There is some awesome hiking in Greece, check out 15 of the best hikes in Greece. Of course, this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg as there is so much to explore in Greece.
Greece is a country known for its turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and snow-white buildings set upon rocky cliffs. But it might surprise you to know that this country, thanks to a diversity of landscapes including meadows, mountains, hillsides, and forests, has a long list of hiking trails to satisfy even the most adventurous traveler.
Though you won’t find simple classics like the Acropolis on this list of the best hikes in Greece, we can promise that those we have listed should be on your radar if you’re planning to visit this beautiful Mediterranean country. Whether you’re a mountain climber or more interested in shorelines, there’s something for everyone.
The Best Hikes in Greece!
Vikos Aoos National Park
Located in the center of mainland Greece, this region is often overlooked when it comes to scenery, but it has just as much to offer as the most popular sports in the country. Vikos Aoos is the region’s resident national park, within which you’ll find a long list of traditional stone villages and views that parallel even the islands.
There’s a mountain range with peaks up to 2000 feet, and views of nearby drakolimni (“dragon lakes”), so named because of the folklore that they were inhabited by dragons. The infighting between the dragons resulted in the existence of the nearby mountain ranges.
Zagori, Epirus, Midwestern Greece
Try the Vikos Gorge – one of the deepest in the world – for something a little more daring.
This is an easy hike with incredible scenery and a bonus history lesson, so it’s a win-win-win. The hike is located on the island of Kythira, and this route has a starting point in Mylopotamos, a village just inland from the island’s western coast.
This short hike is less than two hours and will take you through the island’s ancient watermills, alongside mystical waterfalls, and across a small river. Be sure to work in a visit to the Filippi watermill, which has been restored to function.
Kythira Island, south of the mainland
The end of the trail has beautiful plunge pools perfect for a year-round dip.
It wouldn’t be a list of best hikes in Greece without mentioning the best-known peak in the entire Mediterranean region. Mount Olympus is the highest peak in the country (hence its mythical status as the home of the gods), so if views are your priority, you won’t be disappointed.
Olympus is a national park, so there are actually numerous mountain peaks (52, to be exact) and over 160 kilometers of trails suited to a variety of skill levels. The entire area is a haven for wild flora and fauna. Combined with the vistas, this is basically heaven on earth.
On the border between Thessaly and Macedonia.
Mount Olympus itself (the main mountain) should only be undertaken by expert hikers.
Starting in Apollonia Village, the Sifnos trail is located on Sifnos Island. This hike is moderate in difficulty, but at seven hours, it is manageable. We’d recommend at least an intermediate skill level for this route, but you don’t need to be an expert.
The trail goes through steeper areas (stairs are carved into these spots for easier navigation), but along the way, you’ll pass protected natural reserves in the hillsides, beautiful flora, and some of the best views of the Aegean Sea. There’s also a beautiful ancient monastery for additional sightseeing along the way.
Don’t miss the folklore museum in the main village.
The Menalon Trail
This hike is a long one. At 75km long, the Menalon Trail runs through the mountains of Gortynia in central Peloponnese. As far as scenery, you’re treated to a little bit of everything on this hike – from mountains and dry canyons to lush valleys.
The route is divided into eight parts, all ranging in difficulty, to ensure that some of the routes are accessible to even novices but not too boring for more seasoned hikers. No matter where you walk along this route, you’ll pass through beautiful landscapes and picturesque ancient villages.
The eight sections have options for shorter hikes in case you prefer something that won’t take up your whole day.
When thinking of hiking, Athens isn’t usually a place that comes to mind. But Parnitha Mountain, located just outside the city, is an easy addition to the list of best hikes in Greece. There are multiple routes up the mountain, with varying difficulty levels despite each one being uphill to different summits.
Regardless of the route, the climb to the peaks is about three hours up and around one and a half hours back down, so this will take around half your day. At the top, try rakomelo—a drink made from alcohol and honey. There are also meal options if you’re hungry.
A half-hour drive from the center of Athens
Heads up—be prepared for no cell phone service on the mountain.
At 220 kilometers in length, the Corfu Trail on the island of Corfu is definitely one of the longer ones on this list. Unless you plan to bring plenty of camping gear, most people tend to choose a section and treat it as a day hike.
The trail leads away from the busier tourist areas of the island into more unspoiled natural regions. There is a huge variety of natural surroundings here, like beaches and dunes, olive groves, and plateaus and gorges in the north.
