The green prefecture of Fokida (Phocis), full of olive groves as
well as small beaches, attracts a large number of tourists
almost all year round.
The capital and commercial center of the prefecture is Amfissa
(200 km. from Athens), the Byzantine Salona. From the moment you
see it, the town will strike you as picturesque, built as it is
between the mountains, with its Frankish fortress perched
precariously on a precipitous rock and surrounded by olive
trees. Here you can see the well-preserved Byzantine church of
the Saviour (11th c.), the cathedral of the Annunciation as well
as the Phocis Folk Art Museum.
Easter in Amfissa is celebrated according to local Roumeli
traditions and customs. On Easter Sunday the residents roast
lambs and “kokoretsi” in the streets, offering red wine and
tasty tidbits to all passers-by. Amfissa is also renowned for
its marvellous olives. But what attracts the largest stream of
tourists ot the area is nearby Delphi (Delfi), the site of the
famous Oracle of Apollo on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos.
The magnificent landscape chosen by the ancient Greeks for their
sanctuary, framed by the Phaedriades rocks (the twin “Shining
Rocks” that tower above the Oracle) with the Gulf of Itea
gleaming in the background, is truly unique.
The sanctuary of Athena, the ruins of the temple of Apollo, the
Gymnasium, the Stadium – decorated with small statues – the
ancient theater, a 4th century BC construction, and the Castalia
Fountain are just some of the wonders to admire amidst Delphi’s
majestic atmosphere. Finally, don’t miss the museum, which
houses the important finds excavated at the site. Among the most
impressive are the famous bronze statue of the Charioteer (5th
c. BC), the gold and ivory heads of Apollo and Artemis and the
Roman copy of the “Navel of the World”.
Delphi is also home to the European Cultural Center, an
international organization that sponsors cultural conferences
On the road to Itea, it is worth stopping for a while at Chrisso,
a charming village filled with plane trees and fountains.
Itea lies at the edge of the Sacred Valley of Delphi. It takes
its name from the numerous willow trees (ities) that used to
reach as far as the shore. A seaside market town, Itea is slowly
evolving into an important commercial and tourist center. It is
hard to pass by the nearby beaches of Trocadero and Miami, or
the beach of Itea, without taking a dip.
Very close to Itea is the village of Kira, the flourishing port
of Delphi in antiquity.
its long stretch of beach attracts many bathers.
Following the coast road west of Itea, you come to Galaxidi.
Situated at the end of a little fjord, it was an important naval
and shipbuilding center until 1821 when it was destroyed. In
this pleasant harbour, tradition is still very evident along the
quay amongst the seafood tavernas and boat yards, where
selftaught craftsmen still make sturdy wooden caiques. It is
well worth strolling through the picturesque streets lined by
stately mansions and dotted with little tavernas drenched in
geraniums and jasmine. Don’t miss the Galaxidi Archaeological
and Naval Museum, with its fine exhibits of model ships, maps,
naive sea paintings and weapons from the War of Independence;
the church of St. Nicholas, famous for its carved wooden icon
screen; and Aghia Paraskevi, which has the zodiac cycle inlaid
in its floor and a sundial in its forecourt. If you happen to be
in Galaxidi on Clean Monday (beginning of Lent), you’ll get
caught up in the revels of the masqueraders who throw flour at
each other in festivities with heavy Dionysiac overtones.
Another charming fishing village west of Galaxidi is Eratini.
Nearby is the site of ancient Tolophon.
Continuing west, the seaside settlements of Aghios Nikolaos,
Spilia and Glifada, as well as the islands of Trizonia, Aghios
Ioannis and Prassoudi opposite are ideal for bathing and
fishing. If you’re seeking peace and quiet, we suggest you visit
the mountain villages of Eptalofos or Ano Agoriani, a starting
point for the Parnassos ski center, Lilea, Polidrossos and
Gravia surrounded by fir trees and streams. At Aghia Efthimia
near Amfissa, the delicious wine will help you to forget your
worries. West of Amfissa lies the interesting monastery of the
Panayia Koutsoufou in the village of Amigdalia, while somewhat
cut off from the rest of the prefecture is Lidoriki, a town on
the slopes of Mt. Giona, not far from the Mornos dam and