Oedipus road Tour
Mount Kithaeronas, Thebes, Levadia, Arachova,
Starting from Athens we drive westwards
along the scenic coast, through the ancient
areas of Elefsis and Megara where the Battle
of Salamis took place in 480 B. C . The
Persians had overrun Athens and Attica and
assembled their fleet in the Bay of Phaleron
while the Greek trieres had withdrawn into
the Bay of Elefsis. By a ruse Themistocles
induced the Persian fleet to launch an attack
on Perama to confine and destroy the Greek
ships but it was unable to maneuver in the
narrow channel and was dispersed and mostly
destroyed under the eyes of Xerxes, the
"King of Kings" who watched from a vantage
point up on the cliffs. We reach the Corinth
canal with its breathtaking views for a
short stop on the bridge, which is the highest
point of the canal . Shortly after we reach
the Ancient town of Corinth. Back in ancient
times Corinth was one of the three major
powers in Greece, and took part in all the
battles against the Persians. It was one
of the richest cities and this is quite
evident by its remains, including the huge
Agora (market place) and Apollo's Temple
dating from 6th C BC .
Visit the castle of Acrocorinth.
Time for shopping if you wish, there
is a market with handicrafts at
the entrance of the old city. Leave
Corinth, this time from Isthmian,
the beginning of the canal
for a short stop on the bridge which
this time is at sea level - the
bridge sinks in order for ships
to go through.
Driving back, this time on the old
high way to Elefsis, we'll
take the road up on the mountain
of Kithaeronas (connected with the
tragedy of king Oedipus, where he
was left as a baby to be eaten by
wolves) through the town of Thebes.
We'll proceed to Levadia which is
a busy town and an important junction
in the road network as well as an
industrial centre. The textile mills
there treat the cotton grown in
the Copais valley. The upper town
is graced with white houses with
jutting wooden balconies dating
from the 18th C.
We'll stop for a drink by
the beautiful river Krya at the
spot where the water springs out.
In ancient times, Krya is said to
be the location of the Oracle of
Trofonios Zeus which included the
springs of Mnemosyne (remembrance)
and the spring of Lethe (oblivion).
The oracle was used as a stage before
visiting the oracle of Delphi and as
such, through the times, it acquired
great power and riches.
in Delphi or Arachova (Hotel with
a swimming pool ) one of the most
traditional villages in Greece.
A winter resort for skiers, built
on the south slopes of Parnassus
(940m/3084ft). The main narrow
street winds its way between taverns
and workshops. In the taverns one
can savour a dish of soft fried
the centre of the Ancient world - the "Ompfalos"
Navel of the Earth - whose prestige extended
far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic
world. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus
(the second highest mountain of Greece),
in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and
majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary
of Apollo Pythios. Visit the Treasury of
the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and
the Museum containing such masterpieces
of ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze
Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias.
Visit Castalia spring and the Sanctuary
Pronaea. After lunch return to
Athens with a short stop at the picturesque
mountain village of Arachova, (a winter
resort for skiers -time for shopping if
you wish) built on the south slopes of Parnassus
(940m/3084ft). The workshops sell
shoulder bags, carpets and long haired rugs
(flokati) in bright colors.
A short history of Oedipus road.
kills his father, King Laius of Thebes,
and marries his mother, Jocaste. When he
learns the truth, he blinds himself in despair.
Colorful encounters awaited
the great heroes as they set out on the
road, never knowing what strange adventure
lay ahead. Sometimes these run-ins were
with humans, sometimes not. The hero Oedipus
was told to stand aside by a charioteer
in a narrow pass. He refused, the chariot
rushed him and Oedipus struck down the driver
as he passed. The man died. Only long afterwards
did Oedipus discover that the stranger was
his own father.
Further along the same
road, Oedipus came to another narrow place.
There perched a beast with the head of a
woman, the wings of a griffin and the body
of a lion. This monster - the Sphinx - asked
a riddle of all passers-by. Failure to answer
correctly meant death. She put the riddle
to Oedipus: "What walks on four legs in
the morning, two legs at noon and three
at close of day?". "That's simple enough,"
replied the hero. "A human crawls on four
legs as an infant, walks upright on two
in the prime of life and hobbles with a
cane in old age." Hearing this, the Sphinx
promptly ran off and killed herself. The
grateful people of nearby Thebes made Oedipus
their king. Like all great heroes, he never
shirked an encounter.
Daily : Sanctuary of Apollo: Summer 8a.m
to 7.30p.m (winter to 3p.m) Entrance fee
9 Euro including the museum.
All the information & photos on this website
is updated continuously. I myself visit
all sites at least once the month.