Of Mountains & Sea
THE REGION OF FOKIDA
A region of renowned history, the prefecture of Fokida lies in central Greece, north of the Gulf of Corinth.
A breathtaking combination of mountain and sea, it is no wonder this area was the one chosen to host sacred Delphi, known as the center of the world. Aside from its ancient allure, Fokida is speckled with picturesque villages steeped in tradition. Whether situated along the coastline, on mountaintops or among olive tree groves, these villages possess quite a unique charm. A mountainous region, the area is home to Mounts Giona and Parnassos, Greece’s popular ski resort area.
When visiting Fokida, some of the must-see towns include:
Named after the itia, a willow tree, the modern town of Itea was founded in the Crissaean Gulf in 1830. Following the Hippodamian Plan grid road system, the urban landscape in Itea offers a sort of structure that is a rarity in Greece. Characteristic of this town is its rather vibrant waterfront cafe culture, quaint streets, neoclassical buildings, lush green surroundings, access to local fresh fish and olive products, and above all, a simply breathtaking sunset view composed of majestic pink, orange and blue hues. A number of pristine pebbled beaches are located nearby. Combining mountain and sea, Itea is an ideal location to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Situated along the Gulf of Corinth, the picturesque town of Galaxidi is today known for its famous annual aleuromoutzouroma, a flour fight on Clean Monday. In history, Galaxidi, built on a double harbor, was the location of choice for many a powerful ship owner, as can be seen in the fancy neoclassical architecture of its houses and buildings. Home to the Maritime Museum of Galaxidi, the town’s very traditional waterfront restaurants and cafes overlook a lush pine forest planted in the early 20th century. Though the location was inhabited during medieval ages, no structures from that time remain today.
A sanctuary of significant religious and cultural influence celebrated as the center of the earth in ancient times, sacred Delphi is world-renowned for hosting the Oracle Pythia. Visited by the rulers of men throughout the centuries, the area today constitutes one of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations. Situated on the southwestern slope of Mount Parnassus, ancient Delphi featured impressive monuments and buildings filled with treasures. The area was the site of the Pythian and Panhellenic Games that preceded the Olympics. Home to an archaeological site and museum that overlook a magnificent coastal plain, the area is recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
WORDS + PHOTOS: Portes Magazine