Located in mainland Greece, in Pieria, Litochoro is the starting point of Mount Olympus hiking trails, such as Prionia and Gortsia.
Visitors stop in Litochoro for one night prior to their Mount Olympus ascension or hike. As they return from the mountain of Gods, many of these people prefer to head over Plaka Litochoro or to Leptokaria, the nearest beach resorts on the Olympic Riviera.
Litochoro, this charming mountain town, deserves more than a very short stop. Like millions others, I’m guilty of treating Litochoro as the gate to the realm of Gods. I’ve hiked Olympus several times, and I’m in love with Mount Olympus National Park.
Contents of Litochoro, the Picturesque Town at the Foot of Mount Olympus
Where Is Litochoro
Litochoro is located at the foot of Mount Olympus in the Pieria regional unit of Central Macedonia, Greece.
Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, is the nearest city to Litochoro, located approximately 100 kilometers away.
Litochoro is close to the Olympic Riviera resorts such as Plaka, Leptokaria, Fritsa, Nei Pori, Olimpiaki Akti and Paralia Katerini.
Click here to see its geographical coordinates on the map.
Where To Stay in Litochoro, Plaka or Gritsa
Litochoro has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Visitors can choose to stay in the town center or in one of the nearby mountain villages.
Luxury Accommodation in Limenas Litochoro (Gritsa Beach): Dion Palace Resort & SPA – click here to see current rates as of today Monday, May 29th 2023 and to book your stay
Luxury Accommodation in Plaka Litochorou (Plaka Beach): Akrotiri Olympus Luxury Suites Adults Only – for rates, inquiries and bookings visit this page.
Litochoro Mid-Range Accommodation: Bayiri Petit Pension – located in a historical building these apartments attract raving reviews from most guests they welcome – check out the prices and book your stay here.
The town of Litochoro also has a variety of dining options, from traditional Greek tavernas to international restaurants.
Why Visit Litochoro
The town of Litochoro has a rich history, but that’s only one of the main reasons for visiting it. Here are some good reasons for you to include Litochoro in your Greece itinerary.
Litochoro has a long and fascinating history. According to legend, the town was founded by the Macedonian king, Archelaus, in the 5th century BC. Over the centuries, the town was ruled by various empires, including the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. Today, Litochoro boasts a rich architectural heritage that reflects its diverse cultural past.
The archeological site of Dion is a true marvel, a hidden gem that surely deserves way more publicity than it actually gets.
In the photo below you can see the remains of a hypocaust in Dion. This is an unbelievably wise feature that allowed the heating of buildings by laying the floors on top of these pillars. That’s the forefather or our modern underfloor heating systems.
Natural Wonders Surrounding Litochoro
Litochoro is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The town is located on the eastern slopes of Mount Olympus and is the gateway to the mountain’s national park. The park covers an area of over 238,000 acres and is home to over 1,700 species of plants and animals.
Visitors to the Mount Olympus National Park can explore the mountain’s peaks, gorges, and waterfalls on foot or by mountain bike.
You don’t need to climb Mytikas or any other peak to enjoy Mount Olympus. Just leave your car in the parking lot at Prionia and walk through the forest until you get tired, then rest a little and return.
Another hiking option is to start in Litochoro and follow the E4 trail to the Old Holy Monastery of Dionysios. There’s also a road and a parking lot near the monastery, so you can drive, if you wish.
From there, take the short hike to the holy cave of Saint Dionysios. As far as I remember, this is a 20-minute stroll that follows a dirt trail winding up and down. The cave is very small and the entrance is free of charge. I liked very much the cave and the forest trail that leads there from the monastery.
In addition to its natural wonders, Litochoro has a rich cultural heritage. The town is home to several historic churches, including the Church of St. Nicholas, the Church of the Transfiguration, and the Church of the Dormition.
Visitors can also explore the town’s Archaeological Museum, which features exhibits on Litochoro’s ancient past.
Like many other towns in Greece, Litochoro has its own share of local festivals, rituals and events. For instance, the Olympus Marathon is one of the yearly events that attract heaps of Greeks and foreigners alike. The main point of this trail running race is to commemorate the pilgrimage of ancient Greeks to Mt Olympus, home of their beloved and feared gods.
The simple architecture of buildings in Litochoro complements very well the small and quaint streets of the village. The central roundabout is a hub for locals to congregate and to socialize.
Litochoro offers visitors a wide range of activities to suit all interests. For hikers and mountaineers, the town is the starting point for a climb to the top of Mount Olympus.
For beachgoers, Litochoro is just a short drive from the beautiful beaches of the Aegean Sea. Here you can enjoy the sea and the mountains in one go. I easily see myself spending a few weeks in Litochoro and splitting my time between mountain hikes and swimming.
The town is also popular with cyclists, who can explore the mountain’s scenic routes.
How To Get from Thessaloniki to Litochoro
To get to Litochoro from Thessaloniki, you can choose between various transportation options such as bus, taxi and car rental.
The most convenient and the least expensive way to get from Thessaloniki to Litochoro is by KTEL bus. The journey takes approximately 1.5 – 2 hours, and the buses depart frequently from the Macedonia bus station in Thessaloniki.
Alternatively, you can hire a taxi or rent a car from Thessaloniki and drive to Litochoro. The journey takes 1 – 1.5 hours, depending on the traffic.
How To Get from Athens to Litochoro
To get to Litochoro from Athens, you can also choose between different transportation options.
The most convenient way is by train. You can take the train from Athens to Litochoro, which takes approximately 5-6 hours.
Alternatively, you can take the KTEL bus from Athens to Litochoro, which takes approximately 5 hours. The buses depart frequently from the Athens bus station.
The third option is to rent a car or take a taxi from Athens to Litochoro. The journey takes approximately 4 hours, depending on the traffic. I’m not sure how much the taxi ride costs, but I can only think it’s expensive.
What do you think? Would you like to visit Litochoro during your next trip to Greece?