Planning a Trip
By Bus -- There are usually five buses daily to Delphi from the Athens bus station at 260 Liossion (tel. 210/831-7096 or 210/831-7179 in Athens, or 22650/82-317 in Delphi).
By Car -- Take the Athens-Corinth National Highway about 74km (46 miles) west of Athens to the Thebes turnoff. Continue west to Levadia. If you wish to stop at the monastery of Osios Loukas, take the Distomo turnoff and continue 9km (5 1/2 miles) to Osios Loukas (be prepared to meet tour buses thundering along this road). Return to Distomo and continue via Arachova 26km (16 miles) to Delphi. If you are approaching Delphi from the Peloponnese, the drive from the town of Itea to Delphi (65km/40 miles) takes a spectacular winding road that climbs higher and higher until it finally comes to Delphi.
By Organized Tour -- Athens-based companies such as CHAT, 4 Stadiou (tel. 210/322-3137; www.chatours.gr) and Key (tel. 210/923-3166; www.keytours.com) offer 1- and 2-day trips to Delphi. If possible, take the 2-day trip. Most tours leave Athens by 8am and arrive at Delphi by 3pm after a stop at Osios Loukas. On the second day, you leave Delphi around 3pm, arriving back in Athens about 7pm. The price (including transportation, site and museum admissions, guide, hotel, and most meals) is about 150€ ($195) for one person in a shared double room; sometimes, it is possible to get a single room at the same rate, but there is usually a 50€ ($65) supplement. An exceptionally well-traveled friend who was leery of the inevitable regimentation of a group tour had nothing but praise for her recent 2-day CHAT excursion.
Most services, such as the post office, tourist office, and banks, are in the village of Delphi (pop. 2,500), on the obvious main street. The street is named after King Paul and Queen Frederika, although no one seems to use the name. The tourist office (tel. 22650/82-900), in the town hall, is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 2:30pm, and sometimes reopens from 6 to 8pm in summer. If you are here in June or July, check here for information on the Delphi Festival of ancient Greek drama. Performances are held either in the ancient theater or at the European Cultural Center of Delphi. The museum and ancient site (signposted) are about 1km (1/2 mile) out of town, on the Arachova Road. If you want an English-speaking taxi driver for a tour of the area, inquire at the tourist office.
Parking spots are at a premium both in the village and at the site. If you can, park your car near your hotel and walk everywhere. If you have to drive to the site rather than walk the 5 to 10 minutes from town, be sure to set off early to get one of the few parking places. Whether you walk or drive, keep an eye out for the enormous tour buses that barrel down the center of the road. Traffic on the lower main street heads toward the site and Arachova; traffic on the upper main street heads out of Delphi toward Itea and the Gulf of Corinth.
The Delphi Tram -- Be sure to hop on the free new tram that leaves from the Hotel Vouzas and gives 30-minute rides around the village of Delphi nightly from about 8 to 11pm in the summer and on some off-season weekends.
Everything you need, including the post office, telephone office, and several banks with ATMs, including the National Bank of Greece, is on the main street. The police (tel. 22650/82-222) are in the town hall. For first aid, call tel. 22650/82-307. In addition to normal weekday hours (Mon-Fri 8am-2pm), the post office and OTE are sometimes open Sunday from 9am to 1pm in summer.