OverviewThis is the normal route of Smolikas and uses the south face from the small village of Palioseli.
It's just a long day (or even 2, with a bivouac) of (ski)hiking without any steep slope or rock to be climbed. In winter and early spring be aware of avalanches, especially close to the windy ridges where the snow accumulates. It's easy to guess in late spring when you still see huge cornices on some ridges.
You'll enjoy the wilderness of this area and beautifuls views in every directions, especially to the south towards the impressive rock barrier of Gamila range. I was there with a friend in late May 2006, we haven't met anybody and seen a single clue of human presence.
Route DescriptionStarting point altitude is 1080 m, top is 2637 m, so the round-trip hike is about 10 hours long.The trail is not very well marked, except at the end, but from the Missorahi ridge you'll see the summit.
From Palioseli follow the trail A3, which leads to Saint-Paraskevi chapel in 50 minutes. Then keep the north direction, cross the forest to reach the Moughourida ridge at 2080 meters (2 hours). Get to the Missorahi ridge at 2217 m, follow it and go down a little bit by taking the east direction in front of the Smolikas. You'll see the Drakolimni lake on your left at 2150 m just before a pass at 2200 m, with a big dead tree (4 hours). From this point, follow the well marked trail by steeper slopes on the northwestern face. Reach the top of Smolikas at 2637 m with a wonderful view to Gramos to the north or Gamila to the south (5 hours and a half).
Use the same route to go back to Palioseli.
Essential GearHiking gear in late spring and summer : hiking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, water (that mustn't be easy to find when the snow has completely melt in late summer), ice axe during spring for the last slope (between Drakolimni lake and the summit), which can still be snowy in late spring.
Skiing gear in winter and early spring.