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Parnassos

Authentic Villages, Verdurous Forests & Snowcapped Mountain Slopes Challenge Your Heart Under the Misty Spells of Dionysus’ Mysteries

ParnassosbyVasilisTsikkinis

Photo Courtesy of Vasilis Tsikkinis

Behind the craggy and imperious mountain slopes of Parnassos, the true heart of the mountain is revealed through its authentic traditional villages. Sceneries of untamed beauty are hidden in the wild soul of the mountains. A robust and monotonous twirl asphalt road with panoramic views of the Corinthian bay elevates to high altitudes and a great spectacle emerges through the tunnel; wrapped in fog and mist, your eyes will be captivated from the dramatic views of the picturesqueness of its villages. Favored from adventure lovers eager for unexpected emotions of mountainous nature, Parnassos is the mythical birthplace of the muses, the land of art, poetry and music. Nestling at an altitude of two thousands and five hundred meters, Parnassos will dazzle you from the sparkling lights of the winter. Arahova, the nymph of Parnassos, with its red tiled roofs blends with the whitewashed clouds and stone chimneys that pour grayish smoke to the mountain sceneries. It is definite that you will feel an indescribable awe from the fragrant coffee aromas by the wooden fireplace on the soundtracks of jazz music and the promenades between the traditional stone houses with the heavy wooden doors. However, the supreme silence of the snowy slopes behind the embroidered curtains of your window is the absolute master of the peaceful landscape in the mountain life of Parnassos; you might even believe that you will touch the sky. Praised for its beauty and wilderness, beautiful and timeless Parnassos, the winter duchess, will steal your heart. Distinguished for their simplicity and hospitality, the local people cherish their traditions singing with God Pan and sleeping with the Nymphs just like the eagles of Zeus.Whether you want to slide down the snowy slopes like an Olympian athlete or you desire to explore the verdant sceneries of the E4 trail and accelerate your adrenaline on the muddy dirt roads, Parnassos has it for you as its mysteries will overpower your soul! Characterized as one of the most beautiful villages of the area, Agoriani will fill you with moments of tranquility and relaxation. Running waters, gigantic plane trees and romantic alleys create the most relaxing emotions. Tiny Variani, hidden behind the dense fir forest, will welcome you with its lush landscapes and Livadi will offer you an ecstatic ice skating experience until midnight while Souvala, one of the secret gems, will guide you through its spectacular routes to the forested slopes and you will fall in love with the endless promenades in the cobblestone alleys of Elatia. No one could ever forget, however, the oracle of Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned as the navel of the world. Backdrops of wild magnificence will make you lose your balance between reality and fantasy; are you ready to experience the most ecstatic journey in mainland Greece?

Must Visit

Explore the Monuments of Parnassus

Intro Parnassus

With the highest elevation reaching an altitude of 2.457 meters, Parnassos is one of the highest mountains of Greece. Surrounded from picturesque villages, craggy slopes, monuments of immense natural beauty and the famous oracle of Delphi, the center of the world, Parnassos holds a bucket of surprises for the mountain lovers. As one of the National Parks of Greece, Parnassos has been characterized for its wealth of flora and plant species, with dense fir forests and clusters of black pine trees. The natural environment of Parnassos is the heritage of a flora, which, according to Homer, was so dense that even the sun and the rain could not penetrate. Intrinsically associated with the Greek mythology, as this mountain was sacred to Apollo and home of the Muses, it is definite that the mysteries of Parnassos will challenge to unveil them! You might even unveil mysteries related to the arts of the mythical Muses!

Agoriani, Mysterious’ Village of Parnassos
Agoriani

Characterized as one of the most beautiful villages of the mountain, Agoriani is an ideal destination for those looking for tranquility and relaxation. The village of Agoriani, else known as Eptalofos, is a mountainous village village located on the west side of Mount Parnassos at an altitude of 900 meters. Surrounded from a dense forest of fir trees, this lovely settlement enjoys panoramic views of the beautiful countryside of Greece. It is worth mentioning that Agoriani spreads its wings within the heart of the national park of Parnassos. Of the favorite images of the village is the stone-paved central square, one of the most picturesque spots of Agoriani, filled with traditional taverns under a huge plane tree. A few meters from there, you will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful twenty meters waterfall, a trademark of Agoriani! It is needless to say that Agoriani truly depicts the pristine beauty of the mountainous nature with its stone houses, its red tile roofs and chimneys amphitheatrically built among fire trees. As for activities, adventure lovers can follow the famous European path E4 connecting the village with the oracle of Delphi in just six hourse through the admittedly beautiful forest of Mount Parnassos!

