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Ancient Delphi and Arachova

Set on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, Delphi was an important site in ancient Greece, with pilgrims journeying from afar to consult the oracle. Visiting the sanctuary with an expert guide brings the extensive ruins to life — your guide will lead you to the most interesting and significant remains and explain their history and purpose. Arriving with a private transfer leaves you refreshed and ready to explore, but also gives you the chance to visit nearby Arachova, a handsome alpine ski town known for its cheese and textiles.

Your day’s tour begins from your hotel in Athens or Galaxidi. From Athens, it’s a two-and-a-half-hour journey to ancient Delphi, and from Galaxidi it’s roughly a 40-minute drive. Your driver will meet you at your hotel and take you directly to Delphi, where you’ll meet your guide.

Ancient Delphi is one of the best-known and best-loved archaeological sites in Greece, and your guide will begin by exploring its importance in ancient Greece.

Legend has it that Zeus released two eagles from either side of the Earth and they met in Delphi. This, together with the importance of consulting the oracle, made it a popular pilgrimage place for ancient Greeks during the 6th to 4th century BC.

You begin your tour by exploring the small Delphi Museum, which showcases a collection of statues and paintings together with the tripod where the Pythia (high priestess) sat while communicating with the oracle.

After you’ve had time to explore the museum, you’ll head to the site itself. Ancient Delphi sits in an impressive position overlooking mountains on one side and seemingly endless olive groves on the other.

Your guide will lead you around the site, pointing out highlights of the ruins as you go, from temples and treasuries to votive monuments and statues.

You’ll visit the Temple of Apollo and the theatre, and your guide will interpret the ancient inscriptions carved into the stone for you. Your last stop is the Sanctuary of Athena Pronea, which sits a short walk along the road from the ruins.

Next, you’ll continue to the nearby town of Arachova. A popular ski resort during winter, its narrow cobbled streets are lined with stone houses that cascade down the southern slope of Mount Parnassus.

Restaurants, bars and shops selling traditional local crafts, such as wooden pieces and woven rugs, abound. The town also takes pride in its local cheeses, which are well worth a try.

Once you’ve had time to explore Arachova, your driver will bring you back to your hotel.

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Audley Travel specialist Corina

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