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Galaxidi, Greece

Visit Galaxidi, Greece

A small fishing town on the Gulf of Corinth, Galaxidi has the atmosphere of a Greek island but sits on the mainland not far from Delphi and within easy reach of Athens.

Its distinct character stems largely from the fact that Galaxidi was only accessible by boat until 1963. It developed in relative isolation, with a firm focus on the sea.

For many years, the town was home to Greece’s most important shipping families, and their grand neoclassical mansions still line the waterfront.

Today, you can stroll along the promenade, feast on fresh seafood from a choice of the many restaurants and just soak up the village atmosphere in this low-key resort.

With its two deep, natural ports and seaward-facing position, it’s no surprise that Galaxidi has a rich nautical heritage.

In the 18th century, maritime trade brought wealth to the region. But, the town’s heyday was in the late 19th century, when the local merchant fleet expanded and rich sea captains built elaborate homes here.

Many of the ‘captains’ mansions’ remain, most neoclassical in style with wrought-iron balconies, stone figureheads, pebbled courtyards and brightly painted shutters.

Beyond the waterfront, narrow cobblestone streets wind inland and lead through five traditional squares to the highest point in the town. Here, the Agios Nikolaos church sits surveying the gulf below. Two bell towers and an imposing dome assert its authority, while, inside, you’ll find a carved wooden altar screen.

The town’s other obvious landmark is the church of Agia Paraskevi, whose marble floor is inscribed with an unusual zodiac cycle and solar calendar. A hole in the roof allows a ray of sunshine to enter the church at noon each day and illuminate the date.

Also worth a visit is the Nautical Historical Museum, which tells the tale of the town and its role in the Greek War of Independence through a series of engaging exhibits.

The greatest joy of a visit to Galaxidi, though, is merely strolling the little streets, wandering along the restaurant-lined promenade and lingering over a seafood lunch or evening drink as the sun sets.

From the second port, you can continue walking out east from the town to the forested headland known as Pera Panta. Here, you’ll find little sandy coves for swimming and sunbathing and, at its tip, a statue of ‘Galaxidi Woman’. Her arm is wrapped around her children as she waves her handkerchief at unseen mariners heading out to sea.

If you happen to be visiting in the spring, look out for the town’s renowned celebration on Clean Monday, the start of Greek Orthodox Lent. The custom of alevromoutzouromata (flour wars) sees locals divide into teams and pelt each other with pigmented flour across the port.

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