Amfiklia, the Other Side of Parnassos
Amfiklia

Lovely Amfiklia, the other side of Parnassos, surrenders to the eyes of the travelers in the sweetest way; cobblestone alleys, traditional houses and neoclassical mansions capture the attention of winter escapes to the mainland of Greece. Stone fountains, medieval churches and picturesque houses adorn Amfiklia creating a wonderful destination for the winter months. Characterized as a preserved settlement from the Ministry of Culture, with its beautiful churches, its stone fountains and gates and its wonderful square, Amfiklia has managed to retain all the traditions and customs of Roumeli. Notable enough is the Carnival season where huge bonfires are lighten and masquarades parade in the village. Of the most important monuments of the village is the Bread Museum that exhibits ancient tools, utensils and photographic archives along with interesting represantations of the cultivation and preparation of cereals from ancient times until today, which is famous for the feast of bread, unique nationwide! If you are looking for explorations in nature, you will have the ooportunity to discover the national parks of Parnassos as well as Oiti. Within the heart of Parnassos, you will find the picturesque plateau of Perdikovrysi, a magical palce with pine trees and a spring of water while you can enjoy nature at its best at the ravine of Varsamos that ends at the ancient church of Agiarsalis, to the east of Amfiklia.

Arahova, the Nymph of Parnassus

Arahova

 ≈ Courtesy of Geraldm1

Characterized as the balcony of Parnassos, Arahova is one of the most beautiful villages of the mountain nestling at an altitude of 980 meters. The nymph of Parnassos distinguishes for its traditional character with stone houses, cobblestone alleys and lovely squares. Of the most important sights worth visiting are the church of Agios Georgios; take a climb to the 264 stairs of Egarsios Dromos to reach the church will have the opportunity to enjoy its panoramic views to the countryside of Greece, one of the authentic images of Arahova. The Folklore Museum is another important monument where an interesting collection of folkore items of the past is exhibited along the Clock Tower, the trademark of Arahova! Make sure to buy some formaella cheese from one of the traditional shops, one of the finest products of the region that has been designated with a protected destination of origin from the European Union!If you happen to visit Arahova in March, don’t miss the feast of Agios Georgios, else known as the Panagyraki of Arahova; a three-day festival celebrating the victory of revolutionary hero Georgios Karaiskakis against the Ottomans in 1826. Nature lovers should definitely enjoy the ride leading to the village of Agoriani, which passes from the heart of the national park of Parnassos, while adventure aficionados should practice their slides in the Gods’ ski pistes!

Elatia, the Excursions’ Enthusiast
Elatia
Laid out in the valley of Kifissos, Elatia is favored for endless promenades through the charming cobblestone alleys between lovely houses with red tiled roofs. Hiking aficionados will fall in love with Elatis since it has a plain morphology. Travellers should definitely visit the Archaeological Collection of Elatia housed within a magnificent building of the old elementary school (1920s) as well as a Mycenaean cemetery at the meadow of Elatia! One of Mysterious Greece’s favorite spot was the temple of Athena Kranea at Tsouka with the most spectacular views of the village; it’s a must to visit it!
Livadi, the Meadows’ Paradise
Livadi

 Photo Courtesy of  Vereniki

Built on a verdant plateau at an altitude of 1.100 meters, Livadi is an old farming village spreading on the largest and most beautiful plateau of Parnassos. Traditional stone houses with red tiled roofs contribute the picturesqueness of this village. While the scenery is verdant green in spring, snowflakes cover the village in the winter that fascinates the travellers. In ancient times, the local people used to cultivate their crops in Livadi because of the extremely fertile soil of the region; you might even distinguish the huts they used as accommodation. From late spring, the seasonal Pinigoura Lake appears in the village of Livadi ideal for canoeing and kayaking. In Livadi, one will find numerous sport facilities including a horse riding center and an ice skating platform. The endless view of the rugged peaks of Parnassos and the magnificent fir forest offers moments of ultimate tranquility ideal for nature lovers.

Polydrosos, One of the Best-Kept Secrets of Parnassos
Polydrosos

Photo Courtesy of Periklis Meraklis via Ethnos.gr

Known as Polydrosos to the travellers and as Souvala to the insiders’, this village is one of the few best-kept secrets of Parnassos. The cobblestoned square with the perennial plane trees and the stone church gathers the crowds at the rustic taverns that stretch out their table weather permitting. Nestling on the northern slopes of Parnassos Mountain, Polydrosos used to be called Souvala until the devastating earthquake destroyed the houses of the upper village, known as Ano Souvala; this settlement is built at an altitude of 800 meters, in a privileged location within a dense forest of pines, firs, trees and lots of running water. Today, the majority of the houses of Ano Souvala have been restored while a few guesthouses and stone cottages have been constructed. One of our favorite promenades starts from the main square towards the springs of Agia Eleousa with the gushing waters that rush in the Boeotian Kifissos. Before you leave, it is a must to drive to Ano Souvala in order to enjoy the spectacular ride through the forested woods and the old mansions!

