Hiking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great
About The Place
Hiking in the footstep of Alexander the Great on Kissavos Mountain. Rising majestically on the Aegean coastline, Kissavos Mountain, also known as Mount Ossa, is a geological wonder steeped in mythological lore. Revered in antiquity as a sister peak to Mount Olympus, Kissavos captures the imagination with its rugged terrain, verdant slopes, and towering summits that touch the heavens. Geographically divided from Olympus by the mythical Vale of Tempe, Kissavos stands as a testimony to the timeless dance between nature and mythology that characterizes Greece.
Beyond its mythic associations, Kissavos boasts a geological tapestry that tells a tale of eons gone by. Its foundations of crystal rocks are enrobed by igneous formations, creating a unique composition that has captured the interest of geologists and nature enthusiasts alike. The mountain’s expanse encompasses a diversity of ecosystems, from dense beech, chestnut, and pine forests to cascading streams that carve intricate canyons into its slopes.
The eastern face of Kissavos, kissed by the Aegean Sea, reveals stunning beaches and a rich mosaic of flora, where bushy shrubs and plane trees mingle with fir and beech at higher altitudes.
One of Kissavos’s most cherished treasures lies within the heart of its peaks—the underground little church dedicated to Prophet Helias. Perched at 1,978 meters, this hidden sanctuary is a testament to the spiritual connection that has endured throughout the ages in these hallowed heights.
Nestled at the base of Kissavos Mountain, Ampelakia Village emerges like a time-worn jewel, echoing with the footsteps of centuries. A bastion of traditional architecture and cultural heritage, Ampelakia offers a glimpse into Greece’s storied past.
Originally settled in the 16th century, Ampelakia’s history is intricately woven with the threads of commerce and craftsmanship. Flourishing as a hub of silk production, the village became renowned for its textile industry, and its legacy is preserved in the opulent mansions that grace its streets. These neoclassical edifices stand as a testament to the village’s prosperity during the Ottoman era and reveal the artisans’ dedication to creating beauty in every detail.
The village’s allure is encapsulated in its grand manors, such as the sprawling Chatzigiorgis Mansion and the Galatsianos Mansion, each a reflection of the affluence and refinement that characterized Ampelakia’s past. As you wander through its cobblestone lanes, you’re transported to an era where the clatter of looms and the hum of industry painted the village with vitality.
Ampelakia’s cultural heritage is celebrated in its annual festivals and events, where the rhythms of traditional music and the aroma of regional delicacies fill the air. Visitors have the opportunity to partake in these festivities, connecting with locals and immersing themselves in the vibrant tapestry of village life.
In the embrace of Kissavos Mountain, Ampelakia Village stands as a living testament to the harmony between human endeavor and the beauty of nature. As you explore its historic streets and breathe in the mountain air, you become a part of its ongoing story—a story that continues to evolve, keeping alive the echoes of the past while welcoming the promise of the future.
Starts with a short 4×4 drive
Passing the suspension bridge
Stop at the “memory stone”
Optional visit to Kokkino Nero -red water- spa for a swim
- 5 Hours
This scenic path, reputedly chosen by the legendary Alexander the Great for his army to traverse Thessaly, offers a relatively easy journey while treating us to awe-inspiring vistas. Standing in majestic harmony, the iconic mountains of Olympus and Kissavos proudly face each other, captivating our gaze with their intricate details. From the panoramic view of the Larissa coast to the allure of Halkidiki and Mount Athos, to the distant peaks of Mount Olympus, the villages nestled in Lower Olympus, and the mesmerizing Omolio Canyon, our eyes are blessed with a tapestry of natural wonders.
Our adventure begins with a brief 4×4 drive from the Omolio theater, leading us to a tranquil clearing where our exploration commences. We embark on an effortless and enjoyable uphill hike known as the “Laughing Path.” Soon, the trail narrows, transforming into a single rock-lane—a remarkable 100-meter suspension bridge that overlooks the canyon gap. With cautious steps, we traverse this natural marvel, continuing our journey through the chestnut orchards of Ambelakia. The path guides us to a serene natural opening, inviting us to pause and indulge in a well-deserved break, savoring coffee, snacks, and the breathtaking view.
During our return, we make a stop at the “memory stone,” where engraved names and symbols silently unveil the history of this ancient passage. The signatures left behind by ancient walkers, Venetians, bandits, shepherds, climbers, and mountain enthusiasts bear witness to the path’s enduring legacy. As we tread the path once more, we pay homage to the rocky passage believed to have been traversed by Alexander the Great himself.
Upon reaching our starting point, we have the opportunity to visit a unique chapel hewn into the rock—a testament to the rich spiritual heritage of the area. Optionally, on our return, we can choose to indulge in a refreshing swim at the captivating Kokkino Nero red water spa or explore the captivating Peneus Delta. This expedition along the Alexander the Great Path promises a captivating blend of history, nature, and adventure, leaving us with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for this remarkable region.
What to Bring
Comfortable clothes and hiking shoes (depending on the season)
A change of clothes in case you sweat
Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Hat or beanie
Walking sticks (optionally)
Your own personal water bottle
All necessary local transfers for the operation of the activity
- 8 years and older
- Basic physical condition
- Meeting time 10.00
- End of activity 14.30
Cancellation Policy - Flexible
- Whenever you cancel 4 days or earlier than the confirmed activity starting date, your fee will be refunded for the entire activity charge.
- In case of cancellation within 48 and 96 hours before the scheduled activity starting date, you'll get 50% reimbursed.
- Those who cancel 48 hours or beyond are considered last-minute cancellations. There will be no refunds