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Visit Delphi with Kids in Greece

Date
Aug, 28, 2020

Delphi is a religious center dedicated to Apollo and a spectacular place for children to explore during holidays in Greece. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for families who love Greek history and mythology.

Delphi, Greece

I had been to Delphi several times before but in July 2020, I visited the site again with my family and friends. Here is what you need to know before you visit Delphi with kids!

Delphi with kids

To make the most out of your visit to Delphi with kids, I recommend you to read about Greek Mythology before your trip. I have listed my favorite mythology books for kids here.

The navel of the earth

Located on Mt. Parnassus, in ancient legend, Delphi was originally the home of Python, serpent son of Mother Earth, and Poseidon. Apollo, arriving as (or riding on) a dolphin, killed the serpent, which was buried in the omphalos, the belly button of the world. The sanctuary of Delphi was at its peak during the 8th century BC. During that period, the citizens of most Greek cities would travel to Delphi and consult the oracle when they needed to take an important decision.

The ancient Greeks considered this place to be the navel of the earth. In Delphi, you will see impressive monuments such as the Athenian Treasury, the Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, the Navel of the Earth, the Sacred Way, the Apollo Temple, and many more!

Delphi with kids

Tip: In summer, bring lots of water with you.

Delphi with kids

Our visit to Delphi with kids

We opted for a private guided tour with Delphi Guided Tours Georgia Hasioti and emmersed ourselves in the history of Delphi.

Delphi with kids

We met our local state-licensed guide Georgia at the entrance of the archaeological site and followed the Holy Route or Sacred Way to the Athenian Treasury and to the Temple of Apollo to consult the oracle of Pythia.

Then, we headed north to visit the ancient theatre. We imagined music from the ancient concerts, saw engravings in the rocks, and climbed to the highest spot in the ancient Stadium.

Delphi with kids

Sanctuary of Apollo 

The Sacred Precinct is a big complex, built at different times, from 600 BC into the Roman era. As you walk up the Sacred Way, you just have to imagine all the buildings and sculptures on either side. On the first section, there were tons of bronze statues, then several treasuries, small buildings where cities displayed their power and wealth.

Omphalos

Where the Sacred Way turns to go up the hill, stop at the omphalos, the center of the universe. Kids can rub their hands on the belly button of the world (it’s a replica). Originally the omphalos was located underneath the Temple of Apollo, or near the Castalian Spring, the belly button seems to move around.

Polygonal wall 

Check out the polygonal wall, a retaining wall for the temple of Apollo, not like retaining walls for your garden at home, except this retaining wall is thousands of years old, has withstood earthquakes, without any mortar to hold the stones in place. And on this wall are inscriptions of the names of freed slaves.

Delphi with kids

Temple of Apollo 

The temple of Apollo was suitably grand. Out front, there were huge golden tripods and a gigantic statue of Apollo. Inside the temple, in the innermost room (adyton), the priestess oracle sat, dispensing divine advice. We learned that the priestess was usually a woman from a rich family of the nearby village chosen to stay at the temple for the rest of her life. Although the oracle of Delphi is long gone, we felt the special energy of the place.

Theater 

The Pythian Games were not just about sports. At Delphi, the emphasis was music and drama competitions – winning playwrights were crowned with ivy wreaths. This 4th-century theater is beautifully preserved, although you can’t sit in the seats and pretend you’re watching the show. From above the theater, there’s a wonderful panorama of the valley below. Have a look!

Delphi with kids

Stadium 

Follow the path up the hill to the stadium, where sports events were held. The stadium looks familiar, a long dirt field with bleachers on either side for the spectators.

Don’t miss the stone starting blocks, where the athletes positioned themselves for the start of the race.

Delphi with kids

Delphi Archaeological Museum

After visiting the Delphi archaeological site, we went to the nearby museum. The museum is located at walking distance from the site. In the Delphi Archaeological Museum, your family can admire unique treasures such as the Naxian Sphinx, the Statue of Antinous and other masterpieces of classical Greek art.

Delphi with kids

We saw many exquisite pieces found in the ruins at Delphi. Most stunning is the Charioteer, a 5th century BC bronze statue of a chariot driver – such incredible detail, you can even see the man’s eyelashes. There’s also the bronze feet of the Charioteer’s horse, plus a marble copy of the omphalos, bronze shields, and sculpture from the Sanctuary of Apollo.

