Delphi Day Trip from Athens – Update Guide 2022
Delphi day trip from Athens. Check out a UNESCO world heritage site while you can. The area was formerly known as the Earth’s naval base and was home to the world’s most revered oracle. A stop to the UNESCO-listed Hosios Loukas monastery is also included in the tour.
See Also: Delphi Guided Day Trip with Pickup & Optional Lunch
Is it possible to visit Delphi in a single day from Athens?
The 110-mile trip from Athens to Delphi should take you between 2 and 2.5 hours. On the journey to Delphi, the road will take you past rural farms and then up into the highlands.
A refresher course on the Delphic Oracle
Taking a trip down memory lane, who hasn’t heard of the fabled Delphi Oracle?
For a long period of time, beginning in the 7th century B.C. and lasting until the 3rd or 4th century AD, the Oracle was the most renowned and powerful figure in the world. She was known as the The Pythia, and she was in charge of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi at the time. In addition, she was seen as a representative of the deity Apollo on Earth. An incredible amount of power!
When making crucial decisions in Ancient Greece, the Pythia was the first person to contact. To acquire “divine” instruction from Apollo’s Oracle, people would come from all across the known universe to do so.
In a simpler era, the Pythia or Oracle of Delphi offered sound wisdom. She advised leaders, mediated conflicts, and gave practical counsel…. The tale of her foretelling the future has persisted throughout time, although the origins of these stories are obscure due to the lack of documentation in classical Greek sources.
The Delphi ruins may be seen when you visit. In spite of the fact that they are well-preserved, they are still part of an ancient site. We overheard other visitors complaining about the lack of recreation or a new Oracle during our stay. When it comes to theme parks, you can be disappointed.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to witness the center of the universe as it was in its heyday, you can’t beat visiting Delphi (and certainly the center of knowledge). UNESCO has now designated this area as a World Heritage Site in honor of the significant cultural contributions it has made. The fact that it’s perched so high in the mountains just adds to its allure.
On your day journey from Athens to Delphi, there are a number of must-see attractions:
Delphi Archaeological Sites
The primary archaeological site of Delphi is situated on the main route between the Greek cities of Delphi and Arachova. If it was going to be tough to locate, we pondered about it. Was it? Nope. Take a peek about you and you’ll see a lot of parked automobiles.
The Way of the Holy
Follow the Sacred Way trail up the mountain and to the right, and you’ll be at Delphi’s archaeological site in a jiffy. The Sacred Way is somewhat shaded by trees at its lower end, but it is completely exposed at its top end. It’s a good idea to examine the park map before beginning the climb to make sure you’re on the right track.
The Greek Treasury
There are a number of smaller excavations, including a number of treasuries, on the way up the Sacred Way. These structures were built to host gifts and dedications by officials from a particular Greek city-state. The Athens Treasury and the Siphnian Treasury were the two most significant.
Athens’ Treasury was repaired in 1903 and again in 2004 but the Siphnians’ Treasury is no longer there. (As a side note, the signage at the site refer to “The Stoa of the Athenians,” rather than “Treasury.”)
Athenians, Siphnians and Cnidians all had their coffers scavenged together to build the Athenian Treasury, as we learnt later. The Archaeological Museum has ancient statues, reliefs (known as friezes), and other relics (see below).
Column of the Serpent or Column of the Serpentina
There is a black twisted column with the top broken off just before the Temple of Apollo. Serpent Column is here. It’s easy to ignore this when there are so many other sights to view. Plataea was fought in 479 BC and the Greeks defeated the Persians thanks to the help of the Oracle of Delphi, which is why this monument was constructed.
The column’s very top has been lopped off. In 324 AD, Emperor Constantine ordered the removal of the tri-headed snake and its relocation to Istanbul as a prize. And sure, Constantine took the original and recreated it.
The Temple of Apollo at Delphi
It’s all over now. You came here for this.
Apollo’s Temple of Delphi, on the other hand, doesn’t quite live up to the hype. Six limestone columns stand above a granite foundation at Delphi’s Temple of Apollo against the grey rocks of Mt.
Parnassus. Long grasses have been filling in the spaces between the granite slabs for a long time now. The Pythian priestess would represent Apollo and convey the god’s revelations from this temple in Delphi.
Because of my poor knowledge of ancient history, I had a lot of unanswered questions. Laura gently responded to each and every one of them. First and foremost on my list is “Was this the oracle?” The lack of signs (as well as the sometimes bad English language) left me perplexed. In fact, a group of Spanish visitors were completely bewildered by the lack of English, French, and Greek signage around the Sanctuary of Delphi.
The ruins you came to see are really here. Our travels have taken us to other more spectacular Greek sites in the past, but none have surpassed the significance of this one.
Many people return to the entrance and the museum after witnessing the remains of the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi. However, there are two more sights to view at this location.
A 4th-century BC theatre may be found just above the site of the Delphi temple. Visitors were able to attend plays in the theatre, which could hold more than 2,000 people. Incredible views may be seen from this location.
Above the theatre, a winding route ascends and descends the cliff face. Located above the main site, the stadium may be found.
The Delphi stadium is about the length of a soccer field (more often known as a football pitch). The Pythian Games were conducted here every four years in honour of Apollo. The ancient Olympic Games had their origins in these contests.
You’ll have the stadium all to yourself if you chose to climb up to it. Because of the heat and difficulty of the ascent, many tourists choose to turn around on the way there on their own.
The Delphi Museum of Archaeology
We aren’t museum people. We are history buffs through and through, and we like learning about the past. But we don’t like going to museums. However, the Delphi Museum is a great place to visit!
