5 In Europe/ Greece

Ancient Delphi Greece: Oracle History, Sanctuary Ruins and Greek Mountains

If you are planning a road trip around this beautiful country, stopping at these Ancient Delphi Greece historical sites is a must. Delphi is a gorgeous little mountain place on mainland Greece, easily drivable from the cities of Athens and Olympia. The Unesco sites of the Temple of Apollo, Delphi Theatre and the Archaeological Museum of Delphi should be a high priority for Greek history ehnthusiastics and summer goddesses exploring!

Arriving in Ancient Delphi Greece

Arriving by car to Delphi was such a treat and lovely drive from Athens (link coming soon!). The drive up to this mountain area of Greece was impressive to drive due to the views. Hidden around some corners were some beautiful spots and views into the valley to the olive trees.

Where Is Delphi Greece?

Firstly, where is Delphi? This mainland location can be found alongside the Mount Parnassus mountains and only 2.5 hours away from Athens. This was a super easy drive leaving the city and climbing the altitude to the little village of Delphi.

Delphi Greece Facts

To keep things short and fun, here are 5 nice facts about Delphi Greece:

  • It is considered the center of the world
  • The main event at the Pythian Games here involve music
  • Delphi Theatre can still hold events to this date
  • Apollo killed a serpent here
  • Delphi became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987

Where To Stay – Pan Hotel

I stayed in a cheap 35 EUR B&B called Pan Hotel for only 1 night. This place wasn’t the most luxurious in Delphi for sure, but for an easy one night stay was good. There was a variety of choices at breakfast, which was in a room with a view over the valley. Parking is free but limited in center, due to the small size of Delphi, so even in October I had to park a little bit away from the B&B.

Out of everything, relaxing on the balcony before bed and waking up with this view was amazing!

Delphi Activities

Pretty Town of Delphi

The village of Delphi has roughly 1,500 residents surrounding the historical sites and museum. Once considered as the ‘navel of the world‘ by the ancients, Delphi now has a cute main street of local produce stores, restaurants and B&Bs for tourists. In 1987, the Delphi ruins became a UNESCO World Heritage site and has since been a top location for tourists wanting to see for themselves what Greek life was like.

Ancient Delphi Greece Historical Sites

Temple of Apollo

This Temple of Apollo was the prominent position in the area, looking down through the village and having such a central location. The temple had 15 columns at the sides and six columns at the ends. Much of the ruins these days that you can explore, are left over from an earthquake in 373 BC and other destroyed moments. However some sections have been restored and can now be viewed with your own eyes.

The Sacred Way

This is beautiful path leading up from the bottom to the Temple of Apollo and the Delphi Stadium. There would have been many memorials along this walkway, that represented famous victories from games or victories. Most of these were destroyed, however a few that survived can be viewed in the archaeological museum of Delphi.

Treasury of the Athenians

This Treasury of the Athenians was last restored by the French in 1904, but was first built with Parian marble after the Battle of Marathon. Like many other treasuries from Greek times, this would have been filled with pretty treasures and paintings. The outside of the treasury shows many figures, such as a Centaur, Heracles with the Nemean lion and Theseus with the Minotaur.

Delphi Stadium

The Stadium of Delphi can be found at the top of the Sacred Way. So keep your water in hand for those hot Greek days if you are hiking up to here. The Stadium was big enough for 6,500 spectators and it was widely used for music events and Pythian/Panhellenic games. Like other stadiums in Greece, this one also has some pretty arched entrances that were once used to enter.

Castalian Spring

This marble-lined basin with 2 lion heads (once 7) is a spring fresh water pool that was built close to the Delphi Stadium. So you will pass this on the way up to the stadium. This was a location that priests and temple staff would wash. Also for Pythian/Panhellenic games participants who needed to wash their hair before entering any sacred places in Delphi. Those would be able to sit on one of the many benches, while the water fell down from the Castalian fountain.

