Delphi (Greece) & Temple of Apollo

DELPHI GREECEDelphi which is located 110 miles northwest of Athens is one of the most famous pilgrimage destinations in  Greece.  It possesses one of the best archeological sites in the world.

As there is no airport in the close vicinity, the visitors can reach this destination by bus or taxi, only. It is recommended to go on a one or two day tours arranged by major tour companies in Athens to avoid any unexpected problems.

Two “must-see” spots to see in DELPHI are the archeological site and the museum.

the three standing columns of the Temple of Athena Pronaia. The main Delphi site, and the location of the oracle, was the Temple of Apollo, about one km from the Temple of Athena Pronaia.

HISTORY

There are signs here that Delphi dates back to the Mycenaean period (1600-1100 BCE). It was a sacred site long before the classical period of ancient Greece.

Delphi certainly became famous for its Oracle: the place would receive pilgrims from all over the Greek world to show their respects at the Temple of Apollo where they would also seek guidance from the Oracle.

It is recorded that the first set of structures along the Sacred Way actually existed at Roman times and formed the marketplace (agora). This was made by Romans to earn Money from the pilgrims (which is much like the case in Saudi Arabia with muslims today, really)

At present all can be seen left is a set of ruins with some shopkeeper stalls that were converted into chapels after the rise of Christianity.  Many treasury house ruins built by Greek city-states to show off their power and wealth, can be seen along the Sacred Way. Without doubt the partially restored Athenian Treasury among them is the most impressive.

DELPHI CENTERNAVEL STONE, DELPHI, GREECE

The ancient Greeks believed Delphi was the center of the earth. The “navel Stone” we see here marked this fact.
There are some ruins here which still have ancient Greek inscriptions.

It is quite interesting that the semillennia-old inscriptions you can see here are the same as Greek alphabet that you see on modern signs all over the country.

GETTING TO DELPHI

The best way to reach Delphi could be on a tour company bus to avoid the stres of driving for about 2 hours and enjoy the scenery on the way. However if you preferred to go by car you would need to spare one and a half hours for a comfortable drive.

The route goes as follows: You drive north on E75, and then east through Livadia towards Itea. The first hour drive may be a little boring and uneventful but it becomes more spectacular as the road climbs Mt. Parnasos and passes through the winter resort of Arachova. From Patra, you drive north through the Rio-Antirio bridge and then west toward Itea keeping the Korinthian Gulf to the right. The drive is a bit longer (over two hours) and a bit more interesting throughout the trip as the road hugs the coastline from Naupaktos all the way to Itea.

It could be a good idea to visit Delphi on a day trip from either Athens or Patra. In this case you might need accomodation which you would find in the nearby town of Arachova. This place offers quite clean and inexpensive beds during the summer. It differs in the winter as Arachova is a ski resort and it receives many Grek tourists who come over to enjoy the snow.