Side Trip to Delphi

Spending an extra day in Athens on my Southbound trip next Spring and I really want to make it out to Delphi. I have read that this gentleman is a great way to do it: http://www.athenstaxi.net/private-tours/delphi/

Does anyone here have any experience using the Spiros service? I checked and he is free the day I would need -- a bit pricey for a solo traveler, but if he's the best I would pop for it.

Also is adding Thermopylae worth it? Seems interesting if not essential and a good way to round out the day.

Comments

  • edited August 2015
    I haven't used that service, but years ago (many, many years ago!) I took a tour from Athens/Piraeus to Delphi. Two things stand out.

    First- While I don't remember specifics, I remember it was a wonderful site in a picturesque mountainous setting which I thought well worth my time visiting back then. However, if I remember correctly, with a few exceptions, it was mostly low ruins and few, if any, partially intact (standing) structures. There were a few sections of the Temple of Athena, a theater, a "treasury" temple and numerous columns still standing. You can Google it to see what I mean. I thought what was there and the history and mythology behind it was very interesting, of course I just love any kind of ruins : ) . Also, there are the remains of an arena used for the Pythian Games (forerunner of the modern Olympic Games?).

    Second- it was a VERY LONG day and long (bus) ride into the mountains on narrow winding roads to reach Delphi! (Google Maps says it takes over 2 hours). We left early in the morning, and had lunch and dinner along the way- we stopped at a taverna for dinner and had a traditional Greek meal and entertainment. We didn't get back to Athens until well into the evening (8:00 pm or later?).

    I didn't travel to Thermopylae. It doesn't look like there is much to see there. Google Maps says it is 1 hr 15 min drive past Delphi. The total roundtrip including Thermopylae requires 5 1//2 to 6 hours of driving! Throw in time to eat, restroom breaks, etc. and that doesn't leave much time for sightseeing if attempting to do both sites in one day.
  • We traveled with another company when we visited Greece, so I know nothing about booking a separate tour to Delphi. However, Delphi is wonderful, so please, please don't miss it if you have the opportunity to go there! We stopped at Thermopalye for photos before we reached Delphi, and, as Alan says, there's not a lot there. There's a wonderful monument, but that's really it. Before I retired I taught World History so I do understand the significance of Thermopalye. We spent the night in a small town close to Delphi's ruins, visiting the wonderful Delphi Museum late that afternoon before visiting the ruins themselves the next morning. Please, please don't miss either if you have an opportunity to visit.
  • edited September 2015
    Thank you both for sharing your experiences!

    It sounds like I definitely want to make it to Delphi as I too love ruins -- particularly Greek and Roman.

    The additional driving time to Thermopylae does seem to be excessive, although apparently there is now an interesting small museum there where you can see recreations of the battle, etc. My main concern is that the additional driving would impact my time at Delphi.
  • I used Google for the drive times, so unfortunately they may be fairly accurate, but hopefully the roads are better now than what I remember- it was soooo long ago.

    Have a great trip! We are taking Classic Italy in the Spring, although I would like to take Treasures of the Aegean someday, too.
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