Enjoy the ancient period of Delphi’s glory and Osseus Lucas (Hosios Loukas) monastery, Greece’s Byzantine Beauty! Since 1990 is a UNESCO world heritage monument as part of the group called, “Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios”. It is a historic walled monastery and one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art.
Delphi is one of the most sought-after historic sites in Greece well known as the sanctuary of Apollo and the shrine of his oracle. There are some very famous myths about the Oracle of Delphi. Delphi itself has many legends centered around it- like being the center of the world; The sacred city of Apollo. But the legend about how the chain of Oracles started- around 1400 BC- says that the Oracle of Delphi had godly power. Ancient Greeks considered Delphi the center (the navel) of the universe. Zeus sent out two eagles, one to the east and the other to the west. Where their paths crossed would be the center of the world. The two birds met over Delphi, seated on the slopes of Parnassós mount. Zeus marked the spot with a stone called the omphalos (navel), to signify the location’s centrality. Another myth says, that this impressive spot in central Greece was originally sacred to Gaea (mother goddess of the earth) who placed her son Python (a serpent) as a guard for Delphi and its oracle. Apollo the god of light and music slew the serpent and took over the site for himself. Priestesses who served Apollo there were called the “Pythia,” named in honor of Gaea’s vanquished son. Throughout the classical world spread the belief that these priestesses channeled prophecies from Apollo himself. The power of Delphi was undisputed! But why the power of Delphi was undisputed and lasted for thousands of years? Let’s find out together through this private tour to Delphi!
Highlights of the Remarkable Delphi & Osseus Lucas Monastery 8-H Private Tour
- Scenic drive through Beotia, Theva & resort tow
- Distomo monument
- The Byzantine monastery of Osseus Lucas (Hosios Loukas)
- 9 hours ancient Delphi home of Greece’s famed prophetic oracle
- Castalian Spring’s sacred waters
- The Temple of Apollo
- The temple of Athena pronea
- Archaeological museum for an insight into UNESCO-listed site
- Knowledgeable driver/guide to bring Greek gods & mythology to life
Pass By: After your Best Greece Tours private driver will pick you up from your cruise ship or your Athens hotel will drive you through the fertile plain of Beotia, passing through picturesque towns of Levadia, and Distomo.
- Duration: 140 Minutes
Stop At: Distomo Holocaust;
Western of Boeotia in Greece lay the little town of Distomo with a 3.880 population. Greeks remember the Cold-Blooded Nazi Massacre at Distomo. The massacre at Distomo remains to this day one of the most heinous crimes the Nazis committed against innocent women and children, just months before the German occupying forces pulled out of Greece. On June 10, 1944, the Germans were ambushed by fighters from the Greek resistance group. The battle was so bloody that the Germans were forced to retreat. After the casualties they had suffered, the Nazis entered Distomo with a clear intention of retaliation for their losses. The cold-blooded massacre of everyone they found in the village then began. They went from door to door, killing everyone at first sight. Their fury was such that they did not care if they killed women and children. The slaughter lasted into the night until the Nazi troops had to return to Livadia. However, they did not leave before burning the entire village to the ground. However, the Germans did not stop at Distomo. The executions continued all the way back to their base, as they killed any civilian they encountered on the way. The death count inside Distomo reached 228, of which 117 were women and 111 men, with 53 children under the age of sixteen among them.
- Duration: 15 Minutes
- Admission Ticket Free
Pass By: The village of Distomo and the picturesque slope of Mt. Helikon to reach the monastery of Osseus Lucas (Hosios Loukas).
- Duration: 20 Minutes
Stop At Osseus Luca:
The monastery of Osseus Lucas (Hosios Loukas) lies is located in a scenic position on the western slope of Mt. Helikon, below the acropolis of ancient Steirion. The monastery is a beautiful complex comprised of several buildings, home of some extraordinary mosaics and works of art and the architectural gems that are the buildings themselves. Certainly, it is the largest of the only three surviving monasteries from this period in Greece. Located near the town of Distomo, in Boeotia, it is a must-see for those who travel from Athens to Delphi as it is a beautiful Byzantine jewel box, set within an architectural gem, surrounded by natural beauty. The monastery of Osseus Lucas (Hosios Loukas) lies is located in a scenic position on the western slope of Mt. Helikon, below the acropolis of ancient Steirion. The monastery is a beautiful complex comprised of several buildings, home of some extraordinary mosaics and works of art and the architectural gems that are the buildings themselves. Certainly, it is the largest of the only three surviving monasteries from this period in Greece.
