11 Incredible Hikes and Walks in the Mountains of Greece

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When you’re planning a holiday in Greece, you imagine the sun, sea, and sand. But this sun-drenched country is not just stunning beaches and crazy nightlife. It has fantastic mountainous terrain, too. In fact, it’s an earthly paradise for hiking enthusiasts. And many walks in Greece will show you the less touristy places and provide beautiful vistas.

As an outdoor aficionado, I happen to visit Greece quite frequently. So, I know the ins and outs of the Greek countryside. In this blog post, I’m sharing the secrets of Greece hiking. Hang tight and enjoy the hike!  

Best day hikes in Greece

In this part of the guide, we will tell you all about the best day hikes in Greece. Some will be easy, others challenging. So, go ahead and find one that suits your interests!

Samariá Gorge Trail (Crete)

  • Location: 42.3 km (26.2 miles) from Chania
  • Distance: 14.3 km (8.8 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 2,674 (8,772 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: One-way

Located in Crete, the largest Greek island, the Samariá Gorge Trail is a renowned hiking trail. It features a river and scenic landscapes, and, for this reason, it’s primarily used, apart from hiking, for bird watching and nature trips. It’s accessible year-round. More specifically, the Samariá Gorge Trail begins at the National Park of Samaria, a plane-clad beauty. 

For the most part, you’ll be going downhill. That’s going to try your knees, so be sure to bring along some hiking shoes with added support. The most challenging part is the beginning, as the first 6 kilometers of the Samariá Gorge Trail are steep downhills, followed by two hikes. Once at the gorge bottom, the course becomes easier, flat, and enjoyable.

Must Read: 17 Marvellous Things To Do in Athens To Add To Your Itinerary

Fira to Oia (Santorini)

  • Location: Santorini, Cyclades, Aegean Sea
  • Distance: 10.5 km (6.5 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 326 meters (1070 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: One-way

Hiking from Fira to Oia is one of the best walks in Greece on Santorini. Explore the picturesque towns of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia to experience incredible views of the volcanic island. In addition, walk around the caldera rim to marvel at the deep-blue waters of the Aegean Sea! Going to Santorini, just for the sake of hiking, is one of the best walking holidays Greece. 

This isn’t a demanding hike. It’s rated as moderate in difficulty. However, walking amidst blooming wildflowers of the Greek countryside is so relaxing that experienced hikers find Fira to Oia an easy course instead. 

Acropolis Walk (Athens)

  • Location: Central Athens 
  • Distance: 1.8 km (1.1 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 67 meters (220 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop trail

The Acropolis is the most significant monument in Greece and a beacon in the history of humanity, representing the values of democracy and free speech. In this route, hikers see grand temples, such as the Temple of Zeus, Athena Nike Temple, the Erechtheion, and the Archaeological Site of the Acropolis, as they get absorbed in Ancient Greek culture. For this reason, alone, the Acropolis walk is one of the best walks in Greece. Also, this hike is accessible year-round, which makes it even more attractive! 

This is a moderately demanding hike. But, you could also describe it as an intense walk. Nevertheless, remember to wear hiking shoes with good traction, as the stones near the temples are slippery. 

Za Cave (Naxos)

  • Location: 21.2 km (13.1 miles) from Naxos City
  • Distance: 7.9 km (4.9 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 612 meters (2,000 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop trail

Hiking on Mt Zas and standing on the highest point in the Cyclades island group is an extraordinary experience. Atop the mountain is the Za Cave, in which, according to the Greek mythos, God Zeus, the Father of the Greek Gods, was born and raised. If you fancy, while hiking towards the summit, you may visit said cave! On that note, keep in mind that Mt Zas is one of the tallest mountains in Greece, too. 

As to Naxos, this is the largest island of the Cyclades. It’s different from windswept Mykonos or volcanic Santorini. Naxos is fertile and mountainous, which is rare in the Cyclades. So, Naxos is perfect for hiking! 

