If you’re road-tripping from Athens through mainland Greece, plan a pit stop at one of these hotels in Delphi, a city best known for being home to the imposing Temple of Apollo.
The ancient Greeks considered Delphi to be the centre of the world, and today this village, two and a half hours north of Athens, has the centuries-old ruins and churches to prove it. Like ancient Olympia, it is a place of great spiritual significance for Greece, surrounded by rugged mountain scenery that makes it a heart-lifting stop on a historical road trip. Here are the best places to rest your head if you’re stopping in Delphi.
Perched high on Delphi’s slopes, with fantastic views over both mountains and sea from its balconies, Acropole has the feeling of a simple but modern rural lodge. Single rooms are great value for solo travellers and have everything you need for a night or two’s stay. Park yourself in the traditional dining room and bar, with its roaring fireplace, after a long day’s sightseeing.
This pretty, whitewashed guest house has quaint shutters and plants trailing from petite balconies, but its interiors are surprisingly modern: all cool-tiled floors, tongue-and-grove ceilings and smart sofa nooks. Fling open those shutters for dizzying views down into the valley; you’ll see even more from the slim terrace at the Elia bar and restaurant. Take your home-baked breakfast pastries and honey-drizzled yoghurt out first thing for a moment alone with nature.
This fresh addition to the area channels modern style with cushioned suede headboards, slender pendant lamps and glossy woods. The downstairs area is more rustic, with traditional Greek costumes on display, birdcage light fittings and an open fireplace. Book a top-floor room with a slanting wooden roof for a mountain-chalet vibe. The hot cooked breakfast each morning and friendly staff make for a particularly warm welcome.
This guest house has dazzling views of Delphi and the Gulf of Corinth from its balconies and a particularly varied and generous breakfast buffet for the area (they’re even able to cater wonderfully for vegans, not a given in rural Greece). Decor is light, bright and simple, with pots of orchids and art prints. Best of all, the location is spot on for exploring Delphi’s historic sites – particularly the fourth-century Temple of Apollo, tucked into Mount Parnassus. There’s even a fully stocked bar for post-sightseeing cocktails.
In the heart of Delphi’s modern city, Pitho has a lovely roof terrace looking out over mountains and sea. Three- and four-bed rooms keep things affordable for families and groups (there are singles, too), and most have comfy sofas. You’re among local shops and bakeries so it’s always easy to stock up on snacks, though the on-site breakfast is also deliciously simple, with huge hunks of watermelon, yoghurt, cereals and boiled eggs.
On the verdant slopes above Delphi’s sights and the Gulf of Corinth coastline, slick Amalia has one main draw: a huge swimming pool, surrounded by evergreen trees and blessed with an endless view. Inside are modern rooms with low-slung beds, simple bathrooms and wide balconies to take in the scenery; there’s a fetching lounge, too, with Seventies-style furniture, a retro wood burner and floor-to-ceiling windows.
A 7km (4mi) drive from Delphi’s main archaeological sites, Elia has wood-clad ceilings, heavy brass beds and fireplaces, giving it a historic, sophisticated feel. Outside is a lovely vine-trailed patio for cocktails or coffee, and the setting – in the tranquil village of Chrisso – is a lovely base for the area. There’s free parking, too.
This buttercup-yellow building at the foot of Mount Parnassus has a lovely sun-trap terrace where you can contemplate russet rooftops and plunging valleys while you drink your morning coffee. Inside are simple but smart rooms with uniform glossy wood furniture and bijou balconies; the kind hosts make families feel extra welcome, and gifts of fresh flowers and fruit are lavished upon all.