A day-trip to Delphi from Athens

A day-trip to Delphi from Athens

Delphi, a significant World Heritage site, is located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, a couple hours bus journey from Athens and is possibly the most beautiful of all ancient sites I visited. This is my account of a day-trip to Delphi from Athens.

The nature surrounding the site of Delphi
The nature surrounding the site of Delphi
Striking that purrfect pose
Striking that purrfect pose

Mythology and significance in Ancient Greece

Delphi is the site of the ancient Oracle and was believed to be the navel of Gaia or the ‘Grandmother Earth’. In ancient Greece, it was believed that the Castalian spring running through Delphi was guarded by Python, a serpent or a dragon. Apollo defeated Python and spent many years in menial labour to atone his sin because Python was a son of Gaia.

A sanctuary of Apollo was built at the site. Pythia, a priestess chosen from among the priestesses of the temples served as the ancient Oracle. The spring that disappeared beneath the temple emitted chemical vapours which aided the Oracle in revealing her prophecies. The Oracle retained its significance even in the Roman times and even into the Christian Era.

It is also the site of the Pythic games, one of the four Panhellenic games held in ancient Greece, which took place every four years to commemorate the victory of Apollo. To read about Olympia where Olympics, the most important of Panhellenic games were held, read my post Things to do in a day in Olympia Greece.

Stunning views from the site
Stunning views from the site

The Site

Entrance ticket(site and museum): € 12
The site is surrounded by lush vegetation on all sides and is a treat for the eyes. There is a museum which is included in the site entry ticket but I was unable to visit it due to lack of time. The tholos at the sanctuary of Athena Pronoia is about a kilometre away from the main site so make sure you have enough time to visit this beautiful temple as well.

The site from the top
The site from the top
The treasury, Delphi received plenty of offerings
The treasury, Delphi received plenty of offerings
The temple of Apollo,, this is where the Oracle revealed her prophecies
The temple of Apollo, this is where the Oracle revealed her prophecies
Tholos at the sanctuary of Athena Pronoia,a kilometer away from the main site
Tholos at the sanctuary of Athena Pronoia, a kilometer away from the main site
Another one of those stunning views
Another one of those stunning views

Planning the trip

You can take an organized day-trip to Delphi with a tour agency or you can take a trip on your own. The costs for both work out to be almost the same.

How to reach on your own?

I took the bus from Liosion bus station in Athens and it took me two and a half hours to reach Delphi. You will have to buy the return bus tickets from Athens itself. The timings when the bus leaves are fixed. I took the one that leaves at 10:30 AM and the return bus at 4:00 PM, one before the last. Three hours were not enough for visiting the site and the museum. It would be wiser to take the bus that leaves at 7:30 AM to give yourself enough time to explore the site as well as the museum.

Somewhere here is where the bus drops you
Somewhere here is where the bus drops you
Nature
Nature

Useful tip

I traveled towards the end of April which is a shoulder season. Despit that I managed to get only one of the last two seats left on the bus. If you are traveling during the peak season, make sure to book the tickets a couple of days in advance. The tickets could only be booked at the bus station when I visited.

As I missed the museum, I have an excuse for taking another day-trip to Delphi when I visit Greece next. I will either take the first bus there and the last one back. Maybe I will stay there for a couple of days.

Richa Jain

I am Richa, from India. Restless by nature, I am fascinated by everything unfamiliar. This is possibly the reason why traveling and reading has always been high on my wish list. I started this blog to document my travel stories and decided later to add book reviews as well. I also realized that planning for long travels, specially when it includes extensive documentation, can be quite daunting, so I decided to include my itineraries and some practical tips that would help in planning trips. Join me on my journeys. Traveling is not the most environment friendly hobby and yet it is essential for city dwellers to get in touch with nature. I have been looking at sustainable options in all areas of my life and can't wait to share them with all.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Shuchita

    Greek sights are so fascinating and the blog captures them beautifully.

  2. Jan

    I love to visit places with ruins, history and significance. Delphi seems to be a kind of place I would enjoy visiting. I have never been to Greece. I will save your post for my future visit. 🙂

    1. Richa Jain

      Thanks for going through this post! I am sure you would love Delphi 🙂

  3. Annie Haycock

    Delphi is a fascinating site in its own right, but the butterflies and flowers are wonderful too. Thanks for reminding me

    1. Richa Jain

      I completely agree with you:) The site is in such harmony with the nature.

Leave a Reply