General Information on Arachova
Arachova is a tourist destination because of its proximity to popular Delphi, but was equipped with a ski resort in the late 20th century. Traditional and popular activities are held by the locals, such as traditional dances and the reviving of the battle of Arachova against the Turks. Traditional gastronomical delights include formaella cheese (sold only in Arachova) and tsipouro (a grappa-like liquor). The modern ski resorts of Parnassos are situated in the northwestern part of the mountain.
History of Arachova
There are many ancient settlements in the area, dating back to 1200 BC. The oldest findings go back to the Neolithic Age (about 3000 BC). In Homeric years, here lay one of the eight main cities of the area.
The village of Arachova was founded around 1300 AD, when the Franks occupied the area and the local leader combined the scattered settlements of the area in one. The village developed rapidly, and in 1435 AD, it was considered "a bustling city".
It was set ablaze in 1803 or 1804 by the Turks, because of the rebellious spirit of the inhabitants. During the War of Independence of 1821, the inhabitants had an active role and as a result, suffered considerably. In November 1826, the Battle of Arachova was crucial to the continuation of the War; the Greek victory here was of utmost importance. The village was liberated on 2 November 1828 by Dimitrios Ypsilantis.
In 1870, a devastating earthquake cost the lives of many inhabitants, while many buildings, such as the famous Clock Tower, were destroyed or severely damaged. The Tower was later blown up by the Germans during World War II. In the 1970s, one year before the completion of the ski resort at Parnassus, Arachova was a small village that mainly drew tourists thanks to its proximity to Delphi. After the resort opened its gates, Arachova slowly became one of the main winter destinations of Greece.
Top Things to Do in Arachova
The Clock Tower: On top of a steep cliff lies the famous Clock Tower of Arachova. Originally built at the beginning of the 18th century as the bell tower of a church, it collapsed after the earthquake of 1870; after its reconstruction, it was destroyed by the Germans in March 1944. In 1966, an abbot paid for its repair. Today, the Clock Tower, or the "Time" as it is called by locals, is the main photographic subject of the area.
Church of St. George: The Church of St. George, one of the two churches of the village, lies on the foot of Parnassus. It was constructed in 1833, in the form of a domed basilica, and decorated with modern frescoes. The churchyard is decorated with carved plaques, which bear motifs of local weavings. The surrounding area was used as the headquarters for the Battle of Arachova in 1826, as well as during World War II.
The Heroon of Karaiskakis: This monument, at the western part of Arachova, is dedicated to the memory of George Karaiskakis, one of the most important figures during the War of Independence. The three hundred rocks on which the statue stands, resemble the heads of fallen Turks.
Parnassus Ski Resort: The construction of the ski resort of Parnassus started in 1967, and it was inaugurated in December 1974. Nowadays, it is one of the top winter destinations in Greece.
Delphi: Before the construction of the ski resort, Arachova had considerable tourism, thanks to its proximity to Delphi. As a result, you may find tourists in the area all year round, even when the ski resort is closed. The distance between Arachova and Delphi is a mere 10 km.
In the past, Arachova was visited by many famous people, including Aristotle Onassis, Winston Churchill, Maria Callas, the Beatles, Jackie Kennedy and many more.
How to Reach Arachova
Coach: You may take the KTEL coach to Arachova, with regular services during the day from Athens and Thessaloniki.
Train: The train from Athens stops at the station of Livadia. You may then take the local bus to Arachova.
Weather in Arachova
Summers are dry and temperatures at night may drop significantly. Winters are cold and are characterised by heavy precipitation and snowfalls.
Map of Arachova