Winter in Greece is already here, Christmas is just around the corner, and I am sure if you are anywhere near here, you are thinking of hitting the mountains sometime soon. White landscapes, cozy corners, hot chocolate and moments by the fireplace. Yes, this time of the year has come!
So, what if I tell you that I know a place which combines all of the above- it’s also cosmopolitan and at the same time, you can find peaceful escapes that will set your mind and soul free?
Arachova is the one that is transformed into a bustling little city during winter. This beautiful mountainous village known for its fantastic nature and historical background is situated at the foot of Mount Parnassos in Viotia (the highest mountain in Greece after Mount Olympus), Southern Greece.
The tourism facilities of Arachova, which are fully developed, make it an ideal destination for ski lovers or the ones who are seeking other outdoor facilities, such as snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, or just walking through the cobblestone streets. Furthermore, even if you don’t belong to the adventurous visitor category and want to relax in cute cafes and cozy guesthouses, again, Arachova is perfect for you.
At the same time, we should not forget that this picturesque village has a fascinating history and cultural heritage.
Byzantine churches and monasteries hold their place in Arachova, whilst in proximity, you will find Delphi, the ancient sanctuary Unesco recognizes as a World Heritage Site. In ancient times, Delphi was considered to be by the Greeks the centre of the world, the ‘navel of the world, ‘Omphalos’. Questions were asked to the Oracle Pythia (modern-day Google!) in a will for consultation on crucial decisions. Delphi was also the centre of worship of the God Apollo. Delphi is undoubtedly a must-visit while in Arahova.
Now, moving on, the ones of you who read my posts, you will already know that food-tasting in general, plays a massive role in my trips. Through taste, you get to know and experience better the place you are visiting.
Arachova offers traditional Greek food, namely presenting ‘trahana’ [a traditional Greek and Cypriot dish, usually found in the villages and is made with either semolina, wheat flour or cracked wheat] and ‘hilopites’ [Greek egg pasta]. Moreover, it stands out for spooned sweets, yogurt with honey, olives, dry wines, the ‘formaela’ cheese, and grilled meat. You can taste all these in restaurants and taverns, but you can also buy many of the above from local shops. A few of the best tavernas are ‘Panayiota’, ‘Archontiko’, ‘Kaplanis’ and ‘Dasargiris’.
Moreover, I would suggest ‘Glykopoleion’ and ‘E’ for dessert lovers, whilst ‘Aquarella’ and ‘Poliko’ are good options for drinks and coffee.
Lastly, as the adventure never ends and there is always something new to discover, I suggest visiting Eptalofos or Agoriani. This charming mountain village lies on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassus. Its central square is a beauty, and there are many options for dining, coffee, and dessert all around. Agoriani is only 11 km from Parnassus ski centre, and simultaneously it’s quiet and relaxing, away from the bustling Arachova.
Greece is not just about summer, sun and Greek islands. It has many options for winter escapades that perfectly balance tradition, natural beauty, history, and rich culture.
So, wear your warm coat and let’s go! The mountains are calling!