Hiking In Greece – A Guide To The Best Hikes In Greece

Updated: March 31, 2023
hiking in greece

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!

Before we jump into the best hikes in Greece, here's a quick overview of the best Greek islands for hiking. 

Best Islands In Greece For Hiking

There are several Greek islands that are great for hiking, but some of the most popular options are Crete, Naxos, Santorini, and Rhodes. Each island has its own unique landscape and trails to explore, so it really depends on what kind of hiking experience you are looking for.

Here's a brief overview of hiking in each of the popular Greek islands mentioned above.

Hiking in Crete

Crete is the largest Greek island and is home to several stunning hiking trails. The Samaria Gorge is a popular destination for hikers, as it is one of Europe's longest gorges and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and wildlife. The island also boasts the White Mountains, which offer a range of hikes for all abilities.

Hiking in Naxos

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and is known for its diverse landscapes, ranging from mountains and valleys to beaches and coastline. Hikers can explore the island's many trails, which lead to ancient ruins, hidden villages, and stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

Hiking in Santorini

While Santorini is best known for its picturesque villages and sunsets, the island also offers several hiking trails. The most popular trail is the Fira to Oia hike, which takes hikers along the island's famous caldera and offers stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

Hiking in Rhodes

Rhodes is the largest island in the Dodecanese and has a variety of hiking trails to explore. The island's interior is dominated by pine forests and mountains, while the coastline offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea. The Valley of the Butterflies is a popular destination for hikers, as it is home to thousands of butterflies and offers a unique hiking experience.

Now let's look at the best Greek hikes.

Best Hikes In Greece

1. Mount Olympus

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. There are several trails to choose from if you want to climb Mount Olympus.


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!

2. Caldera Trail

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. 

3. Samaria Gorge

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. 

4. Sifnos Trail

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. 

5. Apollo Trail 

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. 

6. Parnitha Mountain

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!

7. Paros and Naxos Hikes

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. 

Hiking Greece FAQ

What is the longest hiking trail in Greece?

The longest hiking trail in Greece is the E4 European long distance path, which starts in Portugal and ends in Cyprus, passing through several countries including Greece. In Greece, the trail covers approximately 1,200 kilometers and crosses through the country's diverse landscapes, including mountains, forests, and coastline.

Does Greece have good hiking?

Yes, Greece has excellent hiking opportunities, with trails that offer stunning views of the country's landscapes and coastlines. From mountainous regions to coastal paths and ancient ruins, there is something for every type of hiker in Greece.

Is Naxos or Paros better for hiking?

Both Naxos and Paros have great hiking trails and beautiful scenery, but it ultimately depends on personal preference. Naxos is known for its diverse landscapes and stunning mountain hikes, while Paros has a mix of coastal and inland trails with views of the Aegean Sea. Both islands have their own unique charm and are worth exploring for hiking enthusiasts.

When is the best time to go hiking in Greece?

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!

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About the author 

Adie Marais

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.

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