How to do a day trip to Delphi from Athens

Temple of Apollo

By Lakshmi:

Who?  If you are visiting Athens, you will love a day trip that takes you back in time when Oracles were revered and consulted before any important decisions were made.

What? The archaeological site of Delphi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which can be easily accessed on a day trip from Athens.

How? You could rent a car, take a guided tour or take public buses.  Guided tours frequently combine Delphi with other destinations, but give you time to take in this beautiful spot.

Why? Picture yourself away from the pollution of Athens.  You are ascending mountainous terrain and your bus chugs along with some difficulty.  As you reach the top, you are greeted with some majestic views and given the right season, lots of flowers in bloom.  Then you spot it….it being the temple of Apollo in Delphi.  You see the impressive columns, you see the tiered landscape and then you see the area that has made kings and commoners climb these steep hills to make it up here.  It is the seat of the Oracle, the soothsayer who sat on a tripod over a fissure in the earth, went into a trance and provided incoherent responses to questions with grave implications.  Kings did not go to war and major decisions were not taken until the questions had been answered by the Oracle and translated by the priests.  Am I in India or Greece?  For centuries now, no major decisions were made in India till the priests and the stars had been consulted and we were seeing links among brethren separated by thousands of miles.

Delphi’s well-preserved ruins along with the archaeological museum are totally worth the visit.  We have been multiple times and each time chose a tour.  Our tour guides created such a sense of history for us, that we would not trade the experience for a solo jaunt up there.  The museum has some unbelievable pieces including the absolutely spectacular bronze charioteer erected in 474 BC.  Please do not skip the museum and take your time to walk through some amazing annals in history.

You can learn more about Delphi at:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/393

5 thoughts on “How to do a day trip to Delphi from Athens”

  1. Do you recommend taking a guided tour? For example, if we rent a car and drive ourselves, will we be missing out by not having someone more knowledgeable about the area guiding us through it?

    1. Thanks for writing in. Here are our thoughts. If you do some pre-reading on the area (there are some awesome reads), you can self drive and possibly have the luxury of stopping by little wayside places to eat and also to take pictures. We’ve had friends who have driven and enjoyed it immensely as well. But they were spending several days around the area. If you drive, you might want to spend a night. If you are trying to do it all in one day, you maybe better off ditching the car and jumping on a guided tour. PS. We typically don’t go the guided tour route on our trips.

      Would love to hear back after your trip:)

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