This hike isn’t for everyone because it’s strenuous and challenging. The terrain is rugged, packed with rocks, while the descent is steep, and at points, it’s easy losing the trail. Keep an eye out for thorns, as well. But the spectacular views atop the mountain are phenomenal. At the same time, the Zeus Cave is a fantastic off-the-beaten-path attraction too, and one of the most incredible walks in Greece!  

Delos Archeological Tour (Delos, day trip from Mykonos)

  • Location: Mykonos, Cyclades
  • Distance: 3.5 km (2.1 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 68 meters (223 ft)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Loop trail

To go to Delos island, you have to sign up for the day trip from Mykonos. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Paros, Naxos, or Antalya, Turkey. In ancient times, Delos was a religious center with a flourishing commercial port.

Today, however, the island is uninhabited. During the walk, feel free to marvel at grand buildings, such as the Dionysus House, the House of the Dolphins, the Maison De Cleopatre, and the Temple of Anjus. 

Interesting post: 30 best Single & Multi-Day hikes in Europe

Prasonisi (Rhodes)

  • Location: 92 km from Rhodes City
  • Distance: 6.4 km (4 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 186 meters (610 ft)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Loop trail

Prasonisi is located in Rhodes, that splendid island of the Dodecanese group. Also known as the Knights’ Island, Rhodes is magnificent. With the majestic Grand Master Palace and the narrow cobbled streets, Rhodes is a land of living history and scenic beauty. 

Now, Prasonisi is a verdant islet south of the main island. In particular, it’s a strip of sand enclosed by the sea. The peculiar thing about Prasonisi, though, is that the west side of the sand strip is always calm, while, at the same time, the eastern side is windy. That makes the islet a windsurfing paradise and a fantastic place for holiday in Greece!

Mt Profitis (Rhodes) 

  • Location: 44 km (27.3 miles) from Rhodes City
  • Distance: 8.4 km (5.2 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 535 meters (1,755 ft)
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Type: Loop trail

Located on the Northwestern coast of Rhodes, Mt Profitis (Mt Prophet Elijah) features stunning walks in Greece through dense forest. As you hike to the top of the mountain, the path will take you under the shade of pine trees, ilex trees, and the occasional olive trees. These trees create a comfortable microclimate, which enables you to withstand the challenge of the hike. Breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and Turkey’s coastline are discernable as you climb higher. Once atop, there are picnic areas, the Eastern Roman Church of Profitis Elias, and the Villa de Vecci, home of the former Italian Governor of Rhodes. 

This is one of the most challenging walks in Greece. Mt Profitis is rated as hard, as it’s an intensive, constant hike to reach the top of Rhode’s third highest mountain and one of the tallest mountains in Greece. Wear hiking shoes with good traction and support because even though the paths are well-maintained, the terrain is rugged.

More into Cycling?

Check out What to Expect of Cycling in Greece + Top 4 Bike Touring Routes

Shipwreck Beach (Zakynthos)

  • Location: 31.8 km (19.7 miles) from Zakynthos City
  • Distance: 1.4 km (1 mile)
  • Elevation gain: 139 meters (456 ft)
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Type: Out and back

Zakynthos is best known for sea-green waters and the distinctive image of a rusted shipwreck. In fact, the latter is the main attraction of this Ionian island, along with sea turtle watching. The rusted ship washed up on the white sands of Navagio Beach for unknown reasons, and ever since, the contrast of the shipwreck against the vividness of the tropical beach fascinates tourists. They even book their holiday in Greece just to admire the shipwreck! 

Skopos (Zakynthos)

  • Location: 7.2 km (4.4 miles) from Zakynthos City
  • Distance: 12.7 km (7.8 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 510 meters (1,673 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back

Mt Skopos has played a strategic role in shaping the island’s history and features scenic panoramic views of the Laganas Bay and the Ionian Sea. At the top, there’s the Temple of Panagia Skopiotissa, built on the ruins of the Temple of Goddess Diana.

As you hike, expect to enjoy the smells of pine trees and Mediterranean herbs, such as oregano, and gaze at Cephalonia, the Greek mainland, and Zakynthos City. Consequently, Mt Skopos is incredible for Greece hiking.  

