Greece is famous for its beautiful beaches and islands. But is also has unique landscapes on the mainland. Central Greece is not a well know destination for travelling. It is 2 hours far from Athens and has a lot to offer. One of my favorite day trips includes a visit to the archaeological site of Delphi, eating and swimming at Antikyra and an evening visit to the Monastery of Osios Loukas which is a World Heritage Monument of UNESCO. Rent a car and follow me to this day trip!
Delphi is about two hours away from Athens. The scenery of the archaeological site is really unique. Ancient Greeks thought that this was the center of the Earth (“omfalos” = bellybutton, as it was called). The famous Oracle of Pythia, the Temple of Apollo and the museum are a must of a visit. Wear a hat, take a bottle of water with you and start climbing the main road in the archaeological area. The Stadium is really high, but the view is totally worth it. Find a shadow and enjoy the view, take a few breaths of ancient history.
Visit the museum in order to see the famous Iniochos (chariot man) and pictures from the excavation.
The museum is one of the best and most easily accessible in Greece. Don’t forget the Temple of Athena Pronea; it is located downwards – many people miss it because they don’t know. I usually also drink a Greek coffee in the nearby village of Delphi.
Next stop is the small village and port of Antikyra. It is nearby Distomo and Aspra Spitia, on the way from Delphi to Athens. Here you can find nice fish tavernas. Enjoy the fresh food, relax a bit. If you want to go for a swim there are some nice beaches around.
Last stop is the Byzantine Monastery of Osios Loukas. It is located near Distomo village. It has been nominated as a World Heritage Monument of UNESCO due to its architecture. Dress properly and enter. Usually the monks give you a treat of loukoumi and cold water. Feel the byzantine rhythm and attend a ceremony, in order to take in the total experience. Even if you don’t understand the words, the rhythm is there.
Late at the evening return to Athens. The day trip has just ended, full of experiences. Antiquities, nice food, relaxation and religious influences. My favorite combination for a day trip. What about yours?
Christos Loukas (aka Kitsos Mitsos)
World traveller and blogger