Delphi

The navel of the earth and a gift to humanity
The best experience is in spring when the olive groves and wildflowers are in bloom
Scroll
Today
13°
SUN
12°
MON
12°
TUE
14°
WED
13°
Thrace region-id="pin-13";Macedonia Macedonia Epirus Thessaly Sporades Ionian Islands Western Greece Central Greece Attica Peloponnese Crete Cyclades North Aegean Islands Dodecanese Dodecanese Karpathos Astypalea Tilos Sitia Faistos - Matala Patmos Kastelorizo Kasos Kos Leros Halki Rhodes Symi Sfakia - Loutro Rethymno Elounda - Agios Nikolaos Agia Galini Plakias Hersonissos - Malia Ierapetra Heraklion Chania Nisyros Ikaria Lipsi Tzia - Kea Thasos Samos Lesvos Samothrace Limnos Chios Kalymnos Paros Naxos Zante - Zakynthos Lefkada Corfu Santorini Milos Kythnos Kimolos Serifos Syros Sifnos Koufonisia Ios Kefalonia Mykonos Paxi Ithaca Arta Ioannina Tinos Parga - Sivota Metsovo Anafi Sikinos Folegandros Donousa - Iraklia - Schinoussa Antiparos Zagori Mountainous Arkadia Porto Heli - Ermioni Preveza Amorgos Andros Delos Messolongi Ancient Olympia Aegina Kythira Archea Epidavros Patra Nafplio Kardamyli Kalamata Ilia Corinth Western Messinia Kalavryta Elafonissos Nafpaktos Spetses Poros Hydra Alexandroupolis Pylos Mycenae Monemvasia Loutraki Piraeus Athens Arahova Xanthi Galaxidi Mystra - Sparta Mani Edipsos Delphi Chalkida Karystos Evia Skyros Vergina Alonissos Volos Karditsa Skopelos Skiathos Kastoria Thessaloniki Prespes Agios Athanasios Edessa Serres Veria Larissa - Tempi Elati - Pertouli Trikala Pelion Meteora Drama Ammouliani Mount Athos - Ouranopolis Nymfeo Mount Olympos Katerini Halkidiki Grevena Lake Kerkini Naoussa Kozani Kilkis Kavala Pella Lake Plastira
A Unesco World Heritage monument, nature at its grandest and the famous oracle… The gods still reign over Delphi

In Delphi, the harmony that bound men and their gods is still apparent. Photographs cannot do justice to the grandeur and serenity of the setting. Nor can words express the emotions that this holy place provokes. The eagles, dispatched by Zeus to find the centre of the earth, met here, at Delphi. This is where the god Apollo founded his sanctuary when he killed the dragon Python. The most renowned oracle in ancient times was located in this corner of Central Greece.

The Delphic landscape, a Unesco World Heritage Monument since 1972, and the archaeological site are a gift from Greece to humanity. Here you will bow to what men and nature made together, a creation beyond place and time. You’ll discover your deeper self, as the power of human potential and divine energy resonate in you. And you will leave with prophecies of your own.

What to do in Delphi

The navel of the world

Layers of myth and history enhance the natural magnificence of Delphi. It is told that Zeus sent two eagles in opposite directions to determine the fulcrum of all existence. When they met at Delphi, he proclaimed it the “navel of the world”. Tradition also relates that at Delphi a sanctuary existed, dedicated to Mother Earth and guarded by the dragon Python. Apollo, disguised as a dolphin, arrived at Kirra, Delphi’s port, slew the dragon and founded his own sanctuary in its place, the Temple of Apollo.

The Delphic oracle was an important spiritual and religious centre from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD and rewarded the god-fearing with credible, if ambiguous, prophecies. Ancient pilgrims expressed their gratitude in the form of dozens of magnificent offerings that came to light during excavations.

The Delphic landscape, a trip fit for the gods

You can still feel the divine presence in every atom of this spell-binding location. Two giant cliffs at the foot of Mt Parnassos – the Phaidriades (Shining Rocks) – overlook the oracle and the sanctuary. The surrounding area from Arahova to Kirra is a vast silver-green olive grove. Together they form the famous Delphic landscape. Soothing yet wild, dramatic yet welcoming, it seems to sway to an inaudible score that floods the soul with the music of the gods. 

The Temple of Apollo, the Theatre and the Stadium

Like a worshipper in ancient times, you’ll walk up the Sacred Way to the majestic Temple of Apollo, which was decorated by Athenian sculptors. Pythia issued her prophecies from its inner sanctum. The temple is surrounded by monuments dedicated to the ancient Greek city-states, leaders and ordinary people and the whole place still exudes a unique energy.

