The archaeological site of Delphi is one of the most important in Greece. It is located in a magnificent mountain landscape 34 km from Galaxidi. It was a religious center of great influence in the spiritual and political life during ancient, Hellenistic and Roman times, and was considered to be the center of the universe, the navel of the earth.
The fame of the oracle of Delphi had passed the borders of ancient Greece and gained an international reputation. Pilgrims flocked from all corners of the known ancient world and offered gifts and offerings, in hope to hear a favorable prophecy. Simple people, kings and generals sought advice and predictions for small family matters or big and important issues, such as whether to engage in war or whether or not to create a new colony.
Today, the archaeological site of Delphi, with its imposing ruins in a magestic landscape framed by two huge rocks known as the Phaedriades stones, has been declared a world heritage site and leave no visitor unmoved. The main monuments of Delphi include the partially restored temple of Apollo, in which were engraved the well-known sayings "Know Thyself" and "Nothing in Excess", the Dome of Athena Pronaia, the theater where the vocal and instrumental music contests took place during the Pythian Games, the stadium, one of the best preserved of its kind, the Treasury of the Athenians, a small well-preserved Doric building of Parian marble and the Treasury of the Sifnians.
In its rich collection, the Archaeological Museum of Delphi displays statues of stunning beauty, architectural sculptures, objects donated to the sanctuary, ceramic and metal artifacts and mosaics and many other findings that illustrate the ancient history of the Delphic Sanctuary.
The picturesque Arachova is perched on the rocky slopes of Parnassus at an altitude of 960 m, just 12 km from Delphi, which was once a quiet village with rich traditions, particularly those of woodcarving and weaving. Its inhabitants were also involved in farming and cheese making, and have been known for their cheese, honey, noodles and strong red wine.
After the ski resorts at Parnassus opened, however, Arachova was flooded by skiers and became a cosmopolitan ski resort. The main street is full of shops with embroidery, textiles, rugs, cheese and noodles. Try the famous formaela cheese, a product labeled as PDO, but also little-known saganotyri and opsimotiri cheese.
The visitor to Arachova will admire the view from the rock of «Ora» and wander in the narrow cobbled streets of the stone houses, enjoying the genuine mountain village atmosphere. Travelers who like traditional customs, will want to visit Arachova during its three-day festival in honor of St. George – the so-called "Paneyiraki" – where ancient Greek customs are reenacted.
Above Arachova, on the plateau called Livadi, a passable dirt road leads to the Corycian Cave, with its stalactites and stalagmites that form strange sculptures, once a center of worship of the Nymphs and of the god Pan. Excavations have brought to light a plethora of Neolithic and Mycenaean objects. The cavern resembles a womb hiding ancient human instincts, or with a ritual place for sacred mysteries, just as the carved steps lead from light and clarity to darkness and myriad echoes.
Chrisso is a traditional village between Galaxidi and Delphi with well-preserved old mansions and neoclassical buildings, traditional stone churches, beautiful streets and stunning views towards plains with endless olive groves, Itea, Galaxidi and Krissaios bay.
Amfissa Olive Groves
A characteristic feature of the local landscape is the abundance of olive trees with their silver foliage and old wrinkled trunks that bear witness to the passage of time. In the Amfissa plain, the ancient Krissaic fields, lies one of the oldest olive groves in the world – over 3000 years old – with one million olive trees.
Phocis Mining Park – Vagonetto
Between Amphissa and Lamia, a unique theme park, the Phocis Mining Park or «Vagonetto», will pleasantly surprise you. An underground mining gallery has been preserved exactly as it was when operating in the early 1970s and turned into a museum in the bowels of the earth. With the help of interactive digital technology, the visitor experiences a typical working day for the bauxite miners and is able to see the entire extraction process. In the specially-equipped mining history rooms, visitors are acquainted with the methods of identifying and mining bauxite, its transformation to aluminum, the mining history of the area, the applications of aluminum and the post-mining methods for rehabilitation for the landscape. The audiovisual tour is in 6 languages (Greek, English, French, Spanish, Italian and German).
For more information visit the site: http://www.vagonetto.gr/
Parnassus National Park
For hikers, mountain bikers and for all those interested in the particular physical characteristics of the region, a visit to Parnassus National Park, with its unique, well-marked, breath-taking trails is recommended. The park includes forested areas mostly of fir trees of the species Abies cephalonica, high-altitude meadows, and is rich in flora and fauna, as well as in springs and streams. An area of high ecological and aesthetic value and biodiversity, it is designated as a game refuge and coincides with a special protection area for birds.
Apart from the Parnassus National Park, a special hiking experience includes the ancient path from Kirra to Delphi taken by pilgrims to Delphi, as well as the international European path E4 Eptalofos-Delphi and other marked trails linking the sea with the mountains, with springs, fountains, rocky stairs, chapels, olive groves and unparalleled views of the sea and nearby mountains.
For the fans of the sport, there are some excellent climbing routes in the region. The climbing area of Plaka, near the village of Sykia, is considered among the best in Europe.
The region around Galaxidi is one of the most suitable sites in Greece for paragliding because it offers long distance flights during the whole year. There are many flying areas in the region with differing potential and suited for varying conditions and seasons. If your dream is to fly over the magnificent Galaxidi or admire the view above of the Delphic landscape as only birds can, you can make your dream come true. For more information visit the site: http://www.paraglidingfun.gr/.
Parnassus Ski Resort
Parnassus ski resort is the biggest downhill ski resort in Greece, and boasts facilities that serve large numbers of visitors and skiers for day and night skiing, children's skiing and snowboarding. It has 13 ski and chair lifts, 19 marked downhill ski tracks from 4 to 50 km, 7 ski routes, 2 main communication routes, eight connecting routes, 3 mini slopes for beginners and 12 off-piste routes and a snowboard park.
The calm waters of the Krissaios bay are ideal for water sports, swimming, sailing, fishing, boating and diving activities. Also in the Sailing Yacht Club of Galaxidi children may take sailing lessons.