Live your own winter tale
Interwoven with entertainment and sports, Parnassus is an extremely popular destination for nature lovers, ski lovers and for those with archaeological interests. Hosts the most organized ski center in the country, while major attraction among many villages are the historical site of Delphi, the cosmopolitan Arachova and low profile Agoriani. You will breathe fresh air, walk through the picturesque villages, enjoy “breathtaking” view, experience new activities, visit the ancient oracle of Delphi and spend time away from the mainstream, only two hours away from the center of Athens.
Cosmopolitan Arachova: A star-studded destination
The most cosmopolitan mountain village in Greece has for years been gracing the glossies and always been ready to welcome the city’s tired people. In Arachova, you’ll slip off your boots and slide into the bar, then dance till dawn. You’ll enjoy creative cuisine and local cooking that will satisfy even the most hard-to-please palates. Not classified randomly “The winter Mykonos” since many are the stars rushing plainclothes après-ski enjoy their holidays and take the lead in the pages of worldly magazines. However, if anyone wishes to spend a relaxing holiday, you will certainly be able to find his own retreat.
Delphi: Meet the Gods and get oracle
Delphi became the most important oracle in ancient Greece, which later was dedicated to Zeus and to Heracles during the classical period of Greece. Tourists from around the world arrive all year round in order to learn its history. Pythia was carrying oracles she received from Apollo God and the sacred translated the words which often had ambiguous meaning. Known also as the “navel of the earth”, they say that it is a place of energy that hides many secrets. An imposing landscape over the Corinthian Gulf, at the sacred mountain of Parnassos, Delphi considered to be the center of the world. Their archaeological site has been classified by Unesco monument, while the city’s candidacy for European Capital of Culture 2021 is another reason to be there.
Agoriani: A picturesque low profile paradise
If you want to spend wonderful time in the heart of winter, the low-key Agoriani is not going to disappoint you. The village has presented a swift tourism development in recent years. Away from crowds and excesses, is moving in a completely different mood from the cosmopolitan Arachova. An ideal destination for fresh air and rest, parallel hides a long history. On the map you will find it also as Eptalofos, name that indicates its position on seven hills, at an altitude of up to 1,100 m. on the northwest slopes of Mount Parnassos. In fall and spring you will enjoy cherry trees and waterfalls with crystal clear water, while in winter you can ski and indulge in fabulous scenery.
What to see
The Famous “Time”: The stone clock lying on a steep cliff, is the trademark of Arachova. This is the bell tower of the church of the Virgin Mary, knocking the bell every half hour, making it the ideal meeting point and photography both in the morning and at night while it is lighted.
The Church of St. George: To reach the church you will have to climb several steps, but the view will compensate you.
The Corycian Cave (Korykio Andro): It plays a significant part in Delphi mythology, since it was sacred to Pan and the nymphs, and they were the presiding deities of the oracle during winter, when Apollo abandoned the spot. Here, the oldest finds in the area were discovered, dating to the Neolithic period (4000 BC).
The Festival of Arachova: A custom known throughout Greece, which remains unchanged in time. The villagers celebrate the double celebration of St. George on April 23 for three consecutive days.
The Temple of Apollo, the Theatre and the Stage: You will walk the Sacred Way as the magnificent temple of Apollo and in the depths you will see the sanctuary where Pythia gave her oracles. North of the temple, you will find the theater, that hosted musical and dramatic events. Even higher, in an impressive landscape, you will discover the Stadium, where many sports events were organized.
Τhe Tholos of Athena Pronaia: The most recognizable monument in the region. Imposing edifice, located in the Athena Pronaia sanctuary, among the younger temple of the goddess.
Archaeological museum of Delphi: One of the principal museums of Greece and one of the most visited. It is operated by the Greek Ministry of Culture. Founded in 1903, it has been rearranged several times and houses the discoveries made at the panhellenic sanctuary of Delphi, which date from the Late Helladic (Mycenean) period to the early Byzantine era.
