Arachova is a quaint town perched on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, at an average altitude of 960 metres, and close to Delphi, the Parnassus ski resort and the coast. It is worthy of a visit for its own merits, however, not simply for its location.
I’ll take you on a relaxed walk along the main road from Delphi end to Athens end, with a few detours, as there are plenty of charming alleys to explore, and views both up and down. Don’t miss the snow gracing the mountain peaks up to our left.
In recent times, this small town has developed into an expensive ski resort in winter, with plenty of shops selling ski accessories, plus a variety of bars and restaurants to ensure revitalisation after a day on the slopes.
I was not there for skiing, but I decided to rest a while in a small restaurant to recover from my exploration of Delphi that morning. A storm was predicted to come through for the weekend, so I had managed to move work around so that I could take a trip to Delphi on the Friday before the predicted snow arrived in this area. As I sat outside (next to a heater) the clouds started to roll in, and I soon wished that I had ordered soup not salad!
Now we’ll continue along the main street, admiring the local produce – typically, cheese, honey and wooden items – and admiring the rustic colours of the buildings.
A little further along, on the left, we’ll find the Egarsios steps, 264 of them.
Energy levels permitting, we can clamber up here to the Church of Agios Georgios. The church here now was constructed in 1833 and history tells that it was built on top of an older church that dated back to 1676. It is also remembered for being the headquarters of Georgios Karaiskakis during the battle of Arachova in 1826.
Back down at road level, there is an attractive building that opened in 1911 as the area’s elementary school and is now home to the Ethnographic Museum of Arachova. If we take a path leading downhill just to the right of the museum, we’ll find another attractive church, the Church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary.
Now, for those with time and energy, there’s one more viewpoint to enjoy.
This is the “Ora”, meaning time. It was built in the 18th century, apparently for use as a bell tower by the nearby Church of Virgin Mary. It suffered much damage, both from earthquake and World War II, but was reconstructed thanks to the abbot of St. Loukas, Nektarios Camvasinos, who paid for its reconstruction according to the original plans.
And tower clamber, or no tower clamber, lets admire the views across this charming place.
Now I’m off for a coffee, inside, to warm up and then a fairly long drive back to Athens – about 2.5 hours, depending on the traffic levels on entering the city.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 25 February 2019
Posted as part of Jo’s Monday Walks