The location of Osseus Luca
Located near the town of Distomo, in Boeotia, it is a must-see for those who travel from Athens to Delphi as it is a beautiful Byzantine jewel box, set within an architectural gem, surrounded by natural beauty. Build in the early 10th century AD by the hermit, Venerable Lucas the monastery remains home to his relics. The complex is made up of the Church of the Theotokos (the only church known with certainty to have been built in mainland Greece in the tenth century), a larger cathedral church, or Katholikon that is tentatively dated to 1011-1012 AD. Visit the smaller church is dedicated to the Theotokos and admire the rich sculptural decoration on the templon, the capitals, and dome; Also, see its beautiful wall paintings from the 11th to the 12th centuries and traces of earlier frescos. The famous Hosios Loukas mosaics can be seen at the Katholikon is the earliest extant domed-octagon church and was built in the first half of the 11th century. These mosaics, glittering and gilded and in that distinctive abstracted Middle Byzantine style, are the most famous and fantastic parts of the entire complex.
- Duration: 40 Minutes
- Admission Ticket Not included
Pass By: The village of Distomo and the picturesque slope of Mt. Helikon to reach the famous winter resort Arachova and the Delphi village.
- Duration: 30 Minutes
Stop At Delphi:
Arrive at Delphi, the center of Ancient World – the «Omphalos» (Navel of Earth) – whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic World. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. Our private tour continues visiting Delphi’s Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo, and the Delphi Museum containing such masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias. Legends, have it that in Delphi Alexander the Great was cried “you are invincible”! Here Socrates was declared as the wisest of men!
But, let’s see what is the essence of Delphi;
The name Delphi comes from the word “delphys” which means womb and has indications of the archaic veneration of Gaia at the site. It is believed that in the beginning, Apollo came to Delphi in the form of a dolphin, carrying the Cretan priests on his back. The Homeric name of the oracle is Pytho. Another belief around the area is that Apollo came walking from the north and stopped at Tempe, to pick laurel (Bay Tree) which he considered to be a sacred plant. In celebration of this legend, the winners of the Pythian Games received a wreath of laurel picked in the temple. Delphi became the site of a major temple to Apollo, as well as the Pythian Games and the prehistoric Oracle. Delphi is famous for four main reasons; 1. The Oracle of Delphi, 2. The Pythian Games, 3. The Temple of Apollo and 4. The Omphalos (The Navel).
- Duration: 90 Minutes
- Admission Ticket Free
Stop For Lunch:
Lunch in Delphi for lunch (not included) in a traditional Greek restaurant to enjoy the famous Greek cuisine overlooking the spectacular view of Itea and the Corinthian golf!
- Duration: 45 Minutes
Pass By: After lunch, we will start traveling back to ATHENS following the highway.
- Duration: 160 Minutes
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DEPARTURE | RETURN
- Transfer offerd; Travelers pickup/drop off is offered.
- Pick up from; We will pick you up from any hotel or apartment in Athens center and Piraeus cruise port at the cruise ship pier!
- Info needed When booking make sure to include the address of your accommodation, or the name of the cruise line and the cruise ship!
- Pick up time; We propose to pick you up at 8 am in order to avoid traffic and crowed at the Acropolis.
- Drop off; We will drop you off at the same place we have picked you up or at any hotel in Athens center or cruise ship pier!
INCLUDED | EXCLUDED
What is Included
- Professional driver with good knowledge of history and culture in Greece
- Transport by air-conditioned vehicle appropriate for the size of your group
- Accommodation is based according to availability (for multiple day tours only)
- Flexible pick up time on request (proposed 08:00AM)
- Free Pick-up from and return to your hotel
- Free Pick-up & drop off from Piraeus cruise port
- Athens Airport transfers or pickup locations outside Athens: arranged on request with surcharge
- First class transport: By Mercedes E-Class or similar; Mercedes minivan or Mercedes minibus according to the size of your party. All new models come with full leather and A/C.
- Road tolls and local taxes
- Our terminal: Leof. Andrea Siggrou 37, 117 43 Athina, Greece.