The Hani of Gravia: Great experience to get in Polydroso (Souvala) just 13 km. From Eptalofo (Agoriani) to visit a place that wrote many pages of heroism and glory, when in May 1821 the chieftains of Central Greece managed to defeat the Turks.
The Μining Park of Fokida: Vagonetto is a unique thematic park, where you will have the opportunity to follow the lives of miners and visit a real underground gallery.
The Variani: Quite near the Mining Park, the traditional settlement of variation is one of the most picturesque villages in the region. Hidden behind fir and built amphitheatrically on the slope of Parnassos, welcomes its visitors on a bridge, beneath which flow the crystal waters of the river.
You will find many taverns and restaurants for your dining with rustic flavors. Specialties, among others, are traditional meat dishes. If you are lucky, you may find meat from hunting as wild boar and hare. Traditional products such as local cheeses, formaela and opsimotiri cheese, are only a few of what you can taste. On the main street of Delphi, the tavern “To Patriko mas” is one of the stops you need to do for special touches of Greek cuisine, while the “Bacchus” is a must choice for stews and vegan options. You will enjoy the best ribs at the restaurant “Dion” and at the restaurant “Elatos” you will also enjoy views and quality flavors. Necessary stop for coffee and drink is “Ichor“, one of the all-day shops at the area.
Agoriani, the absolute hit of cooked beef is with clams. Do not forget to eat ribs at the tavern “Nikos”. Equally good choice is the family tavern “Grey Bear”. A passage from the «Le Grand Chalet» is suitable for coffee and dessert, while the few but cozy bars will make you enjoy your drink.
On the main street of Arachova, make sure you will do a stop at the old “Emporiko” which is now called “E”, to try souffle with formaela, kritharoto with beef cheeks and also the famous Pavlova. Visit also the traditional greek tavern “Panagiota”, because it’s the best choice for handmade pasta, local pies and stews. The tiny “Tavola” is another point for exceptional Italian flavors, but if you feel you want a candy, all roads lead to the “Dairy Store in Arachova.”
The combination of landscape and the wonderful view, makes the atmosphere fantastic all year round. Especially if you are there in winter, then you will understand why Parnassos is the “capital of snow” reputation.
Ski / Snowmobile at the Parnassos ski resort: With nineteen slopes for skiers of all levels, with a total length of 36 km. and a snowboard park, the adrenaline will hit “red” and you will feel the ultimate travel adventure.
Riding: Climb the forests of Parnassos on horse. Alternatively, rent quad bikes and engage in battle into the muddy slopes.
Cycling- Hiking – Enduro: The unique paths through the woods will make you fall in love with the area. You can either go hiking or cycling. If you want something different, dare an off-road experience by trying a sport that is gaining more and more ground as the enduro.
Paintball – Archery: If you are looking for something exciting, paintball is the perfect solution while you can also test your skills in archery and shooting.
Paragliding: Fly with a double parachute and an experienced instructor in order to feel a magic experience. And who knows, on landing perhaps a goddess will wait you for a great welcome…
Climbing- Mountain bike: If you want to experience something different besides skiing, you can try mountaineering or do some sightseeing as strolling with bike by watching stone houses and chimneys.
Arachova abstains from Athens 163 km. Under normal conditions, you will need about two hours from the capital’s center by car. There is also access by bus through daily routes. The access to the facilities of Parnassos Ski Center is made possible by a road that is always open. The city of Delphi is only 10 km. from Arachova. You can reach either by car from the capital either by bus that make daily routes. If you come from Athens you will have to follow the National Road Athens-Lamia and the level of Orchomenos turn to the ski resort of Parnassos. Following the road will gradually start to climb first arrive in Arachova and after a while in the city of Delphi. Agoriani abstains from Athens 188 km. and 22 km. from the city of Delphi. In winter even when it snows a lot, the roads are always open, but you need to be careful.