Arachova is a mountain village, built on the slope of Parnassos Mountain at an altitude of 950m. It belongs to Viotia prefecture and it is 160km from Athens. The first the visitor sees when arriving to town are beautiful stone houses, narrow streets and springs. Despite its huge tourist growth, its heritage has been well preserved combining convenience with traditional character.
“Mykonos of the winter season”
The so-called “Mykonos of the winter season” has for several years been living two separate lives. The one follows the frantic pace of the Athenian weekenders and the other reality turns its back to this cosmic life and nurtures its traditional character with nostalgia and optimism, so that it still today is resisting change.
So, depending on which Arachova you want to get to know, you have to choose the timing with care. Since the creation of the skiing centre at the nearby slopes of Parnassos the winter season is the high season. So, if you fancy skiing and a lively nightlife this could be your choice for Christmas vacations. If you, on the other hand, prefer a more quite (but still not remote) holiday dressed in autumn colours this could be the time for you now.
With a brief look at the history of Arachova we find that in the area there existed two ancient cities. To the west, around the springs of Chtiriarou and near Trouvoulou was the city of Anemoreia, and to the east, near Pania, was Kyparissos or Yampolis. The Cretans had a province here and the Thracians settled down in the area around 3200 years ago bringing with them the worship of Dionysos and the Muses.
At first glance, you understand from what the locals are making their living. Textiles, dairy products, taverns, cafés, hostels and shops renting equipment for skiing, are the vast majority of businesses in Arachova. Many of these businesses are housed in beautiful traditional stone buildings which have been restored and thus saved from the destiny of collapsing like so many other old buildings of less fortunate villages. At all hours of the day Arachova offers great opportunities for walking in its picturesque streets.
Activities around Arachova
Ski Centers near Arachova
The two highest tops of Parnassos Mountain, is Liakoura (Likoria) 2.457m. and Gerontovrachos 2.435m. Between these tops and at Arnovrisi side there are the two most famous ski centres of Greece , Fterolaka and Kelaria.
They may be the best organized and equipped ski centers of Greece and can service ski beginners and experts too. They are located at an altitude of 1600m-2300 m and offer 13 lifts and 20 tracks of total length 14 kilometers.
There you will find ski and snowboard schools, shops of renting and selling of ski equipment and shop of clothing. There are also parking space, cafe, bar, restaurant, first aid and baby sitting services.
• Parnassos Ski Resort – Arachova
• Parnassos Ski Center
Hiking and biking around Arachova
Unique trails into the forest that will make you feel your body and spirit coming to life”, you can either go hiking or biking. Alone or with your experienced guide you will be enchanted by the beauty of the region.
Horseback riding near Arachova
Go horseback riding with your children on the prairie of Parnassos with experienced instructors. Wander and admire the scenery, forests and nature.
Paragliding above the slopes of Mt. Parnassos
Take off from the prairie, see Arachova from above and land at Delphi. A breathtaking view awaits you. Fly with us and enjoy all the breathtaking landscapes of the Delphic landscape from above. It is a unique experience and worth enjoying.
Visit the site of ancient Delphi
When you are in the area, an obvious choice for a one-day excursion is Delphi (both an archaeological site and a modern town on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis. Delphi is an obvious destination worthwhile visiting. Is one of the greatest archaeological sites in Greece. The center of the ancient world, just 5 minitures drive from Arachova.
– The museum and archaeological sites are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to – 3:00 p.m.
The Corycian Cave
The impressive huge cave in the southwest side of Mount Parnassos, Corycian Cave, is of great historical importance. It is also called Sarantavli or the cave of Pan. The entrance of the cave is very low and narrow and hard to see from a distance.
When entering, before us opens a large pit with a height of up to 60 metres and a width of 15 metres. Inside the cave everything is dripping stalactites, forming sculptures mysteriously illuminated by the triangular opening of the cave.
The Corycian Cave was dedicated to the Ancient Greek God Pan and the Nymphs Korikiaii (5th cent. BC). Aeschylus called the cave ‘a place to visit heavenly spirits‘.
During the invasion of the Persians in 480 BC, the people of Delphi fled and seeked shelter here in the cave. And later, during the Revolution of 1821 it was used as a refuge by Ulysses Androutsos. The cave was formed during the Pleistocene era from groundwater, having two rooms, while a narrow corridor deep in the cave goes a long way, unfortunately inaccessible. Investigated and excavated in 1970 by P. Amandry, at which time thousands of objects dating from the Archaic and Classical periods were found. Thousands of statues from the Neolithic Age, earthenware pottery pieces, 25,000 ankles, painted vases 6 c. BC and rings. Many of the findings are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Delphi.
How to get to the Corycian Cave?
At the end of the road of the meadow, (coming from Arachova), turn left (at the tavern “ΜΠΑΜΠΗΣ”) and after 600 metres you will find a junction where you turn right. Following a road for another 800 m turn left and ascend 3.5 kilometers to reach a small plateau. A small 50-metre path leads you to the cave, situated at 1400 meters.
The view is fantastic. Visiting the Corycian Cave is a great opportunity for walking or mountain biking, leaving the car further down the road.