Arachova is the most popular winter resort at close proximity to the capital of Greece, Athens, as it is only 2 hours away and it can be combined with the nearby ski resort of Parnassos.
The town is the "playground" of the rich and famous ski aficionados and it is filled with life all through wintertime and especially during the weekends.
Hordes of skiers flock here, before or after their skiing, at the numerous atmospheric cafes, tavernas and bars, to socialize, see and be seen, party like crazy till the early morning hours. Aegean Key has chosen Arachova as it is the ideal starting point for vacations that combine cultural and archaeological treasures, winter sports and activities in nature (trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing), good food and lots of action throughout the year!
Arahova is built on the southern slopes of Mt Parnassos at an altitude of approximately 960 m. You will be surprised by the beauty of its hilltop, stone houses, covered with the winter's snow, right below the impressive snowcapped mountain. Climb the stairs to the top of the Afano hill, where you will find the largest and most historic stone church in town, dedicated to St. George, patron saint of Arachova.
The most popular itinerary for a short side trip is Delphi- Itea- Galaxidi.
Some ideas for side trips:
Just 12 km, or half an hour drive from Arachova, is the archaeological site of Delphi. This amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site is featured as one of the "holy places" in the world. During your visit, you will see the temple of God Apollo, the Ancient Stadium, the Archeological Museum, the Temple of Athena Pronaia, the Treasury of the Athenians on Iera Odos (Holly Road).
Itea (28,5 kms from Arachova), in the southeastern part of Phocis on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth, along the Crissaean Gulf, is the second bigger town in Delphi Municipality. This quaint seaside town is a wonderful and relaxing stop over, where you can see the remains of a medieval tower at the picturesque fishing boat port.
Galaxidi, at a distance of 44 kms from Arachova or 40 minutes by car, in Phokis Prefecture, you find yourselves in one of the most picturesque seaside towns of Greece. It is located around a quaint harbor, featuring fishing boats and impressive yachts. During your strolls, you will be amazed by this elegant destination, filled with neoclassical buildings with paved country yards. Don’t miss a visit at the Church of Aghios Nikolaos, the patron saint of sailors and at the Naval Museum, which depicts the nautical traditions in the area.
Further on, at 30 km, lies the most important Byzantine monument of Greece, the historic walled monastery of Hosios Loukas, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art. In the neighboring Distomo is the Mausoleum of Victims of Nazism, where the Skulls of the victims of Distomo massacre - 218 men, women and children - are placed.
Heading north, at 158 kms from Arachova, the small town of Karpenisi, capital of Evrytania, on the slopes of Pindos Mountains, is named “Little Switzerland”, and it’s worth it! Forested mountains and majestic rivers are ideal for hiking, mountaineering, 4x4 adventures, on-off bikes and mountain biking, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, canyoning, river trekking and horse riding. All these activities are organized by alternative tourism companies which operate in this region, with experienced guides. Also a special experience is a flight with parapente (parachute mountain slope).
Get the Taste
Arachova’s air is filled with the smell of the wood that burns at the fireplaces and the incredible aroma of grilled meat dishes, coming from the numerous tavernas all around.
Mixed grill, sausages, roast lamb on the spit, lamb chops, are only some of the devilishly meaty dishes that will make your mouth water.
Side dishes include the local Formaela cheese fried “Saganaki” style, escorted with local Arachova wine. For desert, choose full fat yoghurt with honey and nuts.
Mountain & Ski
Parnassos Ski Center, just 40 minutes from Arachova, is one of the best organized in Greece. There are 19 slopes, 7 ski trails, 8 connecting paths and 3 mini novice slopes with baby lifts, total length of 36 Km.
The facilities include the areas Kelaria and Fterolakka, at an elevation of 1,600-2,250m, in all degrees of difficulty and for all skill levels and different types of difficulty. M. Defner Sarandari Refuge is just 500m away from the Gerontovraxos ski center (2.396 m), which has been unified with Kellaria. If you are experienced, just hit the slopes. If you are beginners, Parnassos Ski center cooperates with organized ski schools and qualified, individual ski tutors who have the appropriate certificates. There are many off-piste "black" routes with deep snow and lots and lots of adrenaline and 2 Fun parks in Cellars and Fterolaka.
Eleven kilometres from Karpenissi, Velouchi ski area is small but quite popular destination for both experienced and amateur skiers. It has 7 lifts in total and 11 tracks between 1840m and 2220m. The chalet has a restaurant, a cafeteria, a ski school, a ski gear rental store and accommodation facilities.
Hiking & Cycling: For lovers of nature and mountain Arachova is the starting point of a trip to incredible beauty spots of Parnassos and its countless trails and paths leading to green meadows, waterfalls at their height exceeds 80 meters. Mountaineering, paragliding, canyoning, are only some of the many more activities you can choose. In the wider mountain area of Parnassos there are two paths, the long-distance E4 European path and the National path #22. There are four cycling routes - 3 of which can also be used by hikers-, 1 downhill, 2 freeride and 1 cross-country.
The area is world famous for hand-woven goods, rugs and carpets, fluffy flokati, tagari bags (Arachova is famous for its tapestry), embroidery, various traditional souvenirs and local delicatessen products (try Formaella Cheese, Trachanas, Xylopites - Local Pasta-, Olives, Liquors made of herbs from the mountains). Many shops are lined along the central road, so, opportunities are plenty.
As Arachova is noted for its style and elite tourism, there also plenty of fashion stores, offering famous brands (D&G, Helios, Amelie, Ocean, Boom Up, Eleven Paris, American Vintage), for winter or skiing outfits. If you are interested in fur or leather products, you will find a wide variety from local craftsmen.
Skiers will find well-equipped ski shops in the square and the main street.