Tithorea, the Nature Lover
Tithorea

Photo Courtesy of faiodamari.wordpress.com

If you think about the wonderful Aesthetic Forest of Tithorea with thousands of firs and oak trees and the Gorge of Kahalas Stream that is ideal for mountaineering and extreme sports, it is quite odd how come Tithorea is not of the famous destinations of Parnassos. However, here lie the good stuff; better ignorant than touristic! In Tithorea, you will observe athentic images of traditional houses with chimneys between cobblestone streets that lead to the central square with the perennial plane tree; a relaxing spot to enjoy your coffee with panoramic views to the massif of Parnassos. Of the most interesting feasts taking place in Tithorea is the feast of tsipouro alcoholic beverage in November; you shouldn’t miss it! Hikers should be aware that Tithorea is the beginning or the end of the European path E65 that passes under a beautiful forest dotted with picturesque churches while adventure aficionados should note that the wider region of Tithorea is ideal for off road excursions!

Vargiani, The Balcony of Giona
Vargiani

Photo Courtesy of Giorgio Hiker

Characterized as the balcony of Giona, Vargiani is one of the most picturesque villages of the region of Parnassos. Hidden behind fir forests, spreading amphitheatrically on the massif of Mount Parnassos, Vargiani welcomes its travellers with its picture-perfect stone bridge. Worth visiting sights include the stone church of Agia Paraskevi for its wonderful views to the verdant landscapes of the Greek countryside, the central square of Vargiani to enjoy a traditional coffee as a local and the tiny waterfall of the sources of Bourboula with its stone fountains that gush the spring water descending from the mountain. Authentic images offer to Vargiani the ultimate zen soundtrack!<

Once in a Lifetime Experience

Feel the Indescribable Awe of the World’s Navel

Delphi

From the verdant slopes of Parnassos to the sanctuary of Apollo and the oracle of Pythia, Delphi will surpass the expectations of your imagination. Determined from the eagles of Zeus as the navel of earth, Delphi is one of the most sacred places of Greece perched on the high slopes of Mount Parnassos; indeed, its cultural richness designated it as a World Heritage Site from UNESCO. People would journey here from all over the world to seek wisdom from the oracle of Pythia, a woman that served as the earthly mouthpiece of Apollo. Its was power was so influential, that no great leader and warrior would made a major decision without consulting the oracle. So, Delphi served as the religious and spiritual center of ancient civilization that contributed to the cultural development of the entire country. Three of the most mountain massifs of the country interlace on the northern edge of Delphi composing an impressive geophysical canvas. Just a glimpse on the horizon over the silvery olive groves on the craggy slopes of Mount Parnassos, the blue surface of the Corinthian Gulf over the Delphic landscape will illuminate your imagination. When you feel the special energy emitted on this part of earth, you might even understand the reason the two eagles of Zeus met here; indeed, Delphi was declared as the navel of the earth leaving an eternal legacy to it. The Delphic landscape is of extraordinary natural beauty; observing the vastness of the immense olive grove of Amfissa from the endless blue of the Corinthian Gulf to the coast of the Peloponnese, the mountain massifs that rise like castles creating spectacular sceneries of nature in conjunction with the cultural spirit of the oracle. As they say, Delphi is one of the most compelling and sensational sites on this planet, imposed as no one else in the mind of yours. Undeniably, Delphi is considered to be the most wonderful scenery of earth; the dreamy location high up on the mountains, the shadows of the crystalline blue sky and the massiveness of the green leaves of the olives will sparkle your eyes with the brightest colours of earth. The almighty view of the green valley up to the Corinthian Gulf will literally take your breath away. The evocative sceneries, the remote wilderness and the divine spirit of the Delphian landscape attest that Delphi is a cultural and natural monument for your bucket list, a destination you deserve to explore even for once in this life. The genuine colours and the perfect harmony of culture and nature lift in the fantasy world of the Olympian Gods. In Delphi, Greek mythology becomes reality. You might even hear the echoing whispers of millions ambiguous oracles with such a convincing force. Let yourself enter into the magical spirit and the divine atmosphere of the navel of this earth.