There is a myth that the god Apollo killed a dragon in this location, but this has never been proven!

Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of this, so here’s a sweet kitten that followed me around at these Delphi ruins.

Delphi Theatre

Delphi Theatre is one of the most fascinating ruins i have seen from all the Greek historical locations I’ve seen so far. The view from the theatre is spectacular across the mountains and down into the valley. Before all was destroyed, this would have looked down towards the Sacred Way and the Temple of Apollo. It’s estimated to fit around 5,000 spectators for music events, plays and poetry readings.

Archaeological Museum of Delphi

This archaeological museum of Delphi is apparently one of the most visited museums in Greece. Which I could totally understand with all the coaches that arrived during my October visit (outside of the touristic season!). There are more than 10 rooms with different eras and archaeological artefacts. Such as room 7 that contains objects from the Treasury of the Athenians that I mentioned above. I personally also loved Room 5 as this held the Sphinx of Naxos, a beautiful 2.2 meter tall marble statue of a woman head, lioness body and feathers from a bird of prey. 

The museum also has a gift shop and a modern cafe for a quick drink if you need. But I can recommend heading to the main Delphi street for this with a pretty view.

P.s the combi ticket for the museum and historical site can be used on different days (so I used mine one afternoon at the museum, and the next morning at the historical site).

Sanctuary of Athena Pronea

South of the Temple of Apollo (and free to visit outside of the historical sites here) is the Sanctuary of Athena Pronea. Sacrifices would be made here at the Tholos of Delphi, the 20 columns that stood in a circle. Now there are only 3 columns left, which have been reconstructed over the years. Visitors of Ancient Delphi Greece (arriving from Athens) see this sanctuary first. The name “Pronea” means “the one before the temple”, which means you arrive at this one before arriving at the Temple of Apollo.

I love the photo below as you see the rest of the ruins in the distance!

Delphi Restaurants To Try

There are many cosy Greek restaurants that you can choose from, but these three I had the pleasure of eating at and enjoyed:

  • Epikouros Taverna – typical Greek dishes with a stunning view (see pictures below!)
  • Agora Cafe – for the most delicious pizza!
  • Taberna Ta Skalakia – all round good food choices

Check out our other Greece posts here

Paradise Of Patmos Island Greece: 2 Days Of Exploration, History and Relaxation!

Mykonos Greece: 3 Nights Of Luxury, Activities and Paradise Fun

More Coming Soon!

Ancient Delphi Greece Summary

Ancient Delphi locations was an amazing location for Greek history and ruins. I truly feel that Ancient Delphi Greece locations is the top place I enjoyed the most during my 2 weeks road trip in Greece. As you are surrounded by the mountains and valley views, its the perfect location for a night’s stay. Combine that with good food, wine and sun and its a top location not to be missed!

Tips:

  • 1 night in Delphi is the perfect amount of time you need to see all Ancient Delphi Greece sites at a leisurely pace.
  • Take water with you when exploring the historical site (its on a mountain after all!)
  • Respect the location, take any litter with you

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Krista
    27th June 2020 at 3:53 pm

    I was actually planning a trip to Greece before lockdown started, so I’ve had to postpone it until later this year hopefully. I’m definitely saving this post for future reference!

    • Reply
      Togetherintransit
      27th June 2020 at 4:59 pm

      Lovely to hear that Greece will still be an option for you! I can highly recommend Delphi – its a beautiful location that’s worth at least a day!

  • Reply
    Krystianna
    27th June 2020 at 10:11 pm

    Great post! I would love to visit Greece one day. I haven’t seen one bad photo of Greece! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie
    28th June 2020 at 2:30 am

    Love learning some of the history! I’ve always wanted to go to Greece, so hopefully when it’s safe to travel again, I’ll finally make it there!

  • Reply
    Barbara - Porty's Diary
    28th June 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Great post! I’ve never been to Greece and the more I read about it, the more I want to visit.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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