History lovers are attracted to Delphi because it’s an ancient town, and that’s just for starters. It was first inhabited in late Mycenaean times as far back as the 15th century BC.
It’s the seat of the most important Greek temple and oracle of Apollo. It is most intriguing to discover that Agatha Christie, mystery writer and top-selling author of famous works such as ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ actually visited Delphi many times. She wrote a crime novel with the name ‘The Oracle at Delphi’. According to Greek mythology, Zeus set two eagles free to meet each other half way in the center of the world, and so they did — here in Delphi.
Exceptional Cultural Value
The town is a major archaeological site and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site was considered as the navel of the world in those ancient times.
The Museum of Delphi is also home to the bronze Charioteer as well as several other statues, pleasing everyone who loves history as it provides visitors to the museum with some insight into the culture of ancient Greece.
Delphi Archaeological Museum isn’t just Delphi’s local museum – it is also one of the principal museums of Greece. It was founded in 1903 and attracts heaps of visitors throughout the year.
You’ll find discoveries dating to the Mycenaean period to the early Byzantine era. As mentioned, the 2-level museum displays plenty of statues, one of which is the Charioteer. All the collections in the museum are arranged chronologically in 14 rooms. To enhance the entire experience, there is a cafe and a gift shop.
Lose Yourself in Beauty
Nature lovers are in no way excluded, and the Parnassos National Park is a super place to visit for its unspoiled nature. The beautiful park is found between Delphi, Arachova and Agoriani and there are lots of exquisite hiking trails for you to take according to your fitness level.
If you’re particularly observant of trees, you’ll find giant oaks, cedars ad pines as well as herbs and flowers, attracting plenty of bird species and other woodland creatures. The scenery is breathtaking and intriguing.
Good-to-Know Facts about Delphi
Hottest months to visit:
July to September – average temperatures are roughly 91°F.
December to March with temperatures dropping to about 36°F.
Getting to Delphi:
There are a number of companies that offer day trips from Athens to Delphi. You are free to organize your own day trip making use of the buses provided. Delphi is located 180 kilometers from Athens so the journey will take you about 3 hours.
The buses are leaving the terminal several times a day. You can also hire a rental car, with well known rental companies offering great rates and arranging pick-ups and drop-off of the car of your choice.
Lots of museums and historical sites such as Delphi Archaeological Museum and Sikelianos Museum.
Delphi lies 180 kilometers northwest of Athens. You’re can make Delphi a day trip fro Athens and the town is connected by a regular bus service. Also check out this post on the Ancient Theaters of Greece
Which beaches to use:
You must remember that Delphi itself is situated high up in the hills, but below there are resort hotels on the beach.
Delphi is also about 18km from Itea beaches. There are lots of hotels located on the beach or within walking distance from the coast.
You’ll discover that Delphi beach resorts offer extraordinary facilities for a splendid getaway such as restaurants, shops, bars, swimming pools and easy access to the beach. There are more than 100 of these fabulous beach hotels in Delphi, and some of the all-inclusive ones offer a host of water sports as well as jet-ski and scuba diving lessons.
The Europa Beach Hotel is a perfect example of one of these beach resort hotels with heaps of amenities and activities to enjoy.
Cool Hangout Cafe’s:
Who doesn’t want to know you can hang-out at a cool cafe where your favorite hot cuppa is served all day? You’ll love Il Mondo, a cozy cafe with an immensely relaxing atmosphere. Enjoy a coffee date with a delicious slice of cake or simply enjoy cocktails in the cool of the evening.
Where to stay in Delphi
The town of Delphi is beautifully positioned on the slopes of Mount Parnassos and overlooking the Gulf of Corinth with exquisite views over the Adriatic Sea as well as the Pleistos Valley. It’s the very reason why the hotels and restaurants in the area all have observation decks.
We take a look at some of the splendid hotels of Delphi –
This historic 4-star hotel with its 44 guestrooms has been designated as a preserved building and was built in 1950 by Greek Architect Dimitris Pikionis.
As suggested previously, the hotel offers splendid views over its own beautiful gardens and to the magnificent landscape beyond. The hotel has fabulous amenities such as outdoor pool, free wifi, restaurant, sauna and more. It’s well-positioned, close to all the sights that you want to see and explore. The hotel has been updated to ensure it can cater to all its visitors.
Art Pythia Hotel:
This centrally located hotel is situated on the eastern part of Delphi, and guarantees a comfortable stay. The air-conditioned Pythia Art boutique hotel offers spectacular views of the Corinthian Gulf. It comes with all the amenities to ensure a wonderful stay – satellite TV, balconies offering lovely view, free wifi and breakfast buffet with some homemade local dishes.
The welcoming air conditioned Nidimos Hotel offers free wifi, modern bedrooms, balconies, satellite TV as well as an electric car-charging point. The private bathrooms have free toiletries and there is a coffee bar that remains open around the clock.
Like the other hotels, you’re close to attractions such as the Delphi Archaeological Museum while Athens International Airport is 200 km away.