Under the Snowflakes

Slide Your Skis Like A Pro with the Twelve Olympians

UndertheSnowflakes

Photo Courtesy of Giorgos Kyparissakis

Unquestionably, Parnassos is one of the most beautiful mountains of Greece with verdant vegetation and rare natural beauty that charms the travellers all year long. Its spectacular geomorphology and rich biodiversity place it among the most important mountain environments in Greece. At an elevation of 1.600 to 2.250 meters, in the regions of Fterolakka and Kelaria, Parnassos Ski Center offers the opportunity to practice your slides like a pro from December until the beginning of May! It is worth mentioning that Parnassos is the biggest and the best organised ski center of our country with 19 ski runs, 7 ski routes, 10 trails and three mini-beginner runs of a total length of 36 kilometers. . For adventure lovers, there are 12 black-country runs that offer moments of deep snow and lots of adrenaline. What’s more, there are two chalets and a restaurant in the ski center as well as ski and snowboard schools, special stores stores for ski and snowboard equipment rental and a playground for the younger visitors. Whether you choose to downhill blue Aphrodite, challenging Odysseus, risky Sahara or even exciting Hera, as quite all the pistes are named after the Twelve Olympians, it is definite that Parnassos Ski Resort will offer you moments of utmost adrenaline!

Lovely Charismas

Explore the Outstanding Cultural & Natural Monuments of Parnassus

LovelyCharismas

Photo Courtesy of Pieter Klein

Climate gets colder and temperatures decrease. Mountains turn snowy and valleys become white. Rivers and lakes get frosted frozen. The sky is filled with greyish calling clouds and the sweet feeling of melancholy surpasses you. Whoever believes that Greece is not for winter, he is mistaken! Characterized as one of the craggiest countries of Europe, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous hiding millions sceneries of unbelievable diversity. Countless mountainous villages covered in whitish snow in the rough winter months and exquisite sceneries with lakes and rivers, state-of-the-art parks and ski centers offer an unexpected winter escape to Greece.. The ski centers of Greece become overcrowded and the hiking trails are covered with nature explorers. Outdoor activities can be practiced in the stunning countryside in the winter while visiting the islands is yet another different experience, away from the ordinary. Whether you are in the mood for archaeology, adventure, culture or skiing, Parnassos entails an amazing experience in the winter. Winter in Greece means hiking, mountain biking and river trekking, drinking rakomelo and raki, tasting the local cuisine in a mountainous village, visiting lakes and rivers, and above all staying in traditional stone houses with wood fireplaces!

Parnassos National Park, the Second Biggest National Park of Greece
ParnassusNationalPark

Photo Courtesy of Monceau

Did you know that Parnassos is the second biggest national park of Greece? Indeed, Parnassos has a Mediterranean type of vegetation with magnificent fir and pine forests. The highest peak is Liakoura at an altitude of 2.459 meters. Autumn at its best, the national park brings an abundance of colours while spring offers a stunning combination of wildflowers mixed with the snowy conditions of winter. Beautiful olive groves are found in Itea and Plisto Plains ideal for stunning promenades with breathtaking view. Parnassos National Park also serves as a shelter for numerous bird species including golden eagles, harriers and vultures. Numerous routes are offered in the premises of the park ideal for mountain sports including hiking, mountain biking, off roading and skiing. Some of the most beautiful villages of Parnassus include Arahova, Agoriani, Amfliklia, Gravia, Tithorea and Vargiani.

Hosios Loukas Monastery, An UNESCO World Heritage Site
OsiosLoukas

Photo Courtesy of David Goetz

Except the famous oracle of Delphi, just a breath away from Arahova, the nymph of Parnassos, you will find the byzantine monastery of Hosios Loukas, one of the most impressive Byzantine monuments in the Mediterranean. Situated on the slopes of Helicon Mountain, in the village of Distomo, the monastery of Hosios Loukas has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list for its remarkable byzantine architecture. The two byzantine churches with their wonderful frescoes and mosaics and golden background were constructed from Osios Loukas in the 10th century AD. The church of Theotokos is one of the masterpieces of Byzantine architecture that became the prototype for the classical Byzantine churches of Southern Greece. The church adjoins another cathedral, the Catholicon, which was constructed from the three Byzantine Emperors namely Romanos II, Basil Boulgaroktonos and Constantine IX Monomachos in the first decades of the 11th century. The erection of the Catholicon is connected to the prophecy of Osios Loukas, who foreseen that a Byzantine Emperor will conquer the island of Crete. The Monastery of Osios Loukas is one of the most impressive religious monuments of the country that stands out for its magnificent marble projects and mosaics on a gold background, which are characteristic samples of the second golden age of Byzantine art.

