Greece is a hiker’s dream destination. Hills and mountains span across 80 percent of this beautiful European country - resulting in numerous epic treks and unforgettable hikes.
Hiking in Greece is also a fascinating cultural and historical experience. Many of the hiking trails follow along old road networks that have been left untouched since cars were invented.
If you’re interested in breathtaking ocean views, stunning mountain scenery and learning about the incredible history of Greece, then what are you waiting for?
Here are the best hikes in Greece that simply cannot be missed!
First and foremost is Mount Olympus. Not only is this the highest mountain in Greece, but it is also the most famous due to its mythological significance. Olympus has 52 peaks that were considered to be the home of the 12 Olympian Gods.
Mount Olympus was also designated at Greece’s first national park in 1938 as it is positively filled with diverse plants and wildlife. This makes it a beautiful place for hikers and nature lovers to explore.
There is an intricate network of pathways spanning through the park, resulting in over 100 miles (60 kilometers) of hiking trail to traverse. There are also refuges located on Mount Olympus where you can stay overnight and enjoy a two or three day trek. Make sure you pack a good pair of hiking boots for this hike!
Located on the famously beautiful island of Santorini is the Caldera Trail. This trail is an absolute must for any hiker in Greece as it guides you through multiple picturesque villages and offers stunning ocean views of the collapsed volcano (or caldera).
The Caldera Trail is about 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometers) long and is very easy so you can bring your whole family. The trail is located on the ridge of the caldera, allowing you to bask in the spectacular views from the edge of the volcanic feature.
It is also worth taking a small detour to see Skaros Rock - a unique rock formation and ancient ruins of a medieval fortress. Also known as Fortress Skaros or Castle Skaros, this fascinating landmark was once a defensive fortress built in the 13th century.
The White Mountains National Park is a gorgeous spot in Crete that spans the area of Samaria Gorge. The gorge is the longest in Europe and has been deemed as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
The Samaria Gorge trail is about 8 - 10 miles (13-16 kilometers) long and takes you on a scenic journey through the park. Here you can enjoy being immersed in nature and see the enchanting ruins of ancient Venetian castles and settlements.
You can also hike up Mount Ida (2,456 m / 8,058 ft) or Mount Gigilos (2,080 m / 6,824 ft), which offer spectacular views of the sea and Samaria Gorge below.
The Sifnos Trail is a slightly challenging 9 mile (15 kilometer) hike around the Profitis Ilias area of Sifnos Island. This old route takes you around the hilly terrain and up steep inclines of steps.
Sifnos is full of culture and interesting sights. There are over 360 churches on the island, many of which have fascinating historical and religious significance. Numerous religious festivals are held on the island in summer, which provides an awesome opportunity for visitors to learn more about the culture of Sifnos.
With beautiful landscapes, interesting historical buildings and lovely beaches, hiking along the Sifnos Trail is a rich and fulfilling experience.
The Apollo Trail is a fairly easy 6 mile (10 kilometer) trail that begins in the Neda Village in Messinia. This trail connects Neda with the Abeliona and Skliros villages.
Along the Apollo Trail, you will walk through diverse terrain. From forests and open fields to mountains and gorges, this little-known trail offers hikers a wonderfully scenic experience.
You will also find the famous Temple of Apollo Epicurius located in Bassae - a UNESCO World Heritage Site just outside of Skliros. This incredible temple is one of the most studied archaeological sites of ancient Greece due to its unusual features.
The Parnitha Mountain is located in Athens and has about 75 different hiking routes with varying levels of difficulty. So whether you’re just looking to stretch your legs with a quick 3 hour hike or want more of a challenge, this is an ideal hiking spot.
This beautiful mountain provides a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of Athens. As you hike, you will be treated to some breathtaking views of the city below. There is a refuge located on Parnitha where you can rest your legs for a bit and have a snack.
The hike up Parnitha Mountain is a beautiful and serene hiking experience. If you choose to take a more difficult route up and feel like your legs won’t manage another step, you can always take the cable car down and enjoy the ride!
If you take a quick ferry ride from Santorini, you’ll find yourself at the islands of Paros and Naxos. These two lesser-known islands are equally as beautiful as Santorini and less crowded. So you can enjoy a quieter, more remote hiking experience here.
Naxos is the larger of the two islands and has a more mountainous terrain - making it a perfect place to go hiking in Greece. The most popular hike on Naxos is the hike up Mount Zas.
This mountain is often called Mount Zeus and is the highest mountain in the Cyclades Islands. In Greek mythology, Mount Zas is said to be Zeus's childhood home. You can even hike to the cave in which he was born.
Paros is less mountainous but still offers excellent hiking spots. The Byzantine Trail takes you on a journey back through time. It guides you through an untouched landscape that has been mostly left to its own devices for about 1000 years.
You can go hiking in Greece all year round as its climate is generally pretty mild throughout the different seasons.
May, June, September and October are the best months to go hiking because they are in between the high and low seasons. This means that all the attractions, resorts and trails will still be open but there will be less crowds.
July and August are the country’s high-season for tourists as they are the warmest months of the year.
If you’re looking for a quieter, less crowded hiking experience, winter is not a bad time to plan your trip. There are far fewer tourists in Greece between November and March. However, some resorts and attractions close down during the low season. So make sure you check before you go!
Adie is a nature and wildlife lover living in Cape Town, South Africa. Growing up, she had many opportunities to explore the outdoors by hiking, going on safaris and venturing into the karoo with her family. This led to her love of animals, the environment and discovering new places to explore.