This is a tour to the center of the Earth, as Delphi was considered in ancient times. Immortalized by the Oracle, Delphi is rich with attractions, including the Archaeological Museum and the ancient city, with its stadium and theatre.
The tour starts early in the morning from the hotel, heading towards central Greece, at the point where the mountains Helicon and Parnassos meet. There, a stop at the 10th century AD byzantine monastery of Hosios Loukas reveals a unique Christian monument protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
On the southern slope of Mount Parnassos, Delphi signifies one of the most respected holy lands of ancient Greece. Legend has it that Zeus released two eagles flying in opposite directions around the earth and declared the point where they met as the Center of the Earth. Delphi was built exactly at this spot, and the famous Omfalos (belly button) sculpture commemorates the fact.
The Omfalos, together with the bronze statue of Iniochos (charioteer), are among the artifacts of the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, starring in an impressive collection of exhibits from the excavations that have taken place here through the years.
The ancient city develops around Apollo’s huge temple, within which the Oracle would meditate and transfer the god’s words to whoever sought consultation. The Oracle of Delphi exerted considerable influence on most major events in centuries of Greek history and was operational until the early years of the Byzantine Empire.
Delphi holds a privileged position over a vast ancient olive grove that extends all the way down to the sea, and the nearby port city of Itea. Near Delphi on Parnassos’ slope we also find Arachova, a traditional village most known as a popular winter retreat and gateway to the Parnassos Ski Centre.
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