The full day Delphi tour starts with a 70-mile drive along the National highway northwest of Athens. Driving through Levadia, we will arrive at the Monastery of Hosios Loukas, one of the finest Byzantine monuments in Greece, built in the 10th century and set on a picturesque slope on the western foothills of Mount Hellikon, near the ancient town of Steiri.
The Monastery was founded in 945 AD by the hermit Hosios Lucas who was hard working, kind, compassionate, hospitable and born with the gift of foresight, which was proved unmistakable on issues of both national and individual importance. The Catholicon at the Monastery keeps the relics of Hosios Loukas. The marvelous mosaics and the architecture make the Monastery one of the most important monuments in Greece. Departing from the Monastery, we will arrive at Delphi via Arachova, a picturesque town situated on the south slopes of Mount Parnassus.
Arachova has become a popular day or weekend road trip for Athenians mostly during the winter because of the ski centre.
At Delphi, we will visit Castalia spring, the ancient Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians, the ancient Stadium, the ancient Theatre, the unique bronze Charioteer, and the Museum. Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town on the southwestern slope of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis. In Greek mythology, it was the navel of the earth, the site of the Delphic Oracle and a major site for the worship of god Apollo after he slew the Python, a dragon who protected the navel of the earth. Apollo spoke through his oracle.
The priestess of the oracle known as the Pythia had to be an older woman and sat on a tripod seat over an opening in the earth. Apollo possessed Pythia and she prophesied.
People consulted the Delphic Oracle on everything from important matters of public policy to personal affairs. The Oracle exerted considerable influence throughout the Greek world and consulted before all major events. The ancient Stadium held the Python Games, which were one of the four Pan-Hellenic Games held every four years.
We will conclude our visit to Delphi by having lunch at a local restaurant enjoying the view of the Itea Gulf followed by a visit to the Temple of Athena Pronea and the Gymnasium.
Finally, we will drive back to Athens by the national highway.