King Iniohos Hotel:
This 60-room hotel opened its doors in 1978 but is has undergone upgrades to ensure it keeps up with the demands of guests looking for a comfortable stay.
With stunning views of the sea, you’ll love the therapeutic sea air as it wafts gently over you. It’s a 4-star hotel situated right in the center of Delphi and also close to some of the top attractions in the town. There are heaps of restaurants close by but the hotel has its own restaurant which serves lots of dishes. Other attractions include a large shimmering swimming pool and sauna.
Where to Eat in Delphi:
There couldn’t be a better place to wine and dine than in Delphi. It’s the simple appeal of some of the restaurants that make dining such a top priority when holidaying in this popular Greek town. Not much beats a fine authentic lunch from an excellent seasonal menu while enjoying glorious views of the valley, and you can take it all in while sitting on shady patios.
Taverna To Patriko Mas:
The friendly service and ambiance never ceases to delight patrons at this charming 19th-century stone restaurant with its panoramic views from the outdoor patio.
Try delicious Courgette Balls with tasty feta cheese and fresh mint or Dolmadakia – stuffed grape leaves with meat and rice stuffing. Tomato fritters wine, Greek coffee and bougatsa or baklava are just some of the treats waiting to tantalize your taste buds.
Taverna To Patriko Mas also offers wonderful, fresh salads and all this contributes to this restaurant providing a dining experience hard to find anywhere else.
The restaurant offers straightforward dishes so delicious they say you’ll be asking for seconds. When you come to this awesome restaurant, you’ll find that an added bonus is that you can just see that the freshly prepared food is made with love and care.
Villa Symposium Restaurant
Another pleasant Greek restaurant offering a lot of different food choices. The restaurant has good food and friendly staff and they serve vegan options too.
The restaurant also caters to hosting private events such as christenings and weddings. The venue is also used for cooking classes and Greek dance lessons. The surrounding gardens are home to over 300 botanical plants, some of which are unique to the region.
Things to do in Delphi
Water sports galore:
The southern coast of the Delphic land a 100km coastline. This coastline offers the most wonderful beaches, islets, coves, marinas and picturesque ports and there are also lots of blue flag beaches. The water is crystal clear and this just encourages one to take up snorkeling and scuba diving.
Apart from the coastline, the whole area of Delphi is mountainous, with narrow roads and its great for cycling or hiking. Cycling is actually an excellent way to explore Delphi, offering both flat and hilly roads as they wind on their way to nearby villages.
If you’re feeling fit enough, you may want to ride to Itea, a coastal town about 10km away from Delphi and where you can explore a medieval castle. If it’s the countryside you want to explore and some hiking, just 7km away east of Delphi there’s a downhill path to the edge of Chrisso village and the famous Crisaean field olive grove.
You’ll be blown away by the fact that there are some 1,5 million olive trees, some of them older than a century. If you join a tour for this splendid outing, it may even include a picnic where you’ll get some interesting information on the history of the old olive trees.
Of course, if you want to be independent, you can hire a lightweight bicycle available in all sizes and that come with simple pricing structures. You’ll be able to ride the area to your heart’s content. GRCycling.com offers rental bikes and they will deliver your bike to your hotel door and fetch it again.
Discover the true Greek winemaking tradition where the vineyards are cultivated with respect to the environment. Argyriou Winery produces 9 different types of wines and offers guesthouse accommodation so you can experience the wine through different events at the winery.
It’s hard to believe that hot, sunny Greece with its beautiful beaches has a ski destination with snow. But the truth is when you visit Greece, the options of where to go and what to experience are endless.
Greece does experience some snow in their Winter-time and it’s the mountain areas around Delphi which are able to offer a totally different side to the Greece most people know.
Arachova is essentially a wonderful, fairy-tale ski-resort with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. It’s close proximity to Athens makes it a popular weekend-destination. Its amazing to think that you can visit this part of Greece in the winter time and experience the Parnassus Ski Center with its modern facilities. You can actually join a ski class before hitting the slopes.
If the thought of tackling the white snowy landscape is too much for you, enjoy watching the others while you sip your hot chocolate in one of the warm cafes. Arahova may well be known for being a center for skiing in the winter, but it is excellent for those looking for an outdoor experience too.
There are lots of mountain trails, mountain climbing and rock climbing opportunities.
The Feast of St, George day is celebrated during April when the village has a festival of eating, drinking and dancing.
The village area may well have traces of ancient settlements, but today it offers modern tourism facilities to cater for the influx of visitors it receives. There are restaurants, bars and night clubs in the village and you can wine and dine till the wee hours.
Delphi’s archaeological site is one of the many reasons why so many hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the fascinating town all year-round. Lying close to Athens it’s just a case of hopping on a bus and getting there for a weekend stay or longer. History is a live, living thing in Delphi but for the more energetic, the mountains and valley offer hiking paths, skiing and mountain bike tracks.
Delphi is a marvelous place for a holiday, but perhaps the town’s other appeal is its quiet beauty and picture-perfect views.