- Official licensed tour guide for guiding in archeological sites. Available on request with surcharge
- The private tour is 100% exclusive for your party
What is Excluded
- Entrance fees to the archaeological sites and museum
- Wine tasting fee (wine tours)
- Athens Airport transfer: arranged on request with a surcharge
- Gratuities (optional)
- Food and beverage
- Your private chauffeur/guide will discuss a program best suited to your interest and mobile abilities. Option for a professional tour guide with a state license at an extra cost.
- Private tour - Shore Excursion
- Activity level: Moderate
- Departures: Daily
- Due to the high complexity and uncertainty of contemporary transportation, as well as unexpected situations, the planned itinerary can change at any moment and our choices may be affected by any social, economic or environmental phenomena!
- Best Greece Tours is proud to be the first in the industry to offer Guaranteed Departures . A guaranteed departure means; There is no minimum number of bookings required on a trip to run and that the tour will definitely operate on the day it is scheduled and will not be cancelled. All guaranteed departures will run except in the event of a natural disaster or other similarly disruptive event that is beyond our control. Our current collection of tours can take you to exciting places in Athens and around the world.
How will we use the information you wll give us about you!
- Passenger Detail; We need basic contact details so we can send appropriate booking information to you as well as make sure the supplier can contact you should they need to.
- Flight Details; We will need to know your exact travel details so they can track flight time as well as make sure they get you to and from your destination with no delay.
- Accommodation Details; We need to know your pick-up and drop-off address to ensure the right price and that we know exactly where to meet you or take you.
- Payment Details; We will pass your payment details to our secure payment provider, but we do not see or store any of these details on our website payment details.
- Dress: religious and memorial sites: shoulders and knee must be covered.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- A voucher will be emailed to you with our contact numbers and all necessary information for your tour.
- This is your ticket and proof of purchase. On the day of tour please present a paper voucher in order to redeem your tour/activity.
- Itinerary (break-down)Due to the high complexity and uncertainty of contemporary transportation, as well as unexpected situations, the planned itinerary can change at any moment and our choices may be affected by any social, economic or environmental phenomena!
Persons with Disabilities
- Due to uneven surfaces, certain sites are not recommended for persons with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair. Such sites are the Acropolis, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, Mycenae, Delphi and Meteora.
- In all cases, we recommend comfortable flat-solid walking shoes, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- For guests who are full-time wheelchair users a ramp vehicle will be needed. Guests may remain in their wheelchair or scooter for the duration of the excursion. Wheelchair or scooter dimensions are required in order to confirm the correct vehicle!
- Wheelchair or small scooter folding type only. (Please note that disabled passengers must be able to board the vehicle independently or with the assistance of those in their party.)
Opening hours & Admission fees
- Opening Hours: Summer April 1st to October 31st from 08:00 AM to 07:30 PM
- Winter: November 1st to March 31st from 08:30 AM to 03:00 PM
- Free admission fees: Children under 18 & Students from E.U.
- Reduced admission fees: Citizens of the E.U. aged over 65 & Students from countries outside the E.U.
Free admission days
- March 6: In memory of deceased Minister of Tourism & visionary Melina Mercouri
- June 5: Environment international day
- April 18 : International monuments day
- May 18: International museums day
- September 27: International tourism day
- The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
- National Holidays
- Sundays in the period between 1 November and 31 March
- The first Sunday of every month, except for July, August and September
- NOTE: If the first Sunday is a holiday then the second is the free admission day
Holidays in Greece
- January 1: closed
- January 6: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- Shrove Monday: 08:30AM - 03:00 PM
- March 25: closed
- Good Friday: 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM
- Holy Saturday: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- Easter Sunday: closed
- Easter Monday: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- May 1: closed
- Holy Spirit Day: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- 15 August 15: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- October 28: 08:30 AM- 03:00 PM
- December 25 & 26: closed
- Sedans; Within 24 hrs of travel 100% fee will apply. Outside of 24 hrs a €2 per person cancellation charge will apply.
- Minivan; Within 36 hrs of travel 100% fee will apply. Outside of 36 hrs a €2 per person cancellation charge will apply.
- Minibus 10-20 seats; Within 96 hrs of travel 100% fee will apply. Outside of 96 hrs a €2 per person cancellation charge will apply.
- For all vehicles; No show mean, no refund