Have you ever imagined walking on the footsteps of Alexander the Great? Being in Greece this is one of the must-to-experience activities. The crossing of Alexander the Great is a new activity of Trekking Hellas which -with extreme enthusiasm I have to say- “opened” this historical path. This path -according to ancient history and local mythology- was chosen by Alexander the Great in order to cross along with his army from the area of Thessaly. It is a relatively easy path with unique views as you walk among the 2 most famous mountains of the area, Olympus and Kissavos. As a hiker your eyes will be able to gaze at the wider area that stretches from the shores of Larissa (Seven Blue Miles), up to Chalkidiki and Mount Athos, then continue to the 2nd and 3rd tops of Olympus, ending at the villages of Lower Olympus and those of Omolio Gorge.
The route starts with 4×4 wheel driving for 5 miles from the theater of Omolios through a difficult dirt road (actually its mostly suitable for goats) which is also offered for walking. This road ends up to a glade, from where starts a relatively easy upwards path (approx. 1km long). The creator of this route named it “The Smiling Path”.
The moment you gaze the path/crossing (a strip of rock) is rather impressive. Its a build by nature hanging bridge whereas at its left and right exists the infinite void of the canyon. Very carefully and with a mild difficulty walking (for about 100 mt) we cross to the other side. The view from that point is a completely different experience.
We then arrive at the chestnut fields of Ampelakia and complete our hike at another natural balcony of the area. There we can enjoy the greatness of this amazing view along with hot coffee and local home made snacks.
As we return we will be thrilled and intrigued from our next stop at the “Memory Plate”. Each one of us and according to his own sight and understanding will try to discover the history of this crossing by reading among names and graffiti carved on the stone during all these years. Ancient hikers, Venetians, thieves, shepherds, guerrilla warriors, mountain wanderers and mountain lovers left their “signature”, each one with their unique way. There we will also find out about the “Hole of Arvanitis”.
After the crossing experience, we will definitely stop at the rocky crossing of Alexander the Great to take a proper commemorative photo. When we reach our primary glade point we will visit (with 4×4 wheel drive) a very special chapel, which is constructed inside the rock. This chapel is special as there are many controversial opinions about the way it was build and the reason of its existence.
Another interesting activity here is the collection of herbs.
During our return we can visit the healing fountain at the location of Kokkino Nero, where we can take a swim. Alternatively we can do the same at Pinios river.
This experience of hiking at the crossing of Alexander the Great includes professional guides, transportation with 4×4 wheel cars and snacks or coffee. The organizer team of Trekking Hellas for East Thessaly suggests that all participants need to have:
- Comfortable clothes and shoes
- Rainproof jacket
- A 2nd pair of clothes in case you need to change (i.e. due to sweating)
- Bottle of water
- Hat or cap
- A camera (if you like)
The event is open all year around as long as at least 4 persons are participating. The address for the trekking event in Greek is here.
This is a very nice route and as it is combined with the historical element of Alexander the Great its an opportunity for a very nice experience.
Contact the organizers through: +30 6932 292086, [email protected] or through their contact data below.