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The best hikes in Greece

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A multitude of people travel to Greece for its history, art, culture, cuisine, and scenic landscapes. But many of them don't know that Greece is also a fantastic hiking destination. Home to more than a dozen mountain ranges, volcanic islands, dramatic gorges, and hilly coastlines, as well as rolling interior plains, both mainland Greece and the Greek Islands encompass a wide variety of landscapes crisscrossed by scenic trails.


While some visitors navigate rugged terrain leading to breathtaking views, others with more cultural interests prefer to visit historic ruins, mountain villages, and archaeological sites. These are just some of the attractions that make Greece so wonderful to explore on foot via trips like our best walking tours of Greece.

 

The best hiking trails around Greece

Whether you want to soak up views of the beautiful landscapes in Greece or connect with the country's history and culture, here is our selection of the best hikes in Greece on which to do so.

1. Andros Route, Andros

Stretching 60 miles from the southern tip of the island to the north, the Andros Route on the Greek Island of Andros in the Aegean Sea is a recently-restored network of historic walking trails and paths preserved by locals and volunteers. The trail, which passes through verdant forests and valleys, taking in sunny mountaintops, and hills to monasteries, historic sites and villages, offers easy to intermediate hiking.

2. Samaria Gorge, Crete

With steep cliffs, lush vegetation, a meandering creek, abandoned villages, and ancient Byzantine relics, Crete's Samaria Gorge is easily one of the best hikes in Greece. The gorge, which is located inside a national park of the same name in the White Mountains of western Crete, is one of the longest and most spectacular in all of Europe.


The roughly 10-mile route makes for a great day hike, starting at the top of the gorge, descending on a switchback trail down into the canyon and along the bottom of the Samaria Gorge to its end on the coast at the charming village of Agia Roumeli. Offering moderate difficulty, a good level of physical fitness is required to undertake this memorable six- to eight-hour hike.

3. Corfu Trail, Corfu

The 136-mile-long Corfu Trail on the Greek Island of Corfu is one of the best hiking trails in Greece. Navigating the island interior as well as its stunning coastlines, the trail starts at the southern tip of the island near Kavos and takes in mountain passes, olive groves, lush hillsides, and sandy beaches en route to Agios Spiridon at the island's northern end.


Along the way, explore Corfu Town's UNESCO World Heritage listed historic center, swim in the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea, and dine at seaside tavernas. You can also climb the island's second-highest peak. This long hike of leisurely to moderate  difficulty can take anywhere from eight to ten days. You can hike the entire trail in one trip, or choose to tackle just the north or south section.

4. Vikos Gorge, Epirus

Listed alongside the Grand Canyon as one of the deepest canyons in the world, the Vikos Gorge in the Pindus Mountains of northwestern Greece makes for spectacular mountain hiking. Located within Vikos National Park, there are various hiking trails to choose from here. But one of the most popular starts from the highest point on the rim, from where there are breathtaking views of the gorge and rocky cliff walls, and descends down to the gorge floor where the Voidomatis River flows.


Hikers can also follow the famous Vradeto Steps, carved into the limestone hundreds of years ago, to observation points along the gorge's rim, like the Beloi viewpoint for panoramic vistas. With some steep inclines and sharp descents, the hikes here typicallly take a few hours and are of moderate difficulty. 

5. Mount Ohi, Evia

Climb past ancient temples and strange dragon houses on the three- to four-hour hike to the summit of Mount Ohi, the third highest mountain on the Greek Island of Evia. Despite being Greece's second-largest island, Evia is often overlooked by tourists, and this hike, in particular, yields beautiful views of the island and surrounding Aegean Sea.

6. Menalon Trail, Arcadia

Comprised of eight sections covering some 47 miles of the Arcadia region in the central Peloponnese in southern Greece, this well-marked trail can be completed in roughly a week, or section by section as day trips. Passing through forests, gorges, villages, and mountainous valleys, a highlight of this hike is a visit to the cliffside Prodromou Monastery.

7. Dragon Lake, Epirus

Nestled high on Mount Tymi in the Pindus Mountains in Vikos National Park, among rolling hills carpeted in green grass, the Dragon Lake feels like something out of a fairytale. Quite literally: local legends say that dragons once dueled here. The out-and-back hiking trail to this mystical alpine lake takes between 8–10 hours and is very much off-the-beaten-track.

8. Mount Olympus, Litochoro

Ascend to the realm of the Greek gods on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. A six-hour drive from Athens, Mount Olympus actually has 52 different summits. The highest of these peaks is Mytikas at 2,918 meters.


Experienced hikers can climb to the highest point in a day but will need the assistance of a local guide from the nearby town of Litochoro. However, there are plenty of easier hikes and trails around the mountain’s slopes, where you can still appreciate its incredibly rich biodiversity and historical significance. Hiking Mount Olympus is a classic Greek experience that blends outdoor exploration with immersion in the nation’s culture.

 

9. Mount Zas, Naxos

Said to be the place where the Greek god Zeus was born, Mount Zas is the highest peak on the island of Naxos. Climbing to the top is rewarded with panoramic views of craggy mountaintops, the surrounding blue Aegean Sea, and neighboring islands in the distance. The four-hour hike is easy and accessible for most hikers.

10. Seven Villages Trail, Naxos

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks on the historic Seven Villages walking trail around Naxos. The seven-mile-long route passes along marbled pathways through lush countryside, olive groves and vineyards, connecting charming villages including Kourounochori, Mili, and Melanes. This day hike is best done at a leisurely pace so you can admire the sweeping views, explore each of the villages, and sit in a taverna to enjoy a tasty lunch of the local cuisine.

 

What to bring for hiking in Greece

When hiking in Greece, essentials to pack include sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen and a sun hat, a comfortable day pack, a water bottle, and clothing to layer up or take off as the day heats or cools.

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