Oedipus road Tour

Corinth, Mount Kithaeronas, Thebes, Levadia, Arachova, Delphi.

1st day: 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The Persians had overrun Athens and Attica and assembled their fleet in the Bay of Phaleron while the Greek trieres had withdrawn into the Bay of Elefsis.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 . Salamis Battle

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.
Delphi
Overnight 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 cheese (formaela)

2nd day:  Visit Delphi 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 of Athena 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.   Mountain Parnassus

A short history of Oedipus road.

Unknowingly, Oedipus 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.

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