In about 2 hours away from Athens, stands another UNESCO world heritage monument, the famous Sanctuary of Delphi. This place is located on Parnassus Mountain and it is harmonically blended in with the wonderful mountainous landscape. In Ancient Greece Delphi was the ultimate religious symbol. People from all over Greece would walk until Delphi, in order to listen to the foresight from the Oracle of Apollo, which would help them decide about critical matters. The landscape around the archaeological site is superb and it is worthy to note that Delphi it is the second most visited (after acropolis) archaeological site in Greece.
This place is a paradise for ancient history and nature lovers. Everyone who admires the ancient Greek civilization will also love this symbol of religion and unity of the ancient Greek world. Except from it’s importance in the ancient times, what makes Delphi a special place is the relatively good preservation of the ruins, which allows the visitor understand how the whole site was structured. Of course there are more activities available in the area around Delphi, such as the village of Arachova and the ski-centre.
Things to do and see in Mt Parnassus
The ruins of Delphi are of great historical importance and they include the temple of Apollo, the theatre, the stadium, the gates and many more. As mentioned above, this site played a significant role in ancient Greek history, so if you are planning to visit, it is a great chance to read some information and myths related to Delphi.
The mountain is huge, the flora and fauna rich and beautiful and the paths to be explored hundreds. People who like hiking will find this mountain an excellent place to do so in Greece. What makes hiking in Parnassus even nicer is the great view on the Gulf of Corinth and the other side of the sea.
Village of Arachova
Have you ever imagined having a hot drink next to the fireplace in a Greek chalet? Greece is mostly famous as a summer destination, but a large percentage of the country’s surface is mountainous, thus except from the popular summer destinations there are some perhaps less popular but at least as nice winter holiday destinations. One of them is the picturesque village of Arachova in Mt Parnassus. The calm and quiet village becomes a glamorous destination full of events and happenings during the first cold periods. The narrow streets, the view and the great local taverns make Arachova the favourite destination of Greeks for winter escapes.
Parnassus ski centre
Of course, as it is a very high mountain, Parnassus also has one of the best ski centres in Greece. Yes, even though many people do not know it, there is snow in Greece (during the winter) and there are great ski centres. You can find on the way to the centre places to rent equipment, teachers for ski/snowboard lessons and anything you wish. If you are travelling in Greece during the winter do not miss this ski resort.
Pick the time right
Tourists visit Mt Parnassus from May to September
Getting there and around
There are frequently buses and organized trips from Athens to Mt Parnassus. If you are planning to visit just one of the places mentioned above, a day trip is more than enough, but if you would like to spend some days over there and see couple of places, it might be better to rent your own vehicle in order to have some independence
- Of course there aren’t snows in Greece all year long, usually the skiing period starts in December and finished in March. But you should better check the weather forecast before decide on visiting the ski centre. For the rest of the activities proposed any period of the year is suitable.
- Try the famous cheese of Arachova called “Formaela”. You can find it in all local taverns and shops and it is exceptionally nice fried.
- On the way to Mt Parnassos an interesting stop is Leivadia, there you can try some of Greece’s best meat and sausages, the city itself is very nice to visit