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Delphi

Greece's most important archaeological site after the Acropolis, Delphi was the religious centre of the ancient world.

TravelCurious Tip

If you’re coming from Athens, it is possible to visit on a day trip, but an overnight stay is much more rewarding.

Located some 150km further north-west of Athens, Delphi is unmissable if you’re looking for a full experience of the ancient Greek lifestyle. The Acropolis may have been the pride of Athens in terms of architecture and cultural standing, but Delphi was the beating heart of the Greek religious tradition.


Enter the Dragon

Delphi was already an important place of worship going back as far as 1400 BC, but it entered its most renowned period after the sun god Apollo slayed the monstrous serpent Python here, according to Greek mythology. This event precipitated both the building of the first temple to Apollo at Delphi, and also the inaugural Pythian games, which began some time in the 6th century BC and continued until at least 424 AD. These were an important panhellenic tradition, second only in importance to the Olympic Games, and they would have enormously boosted Delphi’s stature in the minds of ordinary Greeks.


Chemical Prophecies

Unlike the area surrounding Olympia, however, Delphi did not attach central importance to its games, and would have been widely renowned without them. The city was the stage of the famous Oracle at Delphi, a priestess who would deliver highly-regarded “prophecies” with the aid of chemical vapours emanating from a rock cleft in the temple of Apollo.


A Wealth of Ruins

Wandering around the spectacularly located archaeological site today, commanding impressive views down the valley, you will be amazed by how much there is to look at. Besides the temple of Apollo, there is the 5,000-capacity theatre, the well-preserved Athenian treasury and the beautifully circular Tholos at the sanctuary of Athena Pronoia, to name but a few sights. It may take a little while to get here from Athens but, if you do make the effort, the experience is unforgettable.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Athens
Delphi Museum
The museum shelters numerous wonderful artefacts unearthed during excavations at the home of the Oracle, including the famous Charioteer of Delphi.
Theatre of Delphi
The 35 rows of this ancient theatre can seat 5,000, and offer spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding ruins and valley below.
Temple of Apollo, Delphi
Central among the Delphi ruins, the temple's imposing columns lie on the southern slopes of Parnassos mountain.
Mount Parnassus
Mountain in Greece, which towers over Delphi and offers scenic views of the countryside.
Thissio
Thissio is one of locals' favorite neighborhoods, with open air concerts and lined with kafeneios interspersed with its many neoclassical buildings.
Kafeneio
At the heart of Greek social life are kafeneios - local cafes which serve coffee, ouzo, and local beer.

Related Tours

Private Excursion to Delphi from Athens with Tickets Included
Immerse yourself in the world-famous ancient wonders of Delphi on this magical day trip from Athens. On your tour you will:

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of your private tour guide
  • Travel in your private, chauffeur-driven air-conditioned vehicle. 
  • Explore the beautiful UNESCO Archeological site of Delphi with your skip-the-line tickets and private guide.
  • Wander in wonder around the Archeological Museum (skip-the-line tickets included) with your tour guide, where among the many rescued treasures you’ll see the famed charioteer.
  • Marvel at the lush scenery of Mount Parnassus.
  • Stop for lunch in the lovely local town of Arachova (lunch not included in the price).
  • Relax and enjoy the peaceful and scenic drive back to Athens.
No trip to Greece is complete until you have explored the beautiful and serene enclave of Delphi. After being picked up from your hotel in your private air-conditioned vehicle, you’ll begin the scenic 180 km drive through mountains and fertile valleys of cotton fields and olive groves, enjoying sensational views of the Greek countryside. Upon arriving in Delphi you’ll enter the UNESCO world heritage site, to explore these stunning ruins with your knowledgeable local guide. 

Dating as far back as the 6th Century BC, Delphi was thought to be the point at which heaven and earth met – it was here that man could get closest to God. The sanctuary of Delphi was also famed throughout the classical world as home to the Oracle: a priestess named Pythia, who channelled the spirit of Apollo, answering questions on anything from domestic squabbles to matters of war. Everyone from foreign dignitaries to common peasants would make the pilgrimage from Athens to Delphi to seek the Oracle’s advice. 

During your day tour, follow in their footsteps and discover for yourself the iconic monuments of antiquity dedicated to the mighty Greek gods and goddesses: the temples of Apollo and Athena Pronea – whose circular structure is the most recognisable of all Delphi’s ruins. 

Your tour will continue inside the Delphi museum, where you’ll come face to face with the piercing gaze of the famed Charioteer of Delphi, and other archaeological wonders. After stopping for lunch in the picturesque village of Arachova, carved into a hillside along the Saronic coast, your day will finish with a peaceful drive back to Athens.
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