By Katerina- Kallisto Gounari
Located at an altitude of 968m and just a few kilometres away from the famous Parnassos Ski Center, this mountain village is one of the most cosmopolitan winter destinations in Greece. Less than two hours away from Athens, and just a few minutes from the archeological site of Delfi, iy has very good vibes and offers a lot of choices for short escapes.
Due to its high touristic growth, it offers a variety of accommodation types. Resorts, luxurius spas, wooden chalets hidden into the forest, swimming pools surrounded by firs and small guesthouses. On Saturday nights you will meet the Greek jet –set enjoying its dance floors. Around the Lakka square, which is the classic meeting point, you can find the most popular bars and coffee-shops. The central street -800 m. long- is where the majority of the shops are located. Look for the pastry of Dimakis, where the locals meet since 1958 and has no sign.
Its role in history has been very important and has also lived glorious moments. Worldwide celebrities like the Beatles and Winston Churchill, have visited the place, invited by Onassis.
Αccommodation may be modern, but as far as food is concerned mountain tradition prevails. There is plenty of other choices, of course, like fish and soups. Famous smoked chese formaela is a must, try it grilled!
A visitor arrives and leaves Arachove by crossing bridges. On the night before the celebration of Mary on the 21th November, all the villages lights are on.
Thankfully luxury and tourism haven’t spoiled the tradition. If you decide to walk around the narrow alleys and follow the stone steps all the way down to the valley, you will reach another side of the village. Little houses and country yards with fresh flowers reveal the every day “secret” world of Arachova. Behind the natty curtains, women cook letting delicious scents escape.
To go uphill follow the 264 steps called by the locals “Egarsios” every step carrying a different legend. The old men at “kafeneio” will happily tell you some. Keep on walking uphill till you reach the historic church of Agios Georgios - an important local symbol as it was used as headquarters for the Battle of Arachova in 1826. Enter the yard, you are now standing on the top of the village, enjoy the high views.
Bus: There are regular services during the day from Athens and Thessaloniki. Cost: €15, estimated time: 2,5 – 3 hours
Train: The train from Athens stops at the station of Livadia. Then take the local bus to Arachova. Total cost: €8