Korikion Andron Cave, the Home of God Pan
KorikionAndron

Photo Courtesy of comboride.blogspot.gr

As you might have understood, Parnassos is interwined with Greek muthology. The cave of Korikion Andron, a huge cavern located on the southwestern slopes of the mountain, was the legendary home of God Pan and Korikies Nymphs while it was used as a shelter from the residents of Delphi in 480 BC. Korikion Andron Cave was also considered as one of the Gates to Hades, the God of Underworld. Rich compositions of stalactites and stalagmites illuminate the interior of the cave creating a mysterious setting. Archaeological excavations brought to light figurines and jewelry from the Neolithic times which are now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Delphi.

Heronia Leon, the Monument of the Battle
LionHeronia
Very close to Tithorea, one will have the opportunity to discover the village of Heronia, the homeland of Plutarch. Famous is the Leon of Heronia, a marble funerary monument built from the Thebes, where the men of the Sacred Band were buried after Philip’s victory during the Battle of Heronia in 338 BC.

E4 European Trail, Just for Hiking Lovers
E4

Photo Courtesy of John Meckley

Unquestionably, Parnassos is one of the most beautiful mountains of Greece with verdant vegetation and rare natural beauty that charms the travellers all year long. Its spectacular morphology and rich biodiversity place it among the most important mountain environments in Greece. In Parnasssos, E4 Path is one of the favorite trails of hikers. Its starting point is the village of Agoriani, crossing the most beautiful locations of Parnassos Mountain, and leads to the famous oracle of Delphi. It is a rather easy trail with an walking time of seven hours. After reaching the village of Agoriani, hikers should follow the asphalt road towards Arahova until they find the sign of the E4 hiking trail pointing in the direction to the springs of Agia Triada. From there, hikers should head on the southern direction, cross the fir forest and pass the mountain track towards Drosohori village. From that point, hikers should take the path that descends an extensive valley cavity until they meet the country road. This path leads to the main forest road where there is a small spring and a signpost showing the way to the rest of your route. Follow this road for twenty minutes and walk along the ridge of the mountain towards a downhill slope. Afterwards, the road appears again leading to Megali Vrisi. From there, follow the water pipe above the spring and walk for about an hour towards the cavity of Kalania. Follow the dirt track until it splits; turn right and keep going until the next junction, where you will exit the dirt track. Here a sign directs you down the trail, which follows the water pipe of the Kria Vrisi village in Delphi. From there, hikers should walk past Fedriades in order to reach the cobblestone pathway that will take hikers to the famous oracle of Delphi. It is quite interesting to share that the E4 path is marked with yellow and black blazes and follows the route of the ancient Sacred Way from Delphi to Mount Parnassus!
Eptastomo Cave, The Southern Glacier of Europe
Εptastomo

Photo Courtesy of Sportsmag.gr

Who said we don’t have a glacier in Greece? Eptastomo is the southernmost glacier of Europe located in the western slopes of Parnassus Mountain. As the glacier is located inside the cavern, it is maintained throughout the year. The name of the cavern derives from the seven orifices that lead to the interior of the cavern. The main pit has a depth from 80 to 100 meters and a diameter of approximately 200 meters and serves as a funnel that collects the snow that melts. Water flows in the form of drops, until it meets the cold air trapped in the cave creating a unique spectacle. The descent to the base of Eptastomo is quite difficult and risky, as the ground is slippery because of the frozen field. The interior of the cave can only be accessed with rappelling ropes. Walking up the glacier, you will meet imposing frost blocks formed from water and melting ice, especially in spring. The most phantasmagorical aspect of the cavern is the underground sound, a noise as if the cave is breathing, which comes from the surface to the interior of the cavern through the orifices. The small lake marks the final point of Eptastomo. Eptastomo is accessible from the road Arahova to Livadi. 4 kilometers after the intersection with the signs to Parnassus Ski Center turn right following the dirt road pointing to Eptastomo cave.

Kiss Night Goodbye from Mythical Parnassus

KissMeNight

Photo Courtesy of Manos Vichos

Mythology lover or not, Parnassus Mountain will dazzle you with its surpassing natural beauty and its unrevealed mysteries. Picturesque villages, genuine sceneries of utmost serenity, authentic traditional cuisine and wonderful driving routes will travel you to the magical journey of mainland Greece. Whether you will admit it or not, mainland Greece is the real deal of this country, as it is unexplored and undiscovered from many travellers. Let’s wake up and act like travellers, not a tourist, grab a map, a book travel guide and discover places you’ve never dreamt before. Mythical Parnassos is one such destination that will give you the opportunity to explore the other face of Greece, the one of the mountain beauty and the winter conditions you might never knew that existed in this country!