This magical area is famous for its archaeological sites such as the ancient Oracle of Pithia and the Temple of Apollo where leaders of the ancient world sought spiritual guidance. According to one of the Homeric Hymns to God Apollo, the God was born on the island of Delos in the Cyclades and set out from there to make his way in the world, looking for a place to make his home until finally he arrived at Mount Parnassos.
Unfortunately, the site was already sacred to the earth-goddess Gaiawho had her oracle there, and was guarded by a dragon (usually depicted as an enormous snake) known as Python. Apollo slew the monster with an arrow and left the corpse to rot thus giving the site its other name, Pytho, from the Greek pythein (“to rot”).
Many political decisions were taken after consultation of the Oracle, and no colony was founded around the Mediterranean without the consent of the sanctuary at Delphi. In proportion with its immense influence, the settlement at delphi grew from a small village to a imposing depository of fine Architecture and Art.
The functions of the Oracle of Delphi grew over the centuries to include athletic games and cultural events and Delphic Festivals, the most important of which was the Pythian Games which were held every four years in memory of Apollo’s slaying of the Python Dragon. To accommodate the gratitude that each city/state was eager to express, and all the cultural affairs, the sanctuary evolved to include major temple complexes, a theater, a stadium, and a number of ornate treasuries.
Some of the most prominent edifices on the sacred slopes of Delphi are the Temple of Apollo, the Ancient Theater, the Stadium, the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia with the Tholos, the Kastalia spring, and the various treasuries that adorn the sacred way. The Archaelogical Museum on the site contains many important ancient Greek artifacts from the excavations at Delphi.
After meeting your tour driver, you will begin your journey to Delphi. Along the way, you will see the plain of Beotia, an agricultural center surrounded by cotton plantations and you will also pass through the city of Theva, the birthplace of King Oedipus. You will continue towards Mt. Parnassos, making a brief rest stop outside the town of Levadia.
You will then drive on to Delphi, which dates to the ninth century B.C. and whose allure includes an amazing hillside setting and ruins that will intrigue even the most skeptical among you. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the Greek world’s most important oracle. The area was also a major site for the worship of the god Apollo after he slew the Python, a deity who protected the navel of the Earth (center of the world) in this location.
You will see the Roman Agora, walk along the Sacred Way, and view the monument of the Argive Kings. the treasury of the Athenians, the Athenian Stoa, the Polygonal Wall, the monument of Platea and the Temple of Apollo where the oracle resided. Above the Temple, you can visit the well preserved 3rd-century Theater. On the lower slope of the mountain is the Tholos, a building whose exact purpose is unknown but architecturally speaking is considered one of the masterpieces of the ancient world. You will also see the Palestra where the athletes trained in preparation for the Pythian Games.
- 08:00 Departure
- 11:00 Arrival at Delphi
After your visit to the archeological site, you will visit the adjacent Delphi Archaeological Museum which houses the ancient artifacts that were found at the site. As its centerpiece, are the antiquities found in the complex of Oracle which dates from the 18th century B.C. When the Oracle was founded to its decline around 300 A.D. Exhibits include the frieze of the Treasury of the Sifnians, the Naxian Sphinx, the metopes of the Athenian treasury, the famous Charioteer, originally created to commemorate a victory during the 476 B.C. Pythian Games, and many other artifacts.
- 14:00 Time for lunch
- 15:30 Departure back to Athens
Alternative Tour Options:
There are so many other things to see in this area. Keep in mind that your driver is at your disposal, so if you would like to adjust the proposed itinerary at all, just let him know!
- Comfortable clothing and sensible, flat-soled walking shoes are recommended. Sun glasses and sun screen are strongly suggested.
- Photography is permitted throughout the tour.
- The site of Delphi is perched on the side of a steep hill and is visited by uphill walking. Although strenuous, those who make the climb are rewarded with a beautiful view over the site and the valley beyond.
- Admissions fees into archeological sites and museums are NOT included.
- Admission Fees for Sites and Museums: (Tickets available only at the ticket office)
- Special ticket package: Full: €9, Reduced: €5
Valid for: Delphi,Tholos and Delphi Archaeological Museum
- Special ticket package: Full: €9, Reduced: €5
- 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
- 5 June (International Enviroment Day)
- 18 April (International Monuments Day)
- 18 May (International Museums Day)
- The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
- Every first Sunday from November 1st to March 31st
- 27 September, International Tourism Day
- 28 October
- Greek citizens and citizens of other Member – States of the European Union aged over 65 years old by showing their ID card or passport.
- Students of Higher Education Institutes and equivalent Schools from countries outside the EU by showing their student ID
- The accompanying parents on educational visits of elementary schools.
- Cultural Card holders
- Journalists with a journalist identity card
- Persons accompanying blind and disabled
- Persons possessing a free admission card
- The escorting teachers of schools and institutions of elementary, middle school, high school, university and graduate level education during their visits
- University students and students at Technological Educational Institutes or equivalent schools of Member – States of the European Union and students at Schools of Tourist Guides, by showing their student ID
- Young people, under the age of 18, after demonstrating the Identity Card or passport to confirm the age
- Our prices are much better in comparison to those of other travel companies, because we are ourselves the tour operator and we do not use third party providers.
- It’s always a great idea to bring a bottle of water and sunscreen with you because in the warmer months it becomes quite hot and sunny.
- A hat to protect your head and shade your face is also recommended when spending a significant amount of time in the sun.
- Do not accept ‘gifts’ from street vendors approaching tourists. They may offer you roses, but if choose you accept, you will be expected to pay or give a tip for them.