Multi-day walks in Greece

Below we cover a few multi-day walks in Greece which will push your limits. They are challenging, but also very rewarding as the views are incredible!

Top of Mount Olympus 

  • Location: 13.8 km (8.5 miles) from Litochoro, Central Greece
  • Distance: 24.0 km (14 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 2,069 meters (6,788 ft)
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Type: Out and back

Climbing atop the legendary Mt Olympus is going to be a memorable experience. In Greek mythology, Mt Olympus was one of the most important Ancient Greek mountains, as it was the home of the Gods, with Stefani peak being considered Zeus’s Throne.

Since 1938, the mountain has turned into a national park and has an amazing variety of wildlife and flora. Deep gorges, daunting summits, and high couloirs are the features beckoning outdoor adventurers to conquer that fascinating mountain. 

Corfu Trail (Corfu)

  • Location: 48 km (29 miles) from Corfu City
  • Distance: 174.6 km (108 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 5,795 meters (19,012 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: One way

Famed for its stunning beaches, luxurious resorts, and cosmopolitan character, Corfu is one of the most beautiful islands of the Ionian group. That said, Corfu has a wild side that remains mostly unknown and you can discover it with some beautiful walks in Greece. Dense forests, a characteristic Greek mountain range, iconic olive trees, and shining ponds patiently wait to be explored. If you’re in Corfu and looking for an unparalleled backpacking adventure, don’t miss out on the phenomenal Corfu Trail. 

What to expect

The best time for hiking in Greece is Spring (April to May) and Autumn (September to October). During both seasons, the countryside is fresh and filled with beautiful wildflowers. On top of that, the winter rains and the intense summer heat are gone.  

Keep in mind that some hiking routes aren’t very well maintained, resembling sheep’s paths. But at least, the most popular ones offer a super smooth hiking experience. So, whether you choose to hike in Mount Olympus or cross the Samaria Gorge Trail in Crete, Greece has something for every hiker! 

What to bring

Preparing for walking in Greece might be exciting, but, at the same time, it’s tough. You cannot bring everything on your hiking excursions in the Greek mountains, only the essentials. Whether you’re going on a multi-day long-distance hike or day trip, these are the items you should bring along when hiking in Greece: 

  • Water & Food: The golden rule is to bring enough water to last your trek but the minimum amount of food you’ll need to survive on your excursion. Try to use a reusable water bottle pack to fulfill your water needs and consume snacks, such as granola bars, to help you preserve your energy for a few hours. 
  • First Aid: Packing the necessary items to treat injuries is indispensable. Bring to your hike tools like antibiotic cream, bandages, gauze pads, whistle, and insect repellent.
  • Knife: Never underestimate the usefulness of a sharp knife when hiking. You may use it to protect yourself from unexpected dangers or apply bandages if you get wounded.  
  • Sun Protection: Greece is a hot country, and, as such, packing sunglasses, sunscreen, or a hat, ensures protection from UV radiation. 
  • Navigation: A compass, a GPS, or a physical map are great tools to keep you ahead of the trail. 
  • Extra Clothes: A pair of extra clothes never harmed anyone. Besides, you never know when you’ll get caught in the occasional drizzle or if you need additional garments to pass the night. 
  • Trekking Poles: A hiking staple, trekking poles are extremely helpful on muddy, rocky, and steep trails. 
  • Hiking Footwear: Considering how slippery and rocky the terrain in Greece is, a pair of sturdy hiking boots or shoes with solid ankle support seems a fine choice. You could opt for trail runners, too, though. 
  • Camera: Without a camera, no scenic photos of the Greek landscape to share with friends back home. As such, a digital camera is indispensable in Greece hiking. 

For more information about the best items to put in your backpack, check out the comprehensive backpacking checklist we prepared for you. 

And we’re done! Thanks so much for following me on these incredible hikes in the mountains in Greece! I hope this post proved that there’s much more than just island hopping in Greece. Let me know what you think about it in the comments! 

Are you ready to explore more of Greece? Check out our Greece page to find more tips, things to do and more.

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