Best things to do in Delphi
Find out more about those top places in Delphi
Set amongst the towering crags of Mount Parnassós, it is easy to understand why the ancient Greeks considered Delphi as the sacred center of their universe. For centuries the city was the location of the Oracle of Delphi, where high priestesses would communicate the will of the gods to kings from as far afield as Egypt. Given this, the Greek city gained tremendous wealth and today the ruins of Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury, the Castilian Spring and the vast cliff-top amphitheater can be explored. While the Greek ruins are breathtaking, they are rivaled by Delphi’s spectacular setting with the ruins making an ideal starting point for hikes up the olive grove-clad slopes of Mount Parnassós.
From the 8th century BC until the turn of millennium Delphi was one of the ancient world’s richest cities. Many of the treasures bestowed upon the city during that period are displayed at the onsite Archaeological Museum, which also helps showcase how the city would have looked during its luxurious heyday. Highlights of the museum include the Sphinx of the Naxians, the marble Twins of Argos and the towering Column of Dancers, all of which can be interpreted with the help of a tour guide.
After taking in the riches in the Archaeological Museum, make your way to the iconic cliff top Temple of Apollo. At the peak of Delphi’s power the temple was where the Oracle delivered her judgements and predictions to kings from as far a field as Egypt. As a result, it is unsurprising that the site is remarkably grand with a plethora of Doric columns, marble statuary and a vast amphitheater overlooking the pine-clad valleys that slice through the Mount Parnassós massif.
Erected by the Athenians around the turn of the 4th century BC, their Treasury is one of Delphi’s star attractions. Designed to house the city’s devotions to the sanctuary of Apollo, the entire two-story building is suitably grand with Doric columns, Parian marble and detailed bas-reliefs making it a fitting tribute to the son of Zeus.
Located a short stroll beyond the main Delphi complex, the Temple of Athena Pronaia is dedicated to the Goddess Athena, the half-brother of Apollo, who was charged with protecting Delphi in Greek mythology. Laid out on a terrace overlooking the Alpine valleys of Mount Parnassós, the Temple of Athena Pronaia is one of Greece’s most iconic locations with a breathtaking circular colonnaded temple alongside the ruins of various treasuries and marble statues.