Because of its stunning archaeological site where the world’s most famous Oracle foretold fortunes great and small, Delphi in Fokida draws hundreds of thousands of visitors year-round. Its close proximity to Athens (just over two hours drive) makes it a top choice for a long weekend imbued with not only remarkable cultural experiences but also opportunities to hike, enjoy great food and party.
Here we list the top three reasons to visit now
The Archaeology, of course →
Comprised of the Tholos of Athena Pronoia, the Temple of Apollo, the ancient Theatre (now undergoing reconstruction with the plan for it to be used for cultural events as Epidaurus Theater is used today), the ancient Gymnasium and Stadium where athletes trained and competed and many more magical monuments, the Delphi Archaeological Site offers a fabulous view of a glorious civilization. Surrounded by lush greenery and overlooking sweeping views of rolling hills and valleys, the natural setting only adds to its resplendent beauty. The on-site modern Archaeological Museum, which presents the history of the Delphic Sanctuary in 14 rooms, provides for another profound lesson in Delphi’s political, religious and social history.
Adventure sports in the great outdoors →
The mountain air, verdant surroundings, incredible views down to the sea of Itea, caves, springs and ancient paths are attracting more and more visitors from around the world to Delphi. Walking along the Sacred Way in the aechaeological site, you may look up to see a paraglider who’s getting an enviable bird’s eye view.
Further down in a valley you may spot a group of hikers, who will stop by scenic villages like traditional Hrisso for Greek coffee, tsipouro and meze after visiting greenery-encroached churches like Aghios Giorgos and admiring the olive greenery-blanketed olive groves of Amfyssa. Mountain bikers can free ride down steep mountain paths and rock climbers never fail to find the perfect challenge.
Chill out with glam food and drinks →
Arachova village is one Greece’s top skiers’ destination throughout the winter season, and although it goes quiet there the rest of the year, most of its best restaurants, cafes and bars go into summer mode with tables set outdoors under shady trees. Mostly on the traditional side, the cuisine in Arachova celebrates local mountain products – free range goat, wild boar and rooster, usually cooked up in a succulent sauce along with handmade pasta, the local Formaela cheese, grilled on the fire as saganaki, salads made with fresh garden vegetables and seafood brought from nearby Galaxidi and Halkida.
At night the local bars like Isidora Gallery Café, Doctor John, Tea Pineis and Gospel serve up a good selection of Greek and international wines, cocktails and snacks. Then there’s the shopping agora – with boutiques selling chic and trendy clothes and accessories by Greek and foreign designers; the latest additions in the shopping scene include L’escalier concept store with fabulous home décor items from France, Greece and Sweden, and New Agey newcomer Sacred Crystal selling everything from essential oils to energy healing gems.
Delphi and Arachova villages are around 15 minutes drive from each other, while the Archaeological site is around 15 minutes from Delphi. The ticket for the archaeological site costs 12 euro and is for the entire day.
TOP TIP →
If you have a few days at your disposal, plan an outdoor activity like hiking to really get a feel of the landscape. It’s also well worth hiring a 4×4 if you’re renting a car and exploring nearby sites such as the neolithic Corycean Cave, where the first signs of religious rites were traced back to 4000 years ago. Also worth visiting is the beautiful village of Galaxidi, around half an hour’s drive.