Why not spend 2 or 3 days in Delphi instead of just taking a day trip from Athens?

Delphi in ancient times was considered the centre of the known world and was the spiritual centre of Greece. This was the place on earth where the human being could be as close to the Gods as it was possible to get. Many people say that even today Delphi has very special and positive ‘vibes’ and energy; and that is why it is a good idea to spend a relaxing 2 or 3 days there rather than just a rushed and sweaty 2 or 3 hours there like most ‘day trippers’ do who come from Athens for the day.

For most day trippers the two main things to think about when they get to Delphi is where to get some lunch and what time the bus is leaving to go back to Athens. If you come to Delphi for 2 or 3 days – you have time to think about a whole different bunch of stuff and enjoy the spectacular natural environment here; and soak up the special positive vibes and energy of this small friendly town.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Things To Do In Delphi

In many ways Delphi was the spiritual and cultural centre of Ancient Greece and if you have an interest in the ancient Greeks and their culture then Delphi should definitely be on your bucket list of places to visit. It is very easy to imagine here the link between the cultural, physical and spiritual (mind-body-spirit) since the ruins in Delphi clearly show the temples of Apollo and Athena, the theatre and the sports stadium all in one unified sanctuary – which was also home of the famous ‘Oracle of Apollo’ (Oracle of Delphi) where individuals and heads of State would come to get advice from the Oracle. 

The other wonderful thing about Delphi is that it is in a beautiful and spectacular natural environment – so if you like to trek or hike (or simply 'ramble' a little before lunch)  – or just sit with a good coffee and a book in a nice coffee bar and enjoy the view – then it’s definitely worth spending 2 or 3 nights in Delphi so that you have time to enjoy the place, chill out, and absorb the very special ‘vibes’ that many visitors here say this place has. You can also soak up a little sun because there are beaches only 20 minutes away by public bus even though Delphi is in the foothills of beautiful Mount Parnassus - a ski resort in the winter.

Main Attractions and Stuff To do In Delphi:

Ancient Temple of Apollo and Sanctuary
It’s not such a great way to see Delphi’s many archaeological and spiritual treasures by arriving in the middle of the day hot and tired after a 3 hour bus trip or drive from Athens. Much better to arrive in the late afternoon, stay overnight, and see the sanctuaries in the peaceful cool of the morning – before the many day trippers arrive from Athens about 11.00 am. (Opening times at: http://www.e-delphi.gr )

Temple of Athena and Sanctuary
You do not need a ticket to visit the Temple of Athena Pronaia – so it is something nice to do in the afternoon when you first arrive if you are going to the temple of Apollo and museum in the morning.

Delphi Archaeological Museum
Opening times and details from www.e-delphi.gr

Swim and Sun at the Beaches of Itea
It’s very easy to go to Itea by car or public bus for a swim. The main bus times are given in this short 3 day guide of things to do in Delphi. It’s worth double checking bus times with your hotel reception in Delphi or at the bus station as there may be small changes from time to time. Nice clean beaches can be found 5 minutes walk either to the left or right of the main sea front town of Itea where the bus drops you off at the bus station. Good shopping and eating at a range of prices all close to hand.

Regular Philosophy Talks and Walks Offered + Cultural Events
Talks offered include 'Socrates and Know Yourself', 'Aristotle's Practical Philosophy', 'The Delphi Message' + informal 'coffee and philosophy sessions'. For details see: www.jamesheadgreece.blogspot.com 

Full day (long afternoon) trek to the Cave of Pan (Coycran Cave)
Of course you do not need to do the whole 2.5 hour walk to the cave (+ 2 hours back) – you can do just part of the walk if you prefer – along the well-made and signed footpath path winding upwards to the top of the spectacular cliffs at Delphi. After about a 45 minute walk to the top of the cliffs the rest of the way to the cave is through varied and attractive natural environments. Legend has it that if you listen carefully when you are in the cave you can still hear the pipes of Pan. (Some groups staying here get their coach to take them to the cave - and then the group does the spectacular one way walk back into Delphi.)

Morning walk down through the olive grove to the sea at Itea. (Swim + bus back ?)
Remember to take some water on this 3.5 hour walk down through the olives (passing through the small village of Chrisso on the way if you need another coffee to get you going). The footpath starts at the side of the Hotel Kastri in Delphi’s little High Street and goes all the way to the sea front in Itea. Nice beaches can be found just 5 minutes walk either to the left or right of the main sea front of Itea where the bus station and shops are easily found. You can take an early bus back after your walk – or have a nice swim and relax in the clean warm waters of Itea.

Drive or bus trip around the spectacular bay to Galaxidi for lunch.
In many ways one of the great things about this small traditional fishing town is the spectacular drive or bus ride from Itea to get there. If you are going by bus you need to figure out the times to get to Itea – and then change buses at the bus station for Galaxidi. The bus will take you all around the spectacular bay of the Corinthian Gulf to the charming little town. Great for a fish lunch and a little sight seeing. (Plan you trip with the bus times below or contact your hotel receptions for advice.)

Historic Monasteries of Ossios Loukas and Profit Illias Nearby.
For people with an interest in the Byzantine period and Orthodox Church - there are very interesting and famous monasteries nearby to visit. For more information ask your hotel receptions or contact Delphi Excursions - a small local business helping to organise activities and excursions for people staying in Delphi: delphiexcursions@gmail.com 

European Cultural Centre of Delphi
There is a government owned cultural facility in Delphi where many plays by leading theatre companies are shown, exhibitions are held, and academic meetings and talks on a variety of subjects are organised throughout the year. Always worth trying to find out if there is something on during the period you are visiting Delphi. See: Cultural Centre of Delphi

Usual Tourist Stuff
Delphi has loads of great restaurants at different budgets, good stylish coffee shops and bars – and a disco where you can dance the night away if you still have some energy left after your full and interesting day in Delphi.

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Remember - public holidays will be different in Greece than back home - and 'some' museums in Greece will close on 'some' public holidays or maybe have shorter opening times. So its best to check times when you are visiting a location in Greece on a public holiday. Above are the main 2018 dates to be careful on.