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The Villages of Mount Parnassos

The evergreen Mt Parnassos, covered in fir trees, is a famous winter destination and one of the highest mountains in Greece. A swarm of ski aficionados head to the ski resort every year as their trip there is facilitated by its proximity to Athens. The mythical mountain’s slopes are weighed down by the history and tradition of Roumeli. It is an ideal destination where you can enjoy the warmth of greek hospitality and views of some picturesque villages in an alpine landscape.

The rock star of villages



The town by the name “Snow Queen” or “The balcony of Parnassos,” Arachova is the most renowned village of the mountain, which spreads over five hills, at an altitude of 1,000m and only at a 160km distance from Athens. If you are interested in a cosmopolitan type of vacation, Arachova is the place for you! It is a nightlife hotspot and a celebrity magnet. Lot’s of people tend to spend their winter weekends and holidays here, so it’s high time you plan your own. 



Your days will be action filled around the mountain, so you’ll be very happy to return to your top notch hotel, traditional guest house or luxurious chalet and from there on head to a taverna to savour the areas’ local dishes by the fireplace. Don’t leave the village without tasting their local cheese, formaela; a sweet smelling, hard rind cheese of relatively mild flavour which has been honoured with the distinction of Protected Designation of Origin.

Agoriani



Visit Agoriani, a village which has presented a swift tourism development in recent years. Inhale fresh clean country air in nature’s safe haven. The village is built at an elevation of 900m scattered on seven hills (its contemporary name is ‘eptalofos’ meaning seven hills in greek) and is renowned for its heavy snowfall in winter and refreshing cool days in summer.
Take some time to sit at a taverna in Agoriani’ s square where besides savouring their local delicacies, not to mention their delicious pies, you will enjoy the view to Parnassos’ evergreen slopes and the plains of Lilaia.



If again you are in for some activity, besides from skiing, starting from the village’s square you can follow the E4 hiking path which will take you to Delphi after approximately a 3-hour walk. Some other excellent hiking paths which you can choose to explore are the ones towards the Boutzouri and Melichovou springs, the waterfall of Matesi, the watermills as well as the various chapels of the area. A tour by the Korykeian cave is a must, as it’s one of the most famous one’s around Greece and it is believed to be where the Pythia would give her consultation before heading down to the Oracle of Delphi.

Amfikleia



The preserved settlement of Amfikleia at the foot of Mt Parnassos is only a few kilometres away from the ski resort and has - for the past few years - become an ideal destination for families as well as for those who prefer an off the radar holiday in the heart of nature. This little picturesque town is built on a flat plain where Kifisos River flows. You will fill your holidays with sights of old traditional houses with arched door gates, stone fountains, narrow alleys, visit museums and if you happen to be there around the carnival period enjoy some old customs from Roumeli.



Start your tour from the ring road where you’ll get to see the village from above, then head towards the railway station and take a look at the old passenger trains. Visit the ancient town of Amfikleia located at Parnassos Mountain's foot. Walk along Amfikleia’ s narrow alleys and end up at its stone paved square just before entering the - one and only in Greece - Bread Museum where you’ll get to learn everything concerning bread, the Vocational Museum which holds on to a rich collection of old tools, utensils and textiles, the Library and the Museum dedicated to the Academic George L. Sklavounos.

The 18th century Monastery of Dadiou, the medieval church of Agios Ioannis Rigana with some rare wall paintings, and the chapel of Agias Jerusalem built in a cave are some special churches and sacred areas around Amfikleia you must visit.

Then again, if you belong to the nature loving kind of people you might want to subscribe to the 25km mountain race Parnassos Trail, enjoy a downhill mountain bike ride of 11km on the Bogdan trail, as well as hiking and paragliding.

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