Delphi – The navel of the Earth
Delphi is considered the most spiritual and mystical location of Greece, and perhaps of the entire world. It is a destination of global cultural heritage, recognised by UNESCO and regarded as one of the ‘holy places’.
Delphi was an ancient Greek city, home to one of the most important oracles of the ancient world. The city during the Homeric age is also well known as ‘Pytho’. At the beginning of historical times, Delphi was one of the cities of ancient Phocis, but gradually, as the role of the city strengthened, it developed as a national center of spiritualism and ‘the’ holy city of the ancient Greeks.
It was considered the navel of Earth in ancient times, as, according to ancient legend, when Zeus released two eagles simultaneously, one to the east and one to the West, they both met at Delphi. The oracle temple was dedicated to the God Apollo; the medium or priestess was called ‘Pythia’, a virgin maid, blessed with being able to communicate with the Gods via oracles and prophecies, which were then recorded and interpreted by the priests of Delphi.
In 1892, the first major excavations of the French Archaeological School began in the area, bringing some impressive findings to light, among which are 3000 inscriptions that reveal various aspects of ancient public life. The Delphi Archaeological Museum is one of the most important museums in Greece. Their collections include ancient artifacts discovered at the archaeological site of Delphi and special offerings dedicated to the sanctuary. It hosts some of the most important archaeological collections in the country such as the Treasury of the Athenians, the Hellenistic Art Sculptures and the Pediments of the Temple of Apollo. The most important exhibits in its halls are the Charioteer, the Silver Bull and Sphinx of Naxos.
Today It belongs to the prefecture of Fokida and has a population of approximately 2500 residents.
Arachova – Agoriani
Arachova is one of the most popular winter destinations of our country and is located just 10 km away from Delphi. It is built on a slope of Mount Parnassus which ends in a ravine, through which the river Pleistos flows. The average altitude of the village is 960 meters.
Arachova town perfectly combines traditional feel with contemporary style. It offers countless activity and entertainment options, while also constituting one of the largest and most modern ski resorts of Greece. This factor helped Arachova to grow at a greater extent than its neighboring areas.
Exploration lovers will discover a magical place of seven hills on the lap of Parnassus, at an altitude of 940 meters: the village of Ano Agoriani (or Eptalofos). The area belongs to the Municipality of Delphi and has been described as the jewel of the mountain of Apollo. Mount Parnassus is also known as mountain of Apollo due to the Oracle being dedicated to him, so the mountain is also known by his name. This village of Eptalofos is also the birthplace of some of the most renowned fighters of the 1821 Independence Revolt and the National Resistance.
The village is literally built into the green and incomparable beauty of Parnassus’ landscape that fully consists of fir and plane trees. It’s beautiful, paved square with the taverns and tall plane trees from which natural water gushes out, is the starting point for discovering it all. At the village, you can admire old but renovated chapels from the 19th century, such as Saint Anargyroi and Aghia Paraskevi with its huge oak Sikelianos.
Just 30 minutes away from Arachova, Galaxidi is located, famous for its blue and crystal clear water beaches. Characterized as being a traditional settlement since 1978, Galaxidi is an alluring place that takes visitors back in time especially when the quaint port is full of bratseres and schooners (boat types). The atmosphere of the past has remained intact thanks to the locals’ love for tradition. The mild tourism development of the area, with its small guesthouses and elegantly restored mansions offers the perfect promenade for a lovely walk by the sea and can be reached by a short trip from Delphi or Athens.
Osios Loukas Monastery is situated at an altitude of 430 m. in the western foothills of Mount Helicon, below the citadel of the ancient town of Steiri, near the village of Stiri in Viotia. It is one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine art and architecture, and is included in the list of UNESCO world heritage monuments.
Osios Loukas Monastery enjoys a scenic hillside spot of Helicon, at the location where the temple of Demeter Steiritidas was once was located and is surrounded by an olive grove plateau. The landscape has not been altered by any residential or other type of activity, and so still retains its authenticity.
Osios Loukas was one of the most beloved figures to the local populace. Known to offer charity and therapeutic work, it is said that he had the gift of prophesying the future. He even predicted the recapture of Crete by Nikiforos Fokas during the age of Romanos II in 941 A.D.
Have you always been dreaming of flying? Are you ready to explore new, mystical places from high above? Then this is the right activity for you! Join Giannis on a tandem paragliding activity and fly over the Oracle of Delphi. The high cliffs in the area are ideal for a paragliding flight. The views … simply magical!
Giannis is an experienced instructor, having performed more time flying in his life than walking. You will be flying with him from a take off point on the cliffs. You will land on the valley, smoothly after a 20-30 minutes flight. You do not need to do anything at all! Just sit back, relax and enjoy the magnificent views!
What will you be seeing?
Flying over Delphi is pure magic! It’s class, it’s everything! You will see the temple of Apollo, the archaeological sites, and the valley. The view will leave you breathless. Green mountains, silver coloured gloves and the weather always sunny and beautiful.
What should you have with you?
The only thing you need to bring with you is a pair of boots, a warm jacket for winter, and to be at the predefined point on time. Your pilot will let you know before the flight from which point you will be flying depending on the wind conditions.
Nature activities in Delphi
1. Ancient Footpath Delphi Hiking – Trekking Hellas.
A historic and inspiring hike that combines the magic of nature with the mystery of ancient temples!
We follow the ancient footpath, from the slopes of Mt Parnassos in a forested route to the village of Delphi. The same footpath that took Pan’s worshippers up from the ancient temples of Delphi to the Corycean Grotto to celebrate rites, which is now a part of the E4 european trail. We start at Livadi plateau at an altitude of 1200m. En route, we will stop for a picnic in a traditional sheep barn, near the cave of Pan. We continue our descend to Delphi sanctuary overlooking the olive trees valley and the Corinthian Gulf, whilst the mountains of the Peloponnese complete our picturesque scenery.
2. Ancient Port of Kirra Delphi Hiking – Trekking Hellas
A historic hike in the ancient trail that connected the port of ancient Kirra with the Oracle of Delphi.
We follow a downhill path and a rural road from Delphi to the edge of Chrisso village, the ancient city of Crissa that hosted the visitors of the oracle.
Following the footsteps of ancient pilgrims, we continue our tour in the heart of the famous Crisaean field olive grove, today mentioned by UNESCO as a unique landscape that is composed of more than 1,5 million olive trees. We will enjoy the unique scenery noticing the silver-green foliage of the olive trees changing colors depending on the time of the day , and admire the naturally carved trunks of hundred-year-old trees. We savor a traditional picnic stop in the shade of an old chapel and discover together the taste of different sorts of olives. We will explain how olives are cultivated and why the olive tree is a word wide symbol of immortality, wisdom and abundance.
3. Biking Delphi to Kirra – Trekking Hellas
Bike and discover the beauty of a famous ancient olive grove. Our ride starts in the archaeological site of Delphi at the temple of Athena Pronaia. We enter in the heart of the Crisaean field olive grove with naturally carved trunks of hundred-year-old trees, noticing the silver-green foliage of the olive trees changing colors depending on the time of the day.
We encounter the little chapel of St George with the typically Greek high cypresses, enjoying the unique scenery, arriving at Plistos riverbed, we stop near a traditional stone fountain in the refreshing shade of a large plane tree. There we can savour a traditional picnic. If we feel tired we stop there otherwise we continue our ride to seaside Itea for 5 more kilometres.
Ancient Footpath Delphi Hiking
Ancient Port of Kirra Delphi Hiking
Biking Delphi to Kirra