The route for the annual marathon follows the Corfu trail in a few places, but is otherwise a completely different route. Be sure to follow the correct signage!
Pelion (Old Mule Trails)
This is another hike that welcomes all levels, and it’s pretty fascinating to boot. The Pelion Peninsula is located halfway between Athens and Thessaloniki. It is a lush region where the old mule paths that used to link villages can be found. Today, these ancient paths serve as historical hiking paths for travelers.
Because these trails linked settlements, you can start from many different towns in the region, each more beautiful than the last thanks to rich biodiversity that has resulted in a considerable variety of greenery. This is a much quieter alternative to the Greek islands.
Mideastern coast of mainland Greece
Look out for tiny fishing villages and secret beaches for an island-like experience.
We briefly mentioned this insane gorge at the top of the list, since it’s located in Vikos Aoos National Park. The Guinness Book of World Records lists this gorge as the deepest in the world relative to its width. It lies on the slopes of Mount Tymfi and is half a kilometer at its deepest point.
The hike is around 12km long, and the area is well known for stone bridges and old monasteries. Between that and the views, you’re in for a treat on this hike. Some of the pathways are narrow ledges on the sides of the gorge, so be aware that the danger level is a bit higher here.
Zagori, Epirus, Midwestern Greece
The best route to descend into the gorge is through the village of Monodendri.
The Battery Trail, Kefalonia
Moderate in length (3.5 hours) and well-suited to beginners, this is a nice middle ground hike. The starting point is located in Fiskardo, a very popular seaside town. It’s more of a walk than a hike. You’ll wander along ancient cobblestone pathways and ancient (empty) settlements before reaching an abandoned German military base from World War II.
Once you reach the strawberry groves (doesn’t that sound pretty magical?), you’ll reach the pathways leading down to beautiful white-sand beaches, where you can relax for the rest of your day. This is perfect year-round, even in the summer, thanks to shade from foliage.
Add Kimilia Beach to your list, too—it’s got beautiful clear waters perfect for a swim.
If river trekking sounds cool to you, then make a note of this one. Neda is a river that passes through the Peloponnese region, in an area extremely well-known for its beautiful waterfalls. Despite the natural beauty of its surroundings, this hike remains largely unknown and is still considered a bit off the beaten track. If you’re keen to avoid huge crowds (luckily with hiking, in general, this is pretty easy), then this could be an excellent option for you if you don’t mind getting your feet wet.
Look for the kiosk selling ice cream and the little sign stating ‘waterfalls this way,’ and you’ll be on your way. It’s hard to find at first, but once you’re on the trail, all you need to do is follow the river. The pools at the end are a beautiful oasis for a swim.
This is a very untouched spot, with little to no paved areas or handrails, so wear appropriate footwear.
Crete is known for its gorges, with Samaria Gorge being perhaps its best-known one. One way, this hike takes four to six hours, depending on your starting point, so it’s not to be undertaken lightly. The trail is around 16 kilometers long, following the river and passing through Byzantine ruins. There are alternative (shorter) routes if you’re not keen on the whole thing.
At the end of the path is Agia Roumeli beach, a beautiful rocky beach perfect for a swim; if you have time, that is, because this is where a boat will wait to take you back if you’re not going back the way you came.
Crete, southern Greece
Wear proper footwear, since parts of this hike right along the river will have you walking on rickety wooden paneling.
The Wet Stone Quarry Trail
This is an easy hike, but it still takes a good three hours and is seven kilometers long. It starts in the village of Taxiarches on the island of Lesbos, an area marked by huge abandoned marble quarries. Located at the base of Falakro Mountain, a river formed when (long ago) stone workers hit an underground creek instead of a marble vein; water soon filled the chasm, resulting in today’s lake.
The walk through the surrounding oak forest is rife with these ancient quarries. It’s fascinating to walk the footsteps of the long-gone marble workers in modern times.
The start and endpoint of the hike are in front of the Jennifer Home Hotel.
Located around a four-hour car journey from Athens, the Meteora Monasteries were a series of 24 monasteries, with six still in operation today. They sit atop incredible rock formations that developed from a series of ancient earthquakes, near the town of Kalampaka. You can trek the areas in the region, including heading up to some monasteries. They sit very high, so be prepared for an upward climb and bring good shoes.
Local companies in the area offer guided tours if you prefer a local to take you around, but you are also free to do your own thing.
The monastery has a dress code – a long skirt (no pants) and a shawl around their shoulders for women, and long pants for men.
