Mount Parnassus, a limestone spur in central Greece, north of the Gulf of Corinth, is one of the world’s most significant sites – and a ‘must-see’ for travellers interested in culture and history.
Towering above the ancient sanctuary of Delphi, the mountain plays a big role in Greek mythology.
In addition to being sacred to the god Apollo, who often visited the nearby Oracle at Delphi, the mountain was thought to be the residence of the Muses and, as a result, the home of poetry and song.
Even the name Parnassus, effectively means the mountain of the house of the God.
Over the centuries, Mount Parnassus has influenced many poets, writers and singers. For this reason, the name of the mountain (Mont Parnasse) was given to a quarter of Paris, France on the left bank of the Seine, where artists and poets used to gather and recite their poems in public.
Ruins of the ancient city of Delphi, which are visited by huge numbers of people each year, nestle into the south-western slope of the mountain – overlooking the coastal plain.
The phenomenal influence of this area in the ancient world – the Greeks called Delphi the centre of the world – resulted in its classification as a World Heritage Site.
Although Delphi is mostly known as the home of the Oracle, the city itself had much to offer.
Every four years, the Pythian Games were held there and the ancient city also had an amphitheater, gymnasium, and other sanctuaries dedicated to gods and goddesses such as Artemis, Dionysus, and Poseidon.
Mount Parnassus and Delphi are a comfortable day trip from Athens.
We travelled to the Greek capital courtesy of Scoot, which flies modern Boeing Dreamliners to and from Asia and Australia.