In the museum, the archaeological site is placed in its right historical setting. Late Helladic/Early Mycenaean era through Roman invasion and development of Byzantine Empire. It doesn’t bore or disappoint, despite the museum’s wide scope.
The artefacts that were removed from the site are housed in a modern building at the base of the mountain. There are a large number of statues and frescos in the museum. The friezes, which are high reliefs surrounding the façade of houses, were fascinating.
The sculptures are awe-inspiring, to say the least. The twin Cleobis and Biton sculptures, towering majestically side-by-side, were among of our favourites. Naxos’s imposing Sphinx is a popular draw for many travellers.
However, The Charioteer is the museum’s most significant artefact. Among ancient Greece’s most unique artefacts is this precious bronze statue. This monument was created to commemorate a Pythian Games triumph in Delphi and is said to have originally stood opposite the Temple of Apollo. Incredible attention to detail can be seen in the statue.
Athena Pronaia Sanctuary Ruins
Visit the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia after seeing the ancient Delphi archaeological site. Back in the direction of Athens, this is less than a kilometre away from the main site (it is first parking turnout away from the actual Delphi site).
For two reasons, we suggest viewing this site after visiting Delphi’s main site. It’s a problem in the mornings since the place is so backlit that it’s difficult to take good shots (the sun will be directly behind the Tholos). As a result, the area may be rather congested early in the morning, when most tour buses stop here.
Historically, many people began their ascent of Mount Parnassus here. Most group tours stop here in the morning because they want you to see the sight as the Ancient Greeks did.
Tholos’ iconic spherical temple is unquestionably stunning. In the year 360 BC, it was established as a shrine to a now-forgotten deity. Since the earliest days of the Mycenaean civilisation, a temple of some form has existed on this precise area.
Between the Athena Pronaia Sanctuary and the major archaeological site, you’ll find the remnants of the old Delphi Gymnasium. The Pythian Games were held here, and you can still see the training grounds used by the competitors. We were unable to visit this site since it was closed to the public for excavations at the time.
Last but not least, most people just spend a short time in this part of town. A route that leads south from the Athena Pronaia may be found around 100 metres east of that location (downhill). Some Roman remains may be seen along this route after roughly a one-kilometer walk. In this case, an old Roman cemetery. It’s not a huge draw, but it’s ancient and overlooked by most tourists, so it’s worth mentioning.
Delphi Athens: A Guide to Traveling to the Ancient City
It’s half the joy to get there. What’s the deal with Delphi? It is situated on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassus, some 75 miles north and west of Athens. Unfortunately, the mountains make it necessary to drive almost 110 kilometres to get there.
Those who want to visit here might choose from one of four basic modes of transportation:
Traveling by Car from Athens to Delphi
Cars are the quickest, easiest, and most convenient method to go about Delphi in one day. Athens is home to a slew of rental car companies. Driving around Athens isn’t fun, but it’s the only option. Taking the train to the airport and renting a car there is the best option. As a result, the greater Athens region will be completely covered by highways.
The 110-mile trip from Athens to Delphi should take you between 2 and 2.5 hours. You’ll be driving through rural countryside for the most of the trip, but as you reach the highlands around Delphi, the scenery changes dramatically. The A6 to the E75 to the EO48 is the usual route (Note: there are tolls on this road).
A vehicle allows you more freedom in terms of time and the opportunity to stop and take in the scenery along the route.
Athens to Delphi bus route
For the most affordable means of transportation in Delphi, use the city’s public bus. The bus from Athens to Delphi is operated by the KTEL bus business of N. Fokidas SA. Only a few of stops are made across Fokida Prefecture (Phocis)
The bus from Athens to Delphi takes a little longer, but it’s less than $25. It is important to book in advance since the buses tend to fill up quickly and regularly cancel or vary their schedules. Bus schedules from Athens to Delphi may be seen right here KTEL Fokidas.gr.
Taking a Taxi from Athens to Delphi
You can get to Delphi via the ubiquitous yellow cabs that ply the streets of Athens. You could think I’m insane, but I’m telling the truth. A private driver in many other countries would be called a taxi driver in this city. Hailing a taxi from the street is not an option.
Pre-arrangement with a taxi operator is the best approach to hire a private driver to Delphi. Athens Taxi Tours and George Taxi Greece are two of the many firms, yet they all seem to provide the same service: Express Taxi, John’s Yellow Cab.
When considering private automobile choices, we suggest using a third-party service like Viator to get the best deals. If anything goes awry, you have the support of a huge corporation to get things back to normal.
Just keep in mind that drivers are not guides in Greece. They aren’t allowed to accompany you inside the archaeological site, and their expertise is likely to be restricted.
Day Trips to Delphi are available.
When everything else fails, you may take one of the numerous day tours from Athens to Delphi if you don’t want the freedom and flexibility of doing your own thing. They’re everywhere. Here you may find out how much certain tours will cost you.
What to Pack for a Day Trip from Athens to Delphi
Here, it was hot and sunny, and we were taken aback. Mount Parnassus’ southern face is home to the whole archaeological complex. That implies you’ll have all-day sun. It’s sweltering out there, even if there are some trees and some shade.
Bring a hat, sunscreen, and water bottle if it’s going to be hot out.
A water bottle, which you can fill up at the drinking fountain at the entrance and ticket booth. The park itself has just one drinking fountain (near where the trail heads to the top of the theatre and the stadium).
The use of sunscreen is highly essential!
A hat or a rain poncho
You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so pack shoes that you’ll be able to wear comfortably for long periods of time.
It should be noted that the archaeological site has a rustic feel to it. As a result, the whole park is completely free of concessions, vending machines, or anything else. Bring it with you if you’re not sure whether you’ll need it.