Located around one hour from Thessaloniki, Halkidiki is a peninsula in Macedonia. There’s a wide variety of landscapes here – olive groves, wetlands, wooded areas, and beaches. Between the villages, there are often rough trails to easily travel between towns to ensure you see the most possible spots in the region.
There are a ton of protected natural areas (12, to be exact) in this region, so you’ll be wandering through some of the most unspoiled natural territories in the country.
If you feel comfortable biking, this is a great area to do so, as there are many flatter areas along the coast.
You won’t be far from Mount Athos, but don’t try climbing it—it’s a holy place off-limits to women and children.
Plan For Greece
How Much Does a Trip to Greece Cost?
So how much spending money per day should you have in Greece? Asides the pre-trip expenses like airfare, luggage, and any Greece packing list items you’ll want to buy I believe you can get by in Greece for under
That’s if you’re staying in cheap accommodation, not drinking much alcohol, cooking your meals and eating paninis, and not partaking in costly activities. If you want to travel on a more modest and comfortable budget I would plan on spending €100 per day. If you want to learn more check out our post on what a trip to Greece costs.
Total Two Week Trip to Greece Cost (pp)
|Backpacker||€500 – €750|
|Basic||€800 – 1,400|
|Mid Range||€1,400 – 2,000|
|High End||€2,000 – €4,000+|
Flight to Greece
Like with most travel, your flight to Greece will be your number one expense. It’s best to book in advance if you know your travel dates. If you have flexibility with your schedule you stand a greater chance at scoring a deal. We like to use Google Flights and Skyscanner’s open search feature to find good deals to Greece. This can drastically determine what a trip to Greece costs.
The summer can really hurt when it comes to flight prices to Greece. It’s pretty common even with advance booking to spend $1,500 USD per ticket from the states. While in Europe flight prices can be found for a bargain of less than €100 regularly.
Luggage for Greece
You’ll need to decide if you want a backpack or suitcase for your Ireland trip. I personally like to travel with a hard shell suitcase for my clothes, and use a carry on backpack for my important electronics. See a few of our posts here for recommendations:
Travel Insurance for Greece
Healthcare is expensive when abroad, so make sure you have travel insurance in case anything goes wrong. We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you.
You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage. While SafetyWing is perfect for digital nomads. See our full review here!
Featured Travel Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a generous signup bonus of 60,000 points that has plenty of flexibility in redemption options. Chase Rewards are some of our favorite points to earn as they’re high value and can be redeemed in a multitude of ways. We love the Chase Sapphire Preferred as it was one of the first travel rewards we received and it’s well-loved by plenty of others. The awesome sign up offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points which can be redeemed for $750 of free flight if booked through the Chase travel portal.
The other option is to transfer the points to a large selection of airlines such as United, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest, or Korean Airlines. This is one of the best all-around credit cards for travel! Of course, everyone needs something different so check out our post on the best travel credit cards here or you can learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred on Card Ratings!
Plan and Pack for Greece
This all depends on where you’re heading to the beach, but a portable Bluetooth speaker is great to have when you’re in a group. We travel with a small BOOM speaker and take it with us when it feels appropriate. We say this because it’s often best to leave it at home on small secluded beaches so not to annoy anyone else with your music — no one’s that good of a DJ.
Want to fit in in Greece? Get yourself some Rainbow brand sandals, seriously everyone around you will be wearing them – and for a good reason. They are uber comfortable once you break them in and last forever!
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Greece. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.
Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but they often aren’t suitable or allowed on the beaches. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.
Travel in Greece
- The 10 Best Greek Islands To Visit in 2020
- 19 Best Things to do in Paros, Greece • Paros Island Travel Guide
- Traveling to Greece? Here are 20 Greece Travel Tips to Know
- 11 Best Things to do in Naxos, Greece • Naxos Island Travel Guide
- 17 Best Things to do in Milos, Greece • Milos Island Travel Guide
- 18 Epic Things to do in Crete, Greece
- 30 Facts About Greece That Will Blow Your Mind
- 20 AMAZING Things to do in Mykonos, Greece
- 20 Amazing Things to Do in Rhodes
- Renting a Car in Greece? Here are 16 MUST READ Tips
- Best Time To Visit Greece (2020) • Month By Month Breakdown
- Renting a Car in Crete? Here are 17 MUST READ Tips
- What to Wear in Greece • The Ultimate Greek Packing List
- 15 of the Best Things to do in Santorini, Greece
- 10 Best Beaches in Europe You Need Check Out in 2020