Ancient Delphi

Area/Site in Central Greece

The preeminent Oracle of antiquity where a high priestess, Pythia, would mumble words to be interpreted by Appolo's priests. Enjoy the scenic drive.

A part of the temple of Apollo in Ancient Delphi with the mountains of the area in the background.
photo: askii / CC BY-SA 2.0

Ancient Delphi Attractions

An image of the remains of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi with hills on the background.
must visit

Temple of Apollo

One of the most significant monuments of the Delphi dedicated to Apollo and located in a prominent and central place inside the Oracle.

The vaulted temple (Tholos) that is a part of the Athena Pronaia Temple in Delphi.
hidden gem

Athena Pronaia Temple

Sanctuary of Goddess Athena which includes the vaulted temple (Tholos), Delphi's modern trademark and the most photographed spot of the site.

An aerial photo showing the Ancient Stadium of Delphi among the dense vegetation of the area and the nearby cliff.
photo: Zde / CC BY-SA 4.0
hidden gem

Ancient Stadium of Delphi

Situated at the northwest and highest point of the site, it is the most well-preserved ancient stadium in Greece founded in 5th century BC.

Ancient Theatre of Delphi

An impressively big structure situated inside the sanctuary of the God Apollo that can host approximately 5000 guests.

Treasury of Athenians

Built in the form of a temple, it stored battle treasures and offerings to Apollo. It was dedicated to the victory of Athenians against Persians.

Castalia Source (Spring)

Castalia Spring is totally linked to Delphi Oracle since Pythia, priests, and pilgrims were washing themselves here before starting the ritual of the oracle.

Pillar of Prusias II

An offering to the sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi that was constructed in honor of King Prusias ll of Bithynia and dates from 182 BC.

Gymnasium of Delphi

Facility complex of the 4th century BC that served initially as an athlete training center and later became a citizen spiritual cultivation hub.

The overview of the paved Sacred Way at Delphi is peppered with broken columns and ruins.
photo: Zde / CC BY-SA 4.0

Sacred Way (Iera Odos) of Delphi

This is the ceremonial path that pilgrims and oracle-seekers had to follow on their way to the temple where Priestess Pythia performed.

Ancient Delphi Things to Do

Corycian Cave

Also called «Korikion Antron». It is a worship cave, at an altitude of 1400 meters, dedicated to the Nymphs and the deity of Pan.

Ancient Path to Korikion Antron Cave

Today's international hiking path E4 connects (9 km) Delphi to Korikion Cave via the forest of Parnassos.

Ancient Delphi Museums

Delphi Archaeological Museum

It ranks among the most important Greek museums since it hosts numerous excavation findings of the greatest oracle of the ancient world.

The outside entrance of the yard leading to the Museum of Delphic Festivals.
photo: Sp!ros / CC BY-SA 3.0

Museum of Delphic Festivals

Housed in the mansion of the great poet Angelos Sikelianos who had conceived the concept of Delphic Idea and the corresponding Festivals.

Ancient Delphi Settlements

Ancient Delphi Day Trips

Questions & Answers about Ancient Delphi

Why Visit Ancient Delphi?
  • Most sacred and respected oracle in the ancient world.
  • Archaeological site declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
  • Special place that was historically referred to as "the navel of the earth".
What is Ancient Delphi?

Delphi has been the most sacred city and the most respected oracle of the ancient world. The first historical references resulting from Homeric times when recorded with the name Pytho. It was the center of the Delphic Amphictyony that was originally was a religious federation among the 12 Greek tribes and later led to political union. Under this scheme, the city established its autonomy, increased influence, and grew in scope. It was then during the 6th century BC when the Pythian Games were organized and became the second most important event after the Olympic Games, thus the Delphic Oracle started becoming even more famous to the known world.

What is an oracle of Delphi?

The oracles were thought to be highly reliable. They were expressed by Pythia the priestess of the Oracle and interpreted by the priests of Apollo. The oracle's reputation made leaders and ordinary people traveling long distances to hear the forecasts. Indeed, according to historians, oracles played a decisive role in the outcome of major events such as the Trojan War. The nature of the oracles was always cryptic and could be interpreted in many ways. A well-known example is the soldier's question if he was to die in the coming war. The Oracle predicted that “you go you come not at war will die” so depending on where the comma goes (after of before "not") it changes completely the meaning of the sentence.

What is the navel of the earth?

Historically, Delphi, the ancient Greek city was considered a special place due to the special aura. Numerous visitors were expressing their experience when visiting the place, due to the magnetic fields in the region. Thus, it should be noted that since prehistoric times, it was already referred to as the navel (omphalos) of the earth.

Is Delphi worth a visit?

Nowadays Delphi attracts visitors from all over the world and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. At a short distance from the archaeological site, is located the European Cultural Center which hosts annually the Delphi Economic Forum, as well as the contemporary settlement of Delphi that has quality infrastructure and provides all the amenities.