Journey to the Center of the World: Ancient Delphi & Its Museum with Lunch
- Sightseeing drive: Enjoy views of the mountains and plains of Boetia as you head northwest from Athens toward Delphi, in the shadow of 7,800-foot Mt. Parnassus.
- Delphi: No important decision was made without first consulting Delphi's oracle. Perhaps you'll sense her presence at the sites temples, theater, stadium, the Kastalia spring, and the treasuries of the Sacred Way.
- Delphi Museum: See the "Navel of the Earth," along with thousands of artifacts and sculptures dating from the 8th century B.C., including the famous Charioteer, the Siphnos treasures, and fragments from the pediment of Apollo's temple.
- Lunch in the village: Enjoy traditional Greek specialties at a restaurant in the mountain town of Arachova, where you'll have free time to explore on your own.
About this Athens Tour
The easiest comparison would involve a crystal-ball-gazing fortune teller – if she were wired on powerful hallucinogens.
The incomprehensible babbling of the Oracle of Delphi, possibly generated by powerful fumes from a geological fissure and "translated" by priests who may or may not have believed in her powers, determined the fates of empires and marriages, the outcomes of calamitous wars and family feuds. She was called Pythia, after the python-dragon slain by Apollo here; the episode was celebrated in a magnificent temple honoring him here, although what remains only hints at its former grandeur.
Whether they believed in the power of prediction or not, Pythia and her attending priests found prophesy immensely profitable. For more than a thousand years, kings and commoners would line the Sacred Way laden with whatever valuables they could haul for deposit in the site's many treasuries. (You'll see examples in the museum.) The greater the fortune you brought, the sooner your fortune was told – an ancient "skip-the-line" pass. With the oracle and her crew taking more vacations than a late-night TV host, that could leave ordinary folks out of luck indefinitely.
It can all sound pretty silly now, like making a career change based on a fortune cookie. Then again, who among us hasn't read a horoscope and found it eerily telling? Maybe you've offered a little treasure of your own for a palm reading. "Just for laughs," you say. But when you get to Delphi, in the solemn tranquility of the angle within two large rocks, you can sense that this was no laughing matter. People have always turned to religion for answers, and, in ancient times, this was a holy place: the center of the world.
Oh! You meant my empire?
It's no exaggeration that wars and empires were won and lost based on Pythia's prophecies. She and her priests would keep things vague enough to let listeners hear what they wanted to hear. In 560 B.C., King Croesus of Lydia, one of the wealthiest men of the ancient world, asked if he should invade Persia. He was promised that if he attacked, he would definitely destroy a great empire. So he attacked, and was soundly defeated. His empire was destroyed, fulfilling the prophesy.
We offer pick-up service from select hotels in downtown Athens. Staying further afield? Kindly make your way to Amalia Hotel, 10, Amalia Street, opposite National Gardens, to join the tour. Please see your tour voucher for more information.
If you are being picked up at the Amalia Hotel, please be there 15 minutes prior to the departure time showing on your ticket. Beverages are not included in the tour but can be purchased at the restaurant. The Delphi Museum exhibits the famous bronze statues of Charioteer.
Travelers must be able to walk approximately 1 mile over uneven, cobblestone surfaces. There are steps inside the museum and the site. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Cultural, Food & Wine, Walking Tour
Buses are equipped with seat belts and travelers are required to wear them.
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
Travelers must be in good health, be able to disclose their physical fitness and advise any conditions that might impact their participation in the tour.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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