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Mount Kissavos
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Mount Kissavos, alternative Ossa, is a mountain in Thessaly. It stands at the northeastern borders of the Larisa and Magnisia Provinces while Tempi Valley is the natural border that splits Kissavos and Lower Olympus. The mountain is divided in two parts by a valley, called the north part ‘Megalo Faraggi’ (Grand Canyon) with highest peak Prophet Elijah (1978m) and the south ‘Megalo Rema’ (Grand Stream) with second highest peak Plaka (1820m). The thriving feature of the north part is the rough, mountainous, infertile landscape in contrast to the south and east parts that are covered in lush vegetation. Westwards spreads the magnificent plain of Thessaly and eastwards the Aegean Sea. At the south it is separated from Mount Mavrovounio from Agia Valley.

The mountain is full of beautiful, small villages that are scattered around. Its anaglyph shows many and different features; from gorges and cliffs to small coves and beaches shaped from at the endings of the green slopes.

A large part of Kissavos has been declared an ‘Aesthetic Forest’ and is protected from Natura 2000, the European network of protected areas.



Mount Kissavos is referred in Greek mythology when the giants Otos and Efialtis, sons of Aloeos, piled Pelio on top of Kissavos in order to scale Olympus and claim the authority from Zeus. In antiquity the Magnetians settled on the mountain and it was linked with Nymphs, Asclepius, Hercules and the worship of Goddess Dimitra.


Flora and Fauna

Mount Kissavos is covered in beech, fir and pine forests that take turns with pastures, meadows and low vegetation. The areas in lower altitudes and by the rivers are covered in plane trees and oak trees forests.

Especially for the protection of the bird species that nest in the area, there have been instituted ‘Zones of Special Protection’, according to the European directive 79/409/EC ‘on the conservation of wild birds’. The protected area stretches along 245.000 acres and hosts species such as the Finch, the Golden Hawk, the Gyps Fulvus and the Semi-collared Flycatcher.

Moreover the area is the natural habitat for many mammals such as roes, deer, wild goats, wild sheep, hares and wild pigs whereas the last years has been recorded a noteworthy population of the rare species the Eurasian Lynx.



At Mount Kissavos there has been created a controlled hunting area that spreads along 262.000 acres. It is controlled by the Forestry Service of Larisa and here you can hunt legally. The hunting needs are covered by preys that are breed and released during the hunting period. Hunters should be informed that this Controlled Hunting Area has got an admission fee .Moreover there are certain charges for every hunting animal (you will find a price list at the area). Hunting is permitted on specific hours and days, according to the prey species.



The area is the perfect destination for sports lovers since many chances are offered for various outdoor activities like, Rafting and Canoe-Kayak in Pinios River, river trekking, Canoe and Archery at the gorges of Rakopotamos (Mavrovouni) and Kalypso (above Karitsa), mountain bike at the forest in Polydendri. If you own a 4*4 type of vehicle, do not miss the chance to drive along the many routes that are available and where races are often organized too.

Hiking lovers will definitely get astonished by the green landscape that apart from high aesthetic value has got great environmental importance too. There are more than 20 signed paths, welcome you to explore Kissavos beauty and secrets. One of the most important paths is the route O2 ‘Shelter’s path- Kissavos peak’ (3 km / 1,30΄h / 500 m altitude difference) or alternatively follow the route ‘Spilia-Kissavos peak’ (6 km / 3h/ 1800m altitude difference). Other interesting routes are: Karitsa-Shelter, Stomio-Shelter, Spilia-Shelter, Spilia-Ambelakia, Spilia-Anatoli, Anatoli-Perdikovrysi-Prophet Elijah.



Here you can visit some monasteries, like the Female Monastery of St Paraskevi and the Monastery of the Holy Cross.


Where to stay

If you wish to spend the night in the wider area of Mount Kissavos, a variety of hotels and hostels is offered in the perimeter of the mountain (at the areas Spilia. Karitsa, Metaxohori, Anatoli). Another option is the shelter of the Greek Mountaineering Club in Larisa (EOS) which can accommodate up to 35 people.


Useful Numbers

Greek Mountaineering Club in Larisa (EOS): +30 2410535097 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday 09:00 – 11:00).

Forest Service- Fires Department: +30 2410258897, fax: +30 2410531825

E – mail:

Department of Forestry administration: +30 2410251501, fax: +30 2410531825.