Delphi, Greece was once known as the center of the universe in ancient times. Greek mythology tells of a powerful god Apollo, god of the sun, who had slain a dragon named Python. This dragon was called Python, which translates to navel in Greek, because he was the protector of the navel of the earth, Delphi. Once this dragon was slain, Apollo gained power over the land. A temple was built as a dedication to Apollo during the Classical time period. The Greeks believed that there was special insight given to an oracle, who sat upon the temple. Six of the columns at the Temple of Apollo are still standing today.
This is an archaeological site that has brought many visitors to marvel at the ancient temple. Some believe the oracle’s wisdom is still hidden in the temple. During the classical period, many people travelled from the far ends of the earth to gain wisdom from the oracle of Delphi. Located about 94 kilometers outside of Athens, it is only about a three hours drive on the main road to Delphi. There are many bus tours that offer this as a day tour. They depart Athens in the morning and return in the evening. These tours even make a stop in a wonderful village called Arachova. This is a mountain village with views of the rocky and grassy landscape against the slopes of the Parnassus Mountains. Another option to see Delphi is by rental car or public bus transportation.
Sites to See
While in Delphi, The Temple of Apollo is a must see, however it is equally worth heading over to the Delphi Archaeological Museum, which houses the original ancient artifacts that were found among the ruins. The Charioteer of Delphi is a highlight and the marble statues of Kleobis and Biton should not be missed. The ability to see what existed over 2,000 years ago is amazing to say the least. Some of the antiquities were found in miraculous condition and others have missing or broken pieces.
For history buffs and tourist alike, visiting Delphi is an amazing detour from the bustling city of Athens. If interested, tourists can purchase replicas of the original works of art and statues as a personal memory from their trip to Delphi. There are many quaint little shops that are along the cobblestoned roads lining the little town.
In addition to the museum, the temple and the shops, dining in Delphi is an experience of its own. The traditional Greek tavernas seem extra charming in this village. Maybe it is because this town is far removed from the main tourist city of Athens. The food tastes like it has been homemade in the kitchen of a grandmother who has perfected the family recipes with love. Any house wine is bound to please and all of the tavernas have the traditional Greek dishes, such as Moussaka and Pastichio, which are pasta based. There are many meat based traditional dishes such as Gyros and Souvlakis as well. For dessert a specialty in Delphi is Loukamades, which are little donuts drenched in honey. This is sure to top off an excellent day trip to Delphi.