Delphi with kids

The museum displays maquettes and explanatory material, making it an interesting visit for kids too.

Delphi with kids

Book a private guided tour

If you want to book this private guided tour and read what is included, click here: Delphi Guided Walking Tour and Admission Ticket.

Delphi with kids

For more information and booking Delphi Guided Walking Tour and Admission Ticket.

The UNESCO Site of Delphi is set in a beautiful location, and your kids imaginations can run wild as they explore this ancient place. Be sure to have plenty of battery power and camera space – there will be lots of videos and photos taken this day!

Delphi with kids

Your guide will also show you around the accompanying museum and explain in a fun and informative way the significance of the exhibits and artefacts there. At the end of this tour, you will all know a lot more about Ancient Greece, the role of the Oracle, and perhaps find some deeper meaning behind the Greek Gods and Mythology.

Tips for visiting Delphi with Kids

  • If you visit Delphi from Athens, the journey is around 2 hours drive each way from Athens
  • Buy water before you enter the site
  • Bring a hat and sun cream. Especially during summer months, the sun is very hot and there are only a few shady spots
  • If you visit in summer, it is best to avoid the site around noon
  • Wear sports shoes in the outside archaeological area
  • The site is not stroller friendly. Following a request, the north gate of the Ancient Theatre can be opened to allow a basic view of the site
  • Food consumption is not allowed
  • For guided tours, you need to arrange for a private guide before your visit. There are no guides at the museum or at the archaeological site.
  • If you visit with your own car, you need to park at the side of the road. Be careful crossing the road with kids.

Where to stay in Delphi?

Delphi village is a well organized tourist town with many family hotels and other types of accomodation. Click here to find hotels and price information for accomodation in Delphi.

Ganimede Hotel Galaxidi

We decided to combine our visit to Delphi with a beach vacation in Galaxidi. We stayed at Ganimede Hotel. Click here to find more information about the hotel and Galaxidi.

Day trips to Delphi from Athens

If your base is Athens, consider a day trip to Delphi. For families, I recommend an organized tour with transport included. Have a look at the following tours:

Delphi Full-Day Tour from Athens

If your kids are love Greek Mythology, they will already know the Oracle. Visiting Delphi will be a real treat for them! This tour starts in the morning at a meeting point in Athens and includes a stop for a stretch and refreshments. In Delphi, your guide will show you around the site, and explain all about the myths and legends associated with it. Did you know, for example, that Hercules first consulted the Oracle before setting off on his 12 Labors?

Included is a visit to the Delphi Museum and free time for lunch before boarding the bus for your return trip to Athens.

Click here for more information and booking your Delphi Full-Day Tour from Athens

Delphi with kids
Delphi with kids

From Athens: Private Road Trip to Delphi

If your family prefers a private tour with a more flexible schedule, I recommend the From Athens: Private Road Trip to Delphi. Your pick up is from your hotel and you will visit Delphi by private car or minivan. You will be accompanied by your driver, a guide is not included in this private tour.

Click here for more information and booking your From Athens: Private Road Trip to Delphi.

Delphi with kids

A trip to Delphi with kids is a must-visit when in Greece. The special energy in Delphi can be felt everywhere. The amazing scenery and views, as well as the thrill of watching world-famous monuments, is something I recommend every family in Greece to experience!

Delphi with kids

PS. If you love Ancient Greece as much as we do, you will also like the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus. Have you been to Delphi or Epidaurus? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Celeste

Celeste is the founder of Family Experiences Blog. A blog created by parents for parents full of invaluable tips and ideas. Whether you and your family live in Greece or are visiting, this blog will show you the very best ways in which to celebrate family life here.

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MY STORY

Family Experiences Blog

Hi, Welcome to my blog! I am Celeste, mom of two girls, who loves to travel. I have spent over 25 years exploring beautiful Greece.

When my kids were born, it became my passion to find quality family destinations. Since then, we have been travelling full-time to find kid-friendly spots.

If you need inspiration for planning your family vacation in Greece, I am here to help! As a passionate insider parent, I review hotels, places to visit and activities for kids.

Join me as I explore Greece and life with my family, one tiny adventure at the time!

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