What it is
“I really want to go canyoning, I researched a few tour operators, would you be so kind calling them?!” I looked up from my book, having my frappé in one hand, my feet hanging from the balcony of our holiday house.
Those were the words that led to the biggest outdoor adventure I experienced in September of 2017. Definitely swiped me off from the balcony out into the wild. But first I had to clarify what canyoning was by carefully asking my boyfriend what the hell that was.
Canyoning is travelling in using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and swimming
In other words you stumble and crawl down small, steep canyons that are FLLED WITH ICE COLD WATER. So basically waterfalls. Just saying. Of course I called a tour operator and of course we booked the activity for the next day. Of course I couldn’t sleep.
We did the canyoning tour at Mount Olympos the highest mountain in Greece, home of the mythological Gods. The tour operator that made this great experience happen was Olympos Trek, an outdoor company that offers many activities ranging from mountaineering to paddling. (This was NOT sponsored- I simply loved it and now I recommend it! :))
How it works
We met up with Vassillis and his activity partner Anastasia. It started down at the majestic Mount Olympos. We hiked up around an hour, carrying water proof bags filled with our wet suits in it, since it’s spring water and ice cold it’s best to wear that equipment later on. I loved the hike, we met no other hiker and could already enjoy the shade, sound and view of the forest. We hiked to the beginning of a small stream got dressed and put on the rest of our gear namely a harness that protects your bum with “thick plastic pants” and gear where you can clip in abseiling ropes.
The actual canyoning started with a short introduction about the technique and safety rules. And then, off we went! We crawled and slided through rough canyons, and jumped in a natural pool. The last part when the rough waterfalls transformed into a calm stream with stones we hiked through the last bit through the water. While doing so Vasillis and Anastasia explained a lot about the very special nature of the mountain (there is one plant that only grows there!)
The team had prepared some hot tea and biscuits in the middle of the acivity, it was great to warm up after the cold water and at the end a fabulous supper was prepared by the the two (which basically would have fed 10 more people :D) and we had a great conversation about sports, travelling and our dreams for a future.
What I think:
I LOVED IT! It was one of the most scary and terriyfing things when it comes to sports I did so far (after paragliding in Cape Town) It was a great way to explore the mountains, since you never experience this part of it’s nature unless you do this kind of sport. You are surrouned by complete wilderness, it’s magic and calmness and have the best views imaginable.
This activity also showed me again how much I actually enjoy being in the mountains. Vasillis said Mount Olympos always had a special influence on people: “It’s a very friendly and open atmosphere” He couldn’t be more right. I so recommend Olympos Trek: We had a great team where I felt safe and I loved that they share their passion and wisdom about the great outdoors and life itself. Thank you Vasillis and Anastasia for the great time we had!
Thank you Greece- One more reason to love you even more. You also gave me one more challenge I’d like to tackle while wandering on our earth: climbing up the mountain of Gods!
[All pictures were taken by Olympos Trek with permission to use them]