult trail that passes through Naxos and measures about 12km long. It’s usually preferred by hikers who want to enjoy nature trips, running, and taking unique photos.
Delphi to Kirra Walk
This downhill hiking trail is located in Central Greece and measures about 14km long. It takes you from the ancient site of Delphi to the old port of Kirra while enjoying the best views of Central Greece and the amazing monuments that can be found along this historic route.
Along this trail, you can visit the village of Carissa and enjoy a walk through one of the world’s best olive groves. In the end, you can enjoy a swim to cool off or take mesmerizing pictures of the sunset.
In Southern Greece, and between the two villages of Lagkadia and Stemnitsa, lies the Menalon Trail. This 8-stage trail is about 75km long, with multiple valleys, plateaus, and rocky peaks that you can explore.
One of the things that makes this one of the top hiking attractions is that it’s extremely biodiverse. Near the village of Stemnitsa, two rivers contribute to the growth of fir and high shrub forests. This area is also home to a lot of animals like foxes, weasels, and hedgehogs that you can take pictures of.
This mountain trail lies across the northern borders of Greece with Albania and is one of the most well-known spots where you can watch the brown bears. For centuries, brown bears played a crucial role in Ancient Greek history, as they were displayed in myths and stories, like the myth of Callisto.
There are currently hundreds of brown bears in Greece, and hiking along this trail is one of the best ways to encounter one. The popularity of this trail also contributes to conservation projects that aim at protecting these majestic animals and their natural habitat.
The Pindos range is made of several mountain peaks, canyons, and valleys. But it’s not the best choice for a first-time hiker because the terrain can be quite challenging. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent way to see a part of Greece’s landscape that you didn’t know existed before.
Found in Peloponnese in Southern Greece, this trail is known for its fantastic landscape views. The Voidomatis River runs right through this trail for 12km and supports the growth of some of the rarest flowers in the region.
It’s a rocky trail that you can continue up to Mountain Taygetos. Taking this trial requires that you spend the night in one of the mountain refuges to enjoy the sunrise that overlooks the whole of Greece from 2404m high. As you hike on your way down, you’ll be able to enjoy your time in some little Greek villages and towns.
Hiking in Crete
Apart from mainland Greece, there’s an opportunity to explore amazing hiking trails in its marvelous islands. Crete has a rich and interesting history as it was the homeland of one of Europe’s most ancient civilizations, the Minoans. It’s also said to be the birthplace of the Ancient Greek God, Zeus. Not to mention some of the best hikes in Greece.
But if you’re not that interested in history, you can explore the amazing hiking trails of Crete and enjoy its incredible landscape. The Samaria Gorge is one of the best trekking and hiking spots that you can start with if you’re hiking in Crete for the first time. Not to mention that Crete’s beaches are some of the best in Greece.
It measures about 15km long, and you can complete your hike in 5 to 7 hours, depending on your pace and how frequently you choose to pause to enjoy the views. Most hikers choose to start from the top until they reach the Agia Roumeli beach. One of the best spots is when the gorge narrows to just a few meters and its walls become about 500m high at the Iron Gates.
Best Hiking in Greece – The Wrap Up
Everywhere you go in Greece there’s a special spot to explore. But Greece offers more than its amazing history because you can explore its wonderful hiking trails.
There are several hiking trails to explore in Mainland Greece and its outstanding islands, like the Island of Naxos. Some of these trails are marked as light, while others are incredibly challenging and will only work for you if you’re experienced enough to go hiking in these difficult conditions. And choose a versatile backpack that can serve multiple functions.