Delphi

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Second only to the Acropolis of Athens itself, Delphi is one of the most popular and most important sites in all of Greece. See for yourself the spot where hundreds of years of advice-seekers, from kings to slaves, came to consult the Priestess of Apollo, perhaps the most powerful (and closest to the Gods) woman in the ancient world. Who knows, maybe you yourself will catch a whiff of whatever is was that brought these women so near to the divine!

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Ancient Theater at Delphi (right); Sterea Ellada (top)

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To the ancient Greeks, Delphi was the exact center, or belly-button, so to speak, of the known world, a designation marked by the Omphalos, a marble monument that still survives to this day. Located on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, one of the highest mountains in Greece, the sanctuary to Apollo, sacred to the Cult of Pythia, the priestess of Apollo, is just one of the parts of this huge site. One might also walk through perhaps the most beautifully designed temple sites in all of Greece, the Tholos, a part of Delphi’s sanctuary to Athena. Other parts of this ancient site that might be of interest include the Treasury of Athens, built in honor of the decisive Athenian victory over Darius and the Persian Empire at Marathon, an excellent example of a classical Greek gymnasium, and a well-preserved theater that held nearly five thousand spectators in its day. Bringing it all together, the archaeological museum at Delphi houses one of the finest collections of Hellenic art, monuments, and relics in the entire country.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours—it is your tour, after all. It’s a beautiful journey into the mountains of Sterea Ellada, stopping at a lovely mountain village called Arahova, if you so desire. There are also several wonderful churches and monasteries in the vicinity that can be visited, including the Hosios Loukas, another UNESCO heritage site.  This is a slightly longer trip, but whatever personalized tour you embark in, it will be well worth the time!

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