The Delphi Experience

Delphi is no doubt one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites; its history and the way it is has been preserved are unique and create an extraordinary experience for the visitors. For at least 12 centuries, the oracle at Delphi spoke on behalf of the gods, advising rulers, citizens and philosophers on everything from their sex lives to affairs of state. The oracle was always a woman, her divine utterances made in response to a petitioner's request. In a trance, at times in a frenzy, she would answer questions, give orders and make prophecies. Now the calm and peacefulness in which the temple is embedded will definitely make you think that yes, ancient Greeks might have also been right when they picked this spot because it was thought to be the centre of the known World. I write this because I’ve been lucky enough to visit it and the feeling of being in a special place, at the centre of something exceptional grows on the visitor as soon as he or she step out of the bus that brought him or her there.

So, you get off the bus or the car you used to get here, among the Phocis’ valleys, and you start to walk towards the entrance of the site, on your right you see a steep cliff with thousands of olive trees at the bottom of it, in front you start to spot a small street, paved with marble stones. You take it and after just few steps you are in front of the Museum’s entrance. I recommend you to first visit the Museum, which has some of the best and most impressive Hellenic masterpieces, and then enter the actual site.

Once you get in you got to put your imagination at work, the site has an awful amount of ruins and old temples but just few kept their original structure. The sanctuary is built on the side of Parnassus Mountain so you’ll start walking uphill right from the start. At first you’ll see the Temple of Athens, the only one that looks as it looked thousands of years ago, then you’ll notice the writings on the stones, pieces of wisdom as inspiring as they can be, which really underline the holiness and importance this place had. As you keep walking up among stones and columns you’ll cross the Temple of Apollo, what remains of it, then the ancient theatre and the stadium at last, both in good conditions. At this point the Delphi spirit has taken you over and you’ll walk the way back to the exit as slow as you can.

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