Experience the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece

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Delphi is one of those places that has a lot of history. It is tucked away into the mainland of Greece, but it is easily accessible from a main hub like Athens. In fact, if you are planning a visit to Athens in Greece, including a day or two in your travel itinerary to make the two-and-a-half-hour trip to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi is a must.

About the Temple of Apollo in Delphi

The Temple of Apollo in Delphi dates back to the 20th century B.C. and it is here, according to the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, that Apollo spoke through the voice of his priestess The Pythia. Once a month, The Pythia would be open for consultation and people would come from near and far to ask about all manner of subjects.

Among those making inquiries of Apollo’s mouthpiece were some of the most famous figures of that time period. Philosophers, emperors, and even Alexander the Great came to The Temple of Apollo. The answers offered by The Pythia, however, were rarely easily comprehensible and often more like riddles.

One such example would be the emperor Nero who asked about his own demise and was told to beware the 73rd year. Being that he has far from that age, he left the temple unconcerned. Not much later, he was murdered by Galba who was 73 years of age.

Geological research near Delphi has uncovered light hydrocarbon gases that have been known to have hallucinogenic properties. These gases have been cited as a possible inspirational aide for The Pythia to make her predictions.

What to Do at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi

Getting to see the Temple of Apollo and its columns that have survived several earthquakes and wars is, by itself, worth the journey. The massive stone pillars with the sea as their backdrop can make for a breathtaking scene to take in. Still, there are other notable landmarks around this location that should be part of your trip.

The Sacred Way is a winding marble path that leads to the temple and trekking it can be quite the bragging right. The remains of offerings to Apollo by way of his oracle line the historical path and it can be fun imagining yourself in long-past times, headed to pose your question to The Pythia.

Above the temple, you will find the Ancient Theater Of Delphi. Musical events were held at this location during the Pythian Games as well as other important times of the year and the original theater was built in the 4th century B.C. The current form of the theater dates back to about the 2nd century B.C.

Even further along The Sacred Way above the temple is The Ancient Stadium of Delphi, an impressively well-preserved monument that was the location of the Pythian Games, a competition only second in importance to the Olympic Games. These games were held every four years and featured not only sports competitions but also competitive art and dance.

Getting to the Temple of Apollo in Delphi

As stated above, you can get to the Temple of Apollo in Delphi by car in about two and a half hours’ time. Buses run by KTEL depart out of Athens to the temple and are reported as taking 3 hours and 45 minutes.


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