Stand before it and look carefully at the ruins. They date from a temple built in 330 BC on the foundations of an earlier Doric temple erected in 505 BC. North of the sanctuary you’ll find the theatre, where music and drama contests were held. Walk even higher and you’ll come to the Stadium, where the Pythian Games took place. 

The Kastalia spring, purifying waters

In a landscape of surreal, mystical beauty, the spring gushes from the base of Phlemboukos rock in the crevice formed by the twin cliffs. It was here that Pythia and her priests washed and purified themselves, as did every ordinary mortal before they approached the Oracle. The history of the oldest fountain dates from the 6th century BC. In the 1st century, the Kastalia of the Rock was created closer to the spring. Niches cut into its sides held offerings left to the nymph Kastalia. You are now at the very source of the myth.

So many more monuments

At Delphi, remains of its past glory fill the site. Among them are the Tholos shrine of Athena Pronaia, the unusual circular structure whose function remains unknown; the Gymnasium, where athletes trained and worked out; the Palaistra or wrestling arena; and the Baths from the Classical period near those from the Roman era.

The Archaeological Museum

Delphi’s museum is one of the most important in Greece. It was built in 1903 to house finds from the first great excavations that began in 1892. In 2004, the space was renovated and expanded, the exhibits enlarged and rearranged according to modern standards. The result is stunning. Don’t miss the marvellous Charioteer, the focal point for many of the thousands of visitors who yearly pass through its 14 rooms.

The European Centre at Delphi

> A contemporary cultural centre in Delphi, it hosts performances, conferences, international symposia on ancient theatre and exhibitions of Greek and foreign artists. It was founded on the initiative of former Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis to create a pan-European and global centre for intellectual pursuits near the town of Delphi. The conference complex, a representative example of the Modern Movement in architecture, was built in the 1960s. An interesting sculpture park surrounds it.

The revival of the Delphic Festival

Early in the 20th century, the major Greek poet Angelos Sikelianos and his American wife, Eva Palmer, sought to revive Delphi as a world centre. In the first Delphic Festival in 1927, ancient prestige shone once more with a performance of Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound in the ancient theatre and, again, in 1930 with another of his plays, The Suppliants.

Today, in Sikelianos’s house-museum, one of the many attractions you’ll encounter near the modern town, you will see manuscripts and correspondence concerning the festivals, photographs, by the celebrated Greek photographer, Nelly, and costumes designed by Eva, based on vase paintings and woven on her own loom.

The modern town of Delphi

Here you’ll find excellent hotels, restaurants, cafe/bars, shops selling folk art and replicas of finds from the archaeological site. And that same extraordinary view of the dramatic mountain above and the sea of olive trees below.

Hidden gems of Delphi

The Corycian Cave

From a large triangular opening, you’ll enter a cave whose subtle lighting enhances the amazing stalactites and stalagmites. The Corycian Cave, the grandest on Parnassos, was also a treasure chest of very old finds dating back to the Neolithic era (4000 BC). In the 5th century BC, Pan and the Nymphs were worshipped here. It still emits an aura of mysticism.

Travel the Path of Pausanias

Follow one of the best known hiking paths in the area, which is also one with the longest history. A large stretch of it was actually the ancient path described by Pausanias, the 2nd century AD traveller and in many respects the originator of the modern concept of the ‘guidebook’. Now a section of the international E4 route, it leads from Delphi up to a place called Kroki.

Walking from Delphi to Chrisso and Kirra

You’ll enjoy this gentle downhill path that traces the ancient road that linked the port of Kirra with Delphi.

The Athenian treasury is one of the most impressive buildings on the site

Experience the best of Delphi

Located above the temple of Apollo, the ancient theatre looks over the entire sanctuary and a valley of olive trees

Feel the aura of Delphi’s world-famous archaeological site

Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Delphi is to travel to the very core of mythical and spiritual ancient Greece and – according to...
  • The Corycian Cave
  • The Temple of Apollo, the Theatre and the Stadium
  • The Archaeological Museum
  • The European Centre at Delphi
  • Travel the Path of Pausanias
  • So many more monuments
Highlights

Plan your trip

 

Travel ideas

Shining the light on stories
Santorini is the embodiment of everything magical about the Greek islands

12 incredible places in Greece you have to see to believe

You know the feeling when you find a place you can’t wait to tell people about. Somewhere you know everyone should visit at least once.
Discover the wonder of the acropolis museum

The most popular archaeological museums in Greece

Discover twelve of the most important and popular archaeological museums in Greece
In central Evia there is Dirfis and its alpine landscapes

Tap into the life essence of Central Greece

For those seeking a holiday that revitalises in every way, get to the heart of the matter in Central Greece