This is the most popular route in the summer. It is part of the E4 International trail, very well signed and maintained. In the high season (mid July - late August) you will rarely be alone one the trail, at least up to the refuge.
Above the refuge there is less traffic, but the route is still far from been isolated. When there are a lot of climbers on the summit it's better to do the traverse, as in the couloir there is always the chance that the climbers above you will cause a stonefall.
There are two way to get to Prionia:
- Through the Litochoro-Prionia road (17,5 km)
- By the E4 International trail section passing through the Enipeas gorge
Prionia - Refuge A
The trail starts after the cabin, passing over the wooden bridge by the waterfall. It starts ascending through dense forest.
At 1390m (~1hr) there are two wooden benches in a spot with a great view. Next to them there is a spring, which usually dries out in the end of the summer.
The best part of the route, known as "the trail of silence" is about 20 minutes away. It moves through a dense forest of beech trees. After that the trail crosses a ravine bed and starts climbing again, passing near slopes where the pine trees have been swept by avalanches from Zonaria (that's why the route is not popular in the winter). Soon the Refuge becomes visible, as well as the southern peaks of the Kalogeros ridgeline.
The last section is a bit steeper, and it takes you to the refuge, built on a location called Balkoni (=balcony) for a reason: it has a perfect view both of the Litochoro coast and the peaks above. The refuge very well maintained by the family of Kostas Zolotas, an old climber and guide of Olymbos since 1955.
More than 10.000 people from abroad climb this part of the trail every year. Some of them have never climbed a mountain before, and just want to feel the magnitude of the "Mountain of the Gods". Many of them return after having lunch at the refuge.
Total time: 3hrs
Refuge A - Mytikas
About 100m after the refuge, there is a branch of the trail going to the right. It leads directly to the Muses plateau, in front of Refuge C in about an hour. It is exposed and passes a short patch of permanent snow.
The main trail continues straight up and comes out of the tree cover. There is another junction at 2500m with signs and a map.
The right branch leads to Zonaria, the base of the couloirs leading to Mytikas and Stefani, and the Muses plateau.
The left goes to Agios Antonis and Skolio.
The central (divided into two parallel tracks) ascends to Skala and the exposed traverse to Mytikas
After summiting, you can reverse the same route or this one.
In the summer if you use the hut you don't need much. A pair of trekking poles, water, some snacks, a hat and sunscreen are all you need.
In the winter... forget it. Nobody climbs from this side after late October (which is the latest I know cause I did it).
GPS tracks of the route in *.plt format: Treverse from Skala and shortcut to the Muses plateau
Note: It is the variation taking the right branch after the refuge, leading straight to the Muses plateau.