Arachova- perfect winter escape in Greece

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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 some time 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 and during winter is transformed into a bustling little city. This beautiful mountainous village that is known for the amazing nature and historical background is situated at the foot of Mount Parnassos in Viotia (the highest mountain in Greece after Mount Olympus), Southern Greece.

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The tourism facilities of Arachova, which are fully developed, make it an ideal destination for the ski lovers or the ones who are seeking for other outdoor facilities, such as snowboard, hiking, and mountain bike or just walking through the cobblestone streets. Furthermore, even if you don’t belong to the adventurous visitor category and you just want to relax in cute cafes and cozy guesthouses, again, Arachova is perfect for you.

At the same time, though, we should not forget that this picturesque village carries interesting history and cultural heritage.

Byzantine churches and monasteries hold their own place in Arachova, whilst in a really close proximity you will find Delphi, the ancient sanctuary that is recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. At the ancient times, Delphi was considered to be by the Greeks the center 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 center of worship of the God Apollo. Delphi is undoubtedly a must visit while in Arahova.

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Now, moving on, the ones of you who read my posts, you will already know that food-tasting in general, plays a huge 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 spoon sweets, yogurt with honey, olives, dry wines, the ‘formaela’ cheese and the 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’.

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Moreover, for the dessert lovers I would definitely suggest ‘Glykopoleion’ and ‘E’, 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 would also suggest visiting Eptalofos or Agoriani, a charming mountain village that lies at 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 far from Parnassus ski center 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 as well, that balance perfectly tradition, natural beauty, history and rich culture.

So, wear your warm coat and let’s go! The mountains are calling!

Maria Petropoulou

Contributor

Maria Petropoulou is a Greek journalist currently working in a leading Greek news site. She loves culture, travelling and writing and she has combined all these in order to create her own key to happiness. She was born in Athens, studied there and continued with a Master’s degree in UK. London. She also owns the travel blog My Landing Runway, where you can find all her travel stories and wanderings. Now she begins her trip with GCT as our European cultural correspondent; she would like to welcome you all on board.

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