A distant dream, close to Athens, Municipality of Amfiklia- Elatia

[caption id="attachment_7024" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="The traditional preserved settlement of Amfikleia"][/caption]

The Municipality of Amfiklia- Elatia (Prefecture of Fthiotida) lies gracefully among Mt Parnassus- which has been declared a National Park since 1938, the mythical river of Kephisos and Mt Kallidromo, a paradise for the outdoorsy. The Municipality is located only a short distance from the "navel of the earth" and the remarkable archaeological site of Delphi. Travellers who wish to arrive by train can get off at one of the four railway stations available, Tithorea, Amfiklia, Lilea and Bralos. Those travelling by car from Athens will cover a distance of 170 km travelling on the national road from Athens to Lamia, taking an exit at the Castro junction and then following the signs to Livadeia at first and to Amfiklia later on. During the last years, the creation of several picturesque guest houses and agro tourism locations that offer a wide range of services aiming at broadening the visitors experience, has boosted tourism in the area by complementing what was already there: the diverse natural environment, the impressive historical monuments, the rich folklore tradition, the beautiful villages, the traditional preserved settlements, the authentic tastes and above all the warm welcome of the local people who will be delighted to share a dance with you at the celebrated folklore festivals.

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 Parnassos Ski Centre

Only a breath away one can find the Parnassos Ski Centre, since it is only 17 Km away from Amfiklia village. Parnassos Ski Centre is the largest and best equipped Ski Centre of the country, located at two main areas, Kellaria and Fterolaka. It comprises 19 ski runs, 7 ski routes, 8 connecting trails and 3 mini beginner runs with baby lifts on a total length of 36 Km. Four of these ski runs have been certified by the International Ski Federation and are to be used for International Ski Championships. It is also noteworthy to mention that the resort is open for Night Skiing on specific dates, while there are also four cycling trails within the premises (one downhill, two freeride and one cross country)

Since 2015, the Parnassos Ski Centre has become one of the world leading ski resorts worldwide that possesses three releasable Combi style lifts which simultaneously service skiers and pedestrians at high speeds and with absolute safety. The Aerial connection between the ski resorts of Fterolaka and Kellaria as well as direct access from the base at Kellaria (1750m ) to the top (2250m) non-stop gives the skiers the thrill of enjoying the breathtaking scenery while reaching their destination quickly and safely.

Info: www.parnassos-ski.gr

[caption id="attachment_7026" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="View of Tithorea with mount Parnassos at the background"][/caption]

Natural environment/Routes

The majestic Mt Parnassus (Liakoura Summit: 2,457m) with its diverse geomorphology will rise up to the expectations of the most demanding mountaineer. Gorges, steep slopes, snow-white mountain tops, waterfalls, crystal clear water ponds, all compose a unique scenery which one can admire mainly at the northwestern part of the municipality which includes the Parnassos National Park.

Opposite Mount Parnassus, there lies Mt Kallidromo (Gioza Summit: 1,419m), which is one of the most beautiful mountains of the district not only due to its smooth surface, but also because its plateaus form various seasonal lakes. It is an enchanting location with landscapes that have been characterized by the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy,   as of Unique Natural Beauty. Access to Mt Kallidromo -as its name indicates- is very easy , therefore it is an ideal destination for children. As for mountain bike lovers, the choices are infinite!

The municipality of Amfiklia-Elatia offers a variety of marked hiking trails which will definitely impress everyone regardless of the difficulty level or distance one wishes to cover.

[caption id="attachment_7027" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Nevropolis lake at mount Kallidromo"][/caption]

A four-season destination

 Depending on the time of year, there are different colorful compositions in the surrounding environment, as well as different customs and traditions for the traveler to experience. In spring, when nature is at its peak, all 16 villages of the area hold glorious Easter celebrations, while in summer one can enjoy the traditional folklore festivals held under the leaves of the plane trees of the village squares. Autumn is praised during the harvest of the vines at the exact location where God Dionysus was worshiped in ancient times. Last but not least, in winter, the beautiful white landscape and the Parnassos Ski Centre certainly constitute the highlights of the season.

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The Archaeological Museum of Elatia The traditional preserved settlement of Amfiklia The Bread Museum - located in Amfiklia (unique in Greece and one of the few in whole Europe) curated by the Athens Academy, www.breadmuseum.gr The Kahala gorge and the legendary cave of Odysseas Androutsos in Tithorea, within the boundaries of Parnassos  mountain National Park.

 www.dimos-amfiklias-elatias.gr article by Thimios Kakos