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Prefecture of Fokida

In an area of 2,120 square kilometres, this lush prefecture offers a lot to the tourist, from high mountains, olive groves to wonderful beaches. The star of the prefecture is Delphi , the site of the famous Oracle of Apollo.

Amfissa

The capital and the main trading centre of the prefecture. nestled between mountains upon which stands a Frankish fortress, the Folk Art Museum , along with the Byzantine church of Saviour are worth a visit. Easter is a treat to experience in the town, on Easter Sunday the town has the aroma of roasting lambs and other culinary delights. The locals go around serving tasty morsels and red wine to all, even to the tourists.

Itea

A growing seaside town, it takes name from the many willow trees (ities) that grow in the district. With good beaches nearby it is a good place to cool off and take a swim.

Galaxidi

Once an important naval town until 1821, when it was destroyed during the War of Independence. On the quayside local craft men make wooden boats. Walk through the streets, lined with mansions and flower bedecked tavernas. The Archaeological Museum has on display many exhibits from the towns past. At the beginning of Lent a carnival is held and locals throw flour? at each other. Along the coast are many fine villages were you can stop they are ideal for bathing.

Delphi

One of the wonders of Greek history, this site is full of ruins that fire the imagination. This sanctuary built on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos , with a backdrop of Phaedriades rocks the “the Shining Rocks”, is magnificent. Opposite the sanctuary are the remains of several buildings from the heyday of Delphi ’s importance. The Temples of Athens, the Gymnasium and other ruins to admire. It is said that the oracles started here in the late Mycenaean times (1600-1100BC). The site was in turn dedicated to Themis, Demeter and Poseidon. At the end of this period the sanctuary was dedicated to Apollo. To receive a prophecy at the Oracle, one had to pay a levy (telano), this done he could go to the high alter of Apollo to offer a sacrificial lamb or maybe a wild boar. Cold water was poured onto the animal and if it started shivering, it was a sign that the gods were willing to speak. The gods spoke through the Priestess Pythia, a woman in her fifties chosen by the temples male priests, (women could not interpret the messages from the gods). The priestess bathed in the holy spring waters of Kassiotis, she then inhaled the smoke from burning laurel leaves. After she sat upon the Throne of Apollo, the throne was in a room where natural gases from the earth seeped in; here she would go into a trance and start talking incoherently. The priests stood outside the room listening to the incoherent talk and would compose two line verses, called “disticha” and give them to he who requested the prophecy, and he had to interpret the meaning.

The sanctuary has experienced a number of religious wars. In 191 BC the Romans took over the Delphi and its importance soon fell into decline. In the late 4 th century it was abolished on the orders of Theodosious who stated that it was a pagan worship site. The museum has many fine artefacts discovered on the site, among them is the 5 th century bronze statue The Charioteer the best known.

The village of Delphi with its many tourist shops and tavernas and cafes enable you to take a break after visiting this amazing place.

Monastery of Ossios Loukas

This 11 th century monastery is among the finest in Greece . The monastery is built around two churches, the Katholiken this is the main church and used by pilgrims. The other church Theodokas is used by people of the area. In both churches there are mosaics and wall paintings to admire, a stroll along the monasteries terrace gives you views over the valley below. As with all monasteries in Greece , you most show respect, no shorts or mini skirts and no bare shoulders, this applies to both male and female.

Carnivals

These are held each year in Amfissa and Galaxidi during the Easter celebrations.

Mountaineering and Skiing

The Vardoussia and Giona area and Mt. Parnassos offer possibilities

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