Mount Olympus: Five things you may not know about the legendary Greek mountain

First climbed successfully in 1913, the mountain is famous for its appearance in many Greek myths

Ben Kelly
Thursday 02 August 2018 13:25 BST
Mount Olympus: Five things you never knew about the legendary Greek Mountain

Mount Olympus is one of the great treasures of Greece. It is a famous geographical site, as well as the subject of many stories and myths.

2 August marks the anniversary of the first time it was climbed successfully in 1913, and every year tens of thousands of people travel to the mountain to climb it.

Here are five facts you probably didn't know about Mount Olympus.

It boasts the highest point in Greece

Mount Olympus's Mytikas peak rises to 2,918 metres, or around 9,573 ft, and is the highest point in Greece.

It is also the second highest peak in the Balkans, and one of the highest across all of Europe.

'Mytikas' means 'nose' in Greek.

It was first climbed in 1913

The summit of Olympus was reached for the first time on 2 August 1913 by Swiss duo Frédéric Boissonnas and Daniel Baud-Bovy, who were assisted by a mountain guide called Christos Kakkalos.

Kakkalos remained the official guide of Olympus until his death in 1976.

It is estimated that around 10,000 people climb Olympus every year, with most of them only reaching as far as the Skolio summit.

It's a common feature of Greek mythology

Olympus was notable in Greek mythology as a home of the 12 Greek gods.

The nine Muses, daughters of the god Zeus, were traditionally placed in the region of Pieria, at the mount's northern foot.

Olympia was thought of by the Greeks as a metaphorical place as well as the physical mountain.

It is part of the Olympus National Park

The region was declared Greece's first national park in 1938.

The aim of this was ΄the preservation in perpetuity of the natural environment of the region, i.e. of wild flora, fauna and natural landscape, as well as its cultural and other values.'

In 1981, Olympus was proclaimed 'Biosphere Reserve' by UNESCO.

It has unique biodiversity

Olympus is known for its exceptional biodiversity, with 52 peaks and several deep gorges.

The entire Olympus area covers around 500 square kilometres, in a circular area with a circumference of 80km.

The area contains 32 species of mammals, 108 species of birds, many species of reptiles, amphibians and insects.

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