Delphi & Parnassos National Park short break

"Discover the best of Delphi & Parnassos in three days with your own private local guide!.."



DAY 1: Cultural heritage walk to picturesque Polydroso
Pick up from you hotel in Athens and transfer to ‘unknown’ Άνω Souvala, a small “green” paradise built at 800m, 8km from the ski center of Parnassos that will steal your heart with its calmness and natural beauty. Explore the alleys and narrow paths of the village, accompanied by the sound of the crystal water running and the smells of the apple, chestnut, fir and the pines trees. As both the European hiking path E4 and the national E22 pass near the village, it is an ideal base for excursions.

Today you will discover why Parnassos holds a natural heritage that needs to be protected and preserved. You’ll take an extraordinary path that follows the ravine between the rustic villages of Ano Souvala & Polydroso. On the way you’ll discover traces of human activity from different periods; from the Byzantine observatory and the medieval tower of Mantamia, to the ruined windmills and water-powered workshops of the famous local knife-makers and the abandoned hydroelectric factory of 1924.

Along the way you’ll meet a waterfall with pedestals; an ideal stop for a swim on hot days. You’ll end your walk at the springs of Agia Eleousa, a location of natural beauty, drowned in plane trees, with gushing waters from the springs of Boeotian Kifissos, where there are remains of an ancient temple in honor of the god Kifissos and a Byzantine 6th century church.

On the way depending on the season you will gather common and rare mushrooms which are abundant in Parnassos (October till December, March till May), wild greens (November till May), asparagus and bulbs in spring and herbs and mountain tea in the summer. Our guide will show you how to distinguish what is edible and in the evening, you will have the chance to taste the seasonal ‘gifts’ of the mountain! Beforehand though you will explore the village of Polydroso and stop at the local “kafenio” for a drink and a ‘meze’ to celebrate the end of our first walk.

(Easy to Medium, 9km, 4-6 hours with stops)
Day 2: Hike to the sanctuary of Delphi
According to myth, Zeus left two eagles, one to the east and one to the west, and they met at Delphi, making it the center of the world. At the “Navel of the Earth”, as Delphi used to be called, was the seat of Pythia, the major oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. Delphi is now recognised as a World Heritage Site. Imagine yourself hiking towards the sanctuary of Delphi, on the same paths that thousands of pilgrims in antiquity walked in anticipation of a prophetic prediction from Pythia!

Starting from the pretty village of Eptalofo you’ll follow the path that once connected Delphi with the ancient town of Lilaia and is part of the European network E4. Passing from the lush fir forests of the National Park of Parnassos, you will reach the small settlement of Kroki, named after the crocus that grows in abundance, where you can also refresh yourself at the local spring. The stone-paved path continues offering incredible views to the sacred Delphi landscapes, the centenarian olive groves and deep blue waters of the Krissaikos gulf.

After this long but pleasant walk, it’s time to explore the archeological site of Delphi, the two impressive sanctuaries dedicated to Apollo and Athena and its museum. The day will end with a rewarding and fulfilling supper at one of our favourite local taverns!

(Easy to Medium, 15.6km, 5-7 hours with stops)
DAY 3, Option A: Hike through Velitsa ravine to magical waterfalls or Parnassos highest peak!
This is one of the impressive routes in Greece that crosses the ravine of Velitsa, the most pristine and wild part of Parnassos and leads to the peak of Liakoura (2456m), reserved for the adventurous mountain lovers! The route starts from the pretty village of Tithorea, built on the edge of an impressive gorge, at an altitude of about 450m. Above the village dominates the “Aesthetic Forest Tithoreas”, with thousands of firs, oaks, cedars, arbutus and other native trees and shrubs. Beautiful wildflowers such mountain orchids, geraniums, irises, campanulas and Crocuses will accompany your walk!

The route hides many surprises, with the most characteristic being “Dipotamos”, where two rivers merge with “rapid waters”. The rock formations and countless caves create an enchanting landscape, which impresses even the most demanding nature lover. From this point you can head for the peak, a challenging but rewarding option for experienced hikers only, or follow an alternative route that ends at the fairytale waterfalls of Tripi (1250m). These are two parallel waterfalls, a small one which springs through a large hole in the rocks, and a big one which reaches 82m height! It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the most beautiful places in Greece reminiscent of the jungle of an exotic tropical destination. An ideal place for a pic nic and a rest.

Those who will continue to the peak of Liakoura must be prepared to walk for 11 to 12 hours and cover a distance of 22 km in order to enjoy the magnificent views of the highest peak of Mt. Parnassos!

You’ll end the day at the local tavern at the central square of the village of Tithorea.

(Medium to Tripi Waterfalls, Difficult to Liakoura peak, 15km and 22km respectively, 7-12 hours with stops)
DAY 3, option B: Circular 'nature' walk to historical cave temple
Today we’ll take the path from the village of Amfikleia that initially moves along the beautiful stream of ‘Keramidi’ which flows full of water all year round. You’ll cross a suspension bridge and leaving the stream you’ll continue for a while on a steep path until you meet the impressive cave temple of St. Jerusalem at 850m. Perched on the steep cliffs of Mount Parnassos overseeing the ravine “Varsamo”, within a cave, it is believed that the temple was built in the 12th century by knights of the Order of the Templars of the 4th Crusade. During the years of Ottoman rule, it is rumored that the hero of the Greek revolution, Odysseus Androutsos, had his hideout inside. The “balcony” of the monastery is the best place to rest and enjoy a picnic, sinking in the beautiful views of the ravine, the plain of Boetian Kifissos and surrounding mountains.

This is an ideal place to observe the unique avifauna of Mt. Parnassos… hawks, golden eagles, woodpeckers and other species can be spotted, many of which are under protection status.

Return to picturesque Amfkleia where you can take a walk at the beautiful cobbled streets, admiring the beautifully built traditional houses, the stone fountains and enjoy a traditional Greek coffee at the local ‘kafeneio’. Opportunity to visit the local Folklore Museum of bread and local professions, unique in its kind in Greece, where you can learn about rural life, customs and traditions.

(Easy to Medium, 7km, 3-4 hours with stops)
Day 3, Option C: Forest walk to “Fairy” cave and Gerolekas peak
Today you’ll visit the most fabulous and impressive cave in Parnassos, ‘Neraidospilia’ (1426m) (“Fairy” Cave in Greek) before aiming for the highest peak of Western Parnassos, Gerolekas (1715m)! The trail starts from the athentic settlement of Vargiani, located at an altitude of 900m, with the beautiful stone houses, age-old plane trees and running waters from the springs of Bourboula, emerging through the impressive forests of western Parnassos. You’ll follow a mountain trail through dense fir forest for a couple of hours till you reach an impressive cave, 100m long, with 3 chambers. Stalagmites, stalactites and natural pools of water compose a fairytale setting, in which one can easily envision the legendary fairies of Parnassos enjoying their bath while singing.

From here you have the option to continue to the peak of Gerolakas where you can enjoy stunning views to the surrounding mountains.

(Medium, 9km-15km, 5-7 hours withs stops)


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