Ancient Delphi

You will struggle to sail to Ancient Delphi but I thought it merited a mention.

Delphi: The Temple of Apollo

Delphi: The Temple of Apollo

A trip to the late bronze age site of Ancient Delphi is a must if you are undertaking a sailing holiday in the Gulf of Cornith. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Both the ports of Itea and Galaxidi are within easy visiting distance of the site and provide a safe berth for your yacht. Taxis and buses zip up and down the mountainous terrain to the site continuously, so getting there couldn’t be easier.

Located on Mount Parnassus, the spectacularly beautiful site was once considered to be the centre or “navel” of Gaia (the world) and has a stone omphalos (navel) to prove it!

Famous for the Oracle of Apollo, the Pythia or priestess at Ancient Delphi would provide cryptic predictions and advice for both the state and individuals while in an ecstatic trance or “rave”. Evidence suggests that natural gas leaking out of the crevices here at the time probably had a lot to do with such visions, although there are many other theories as well.

Delphi: Some columns!

Delphi: Some columns!

Needless to say, the Oracle was consulted before all major battles of the time, expected to help work through difficult decisions of political and public policy and was often called upon to interpret significant signs and portents.

Added to this workload, Ancient Delphi hosted games dedicated to Apollo every four years. So as you wander the site, you can see how busy and important it must have been in its day. Ancient Delphi’s Temple of Apollo was built around the 4th Century BC and was dedicated to the worship of Gaia.

The site of Ancient Delphi is spread over the steep hillsides. It extends over both sides of the road so it can take some time to get around it all. However, you can see the highlights in half a day if you are pushed for time.

There is an excellent museum (the Delphi Archaeological Museum) and small café on site. Entry tickets cost 12€ and this includes admission to the museum. The site is open daily 0800-2000 except Tuesday when it is open 1000-1730. (It is closed on some public holidays).

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