Thrilling Delphi & Miraculous Lucas Monastery 9-h tour; The full-day (9 hours) private tour to Delphi and St Lucas Monastery or Heronia combines a visit to the unique archaeological site of Delphi, with one of the most important monasteries in Greece, the St (Ossios) Lucas Byzantine Monastery in Central Greece, or Heronia the famous lion statue.
Itinerary of the full-day private tour to Delphi and St Lucas Monastery
Athens – Levadia – Arachova – Delphi – Osios Lucas monastery or the impressive Cheronia Lion
View the route of the tour from Athens to Delphi and St Lucas monastery on Google maps
Highlights of the Thrilling Delphi & Miraculous Lucas Monastery 9-h tour
- The archaeological site of Delphi and the Oracle of God Apollo
- A short stop at Arachova, the picturesque winter tourist destination
- The Byzantine monastery of Ossios Lucas (Blessed Lucas)
- Visit the impressive and famous Cheronia Lion (option 2)
- A drive in the countryside of Central Greece
- Lunch at a traditional tavern overlooking the bay of Itea
Description of the tour to Delphi and St Lucas Monastery
The full-day private tour starts early in the morning from Athens, with a direction towards Central Greece. You will enjoy the lush greenery and a typical Greek – Mediterranean landscape on the route.
You will pass by Levadia and soon afterward you will arrive at the Monastery of Hosios Lucas, which is perhaps the most important monument of the Middle Byzantine period in Greece. Hagia Sophia of central Greece! The monastery is considered the most important Byzantine monument of 11th century Greece.
The 1.000-year-old monastery, a UNESCO-protected monument, welcomes daily visitors who bow to its unparalleled aesthetics and undoubted architectural value. The monastery of Hosios Loukas, located on the western slope of Mount Elikon, under the acropolis of Ancient Stirio, is known as Hagia Sophia of Roumeli and was built in the 11th century AD. According to the Byzantine architecture of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. It was a center of literature and arts and served as a secret school during the Turkish occupation. It is perhaps the only place in Greece where you feel you are back in time, directly in the Byzantine era. The temple of St. Luke is a place that every Christian should visit at least once in his life.
St Lucas monastery
It was founded in the 10th century by the saint who practiced there and was dear to the world, in whose eyes he saw a philanthropist and healer with prophetic abilities. When he died, a church complex was erected in his honor with all the grandeur and wealth of Byzantine architecture, which exemplified the later ones.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Parthenon is the symbol of Ancient Greece, and is Saint Lucas the symbol of Byzantine Greece. Engineered purely, it is an architectural masterpiece, with a perfect acoustic and stunning exploitation of natural lighting. And the awe that one feels when visiting the site becomes even greater when we consider that it was built a millennium ago with much less technical and computational means than it is today. It is a building that is at the same time imperial magnificent with unique and striking gold mosaics, but in a magical way can also convey the spirit of devotion and humility.
During the ten centuries since its inception, it played a leading role in the historic adventures of the place, winning the favor of emperors and officials during the Byzantine period. During the Frankish occupation, it came under the occupation of the Order of Catholic monks and saw the destructive fury of the conquerors, both Catalans, and Turks. In the war of 1821 against the Turkish army, the monastery was the base of Greek warriors.
After a short visit at the Monastery of St Lucas, the tour will continue towards Delphi, the outstanding archaeological site of Delphi, which used to be the center of attention of the entire known world in antiquity.
The famous Oracle of God Apollo impresses the visitors even today; during our full-day private tour, you will have the chance to visit the actual site of the Oracle and the Museum of Delphi that houses the bronze Charioteer and the Sphinx of Naxos and a number of significant and well-preserved monuments.
After the visit to the archaeological site, you will enjoy lunch in the little village of Delphi, enjoying a magnificent panoramic view of Itea bay.
After lunch, we will drive through Arachova, which is a picturesque mountainous village, built at the south slopes of Parnassus. It is renowned for its tasteful food and sweets, as well as for the handmade carpets and artifacts.
On this tour you have a second option; Instead of visiting the Ossios Lucas monastery, you could visit Chaeronea. Leaving Parnassos mountain line with its famous Delphi and Arachova villages, you will have a short stop at Cheronia to visit the famous statue of the Cheronian Lion.
The famous statue of the Cheronian Lion
It was erected at the battlefield in 338 B.C. by the king of Macedonia Phillip the 2nd, father of Alexander the Great, as a memorial for his victory against the Athenians and Thebans. Lion of Chaeronea, the calm giant who stands as a sign in honor of the fallen Thebans of the sacred company who fell in the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, a battle that sealed the fate of the Greeks, raised Philip and Macedonia as a hegemonic power. It was assembled from 5 pieces with its head facing the Macedonian mound located at a distance of three kilometers. Over time, its fragile pedestal could not withstand it and collapsed due to earthquakes or landslides causing it to disintegrate into pieces. Lord Byron will find it torn and half-buried, while Odysseus Androutsos will try to restore it in rough ways but in vain. The Sultan wanted to transport it to Constantinople and Ali Pasha to Ioannina to decorate their cities but fortunately, he was saved as his heavyweight made it difficult to transport. In 1902 the monument will be restored and erected on a new pedestal after the first excavations revealed 254 skeletons buried in seven rows.
After our visit to the impressive Lion of Chaeronea, 338 BC height 7 meters. Chaeronea, you will be returning to Athens, following the same route back. The tour lasts approx 9 hours.
- Shore Excursion - Private tour
- Activity level: Moderate
Included in the tour
- Car and Driver
- A professional English-speaking driver or escort with good knowledge of the history and culture of Greece, to guide you till you enter archaeological sites and museums. Tour drivers are not licensed to companion you inside the archaeological sites and museums. If you'd like to have a licensed state tour guide to escort you inside the sites and museums, we can arrange it for you at an additional cost. Licensed by the state tour guides are freelance and it is subject to availability on bookings day!
- Transport by air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz vehicle or similar appropriate for the size of your group
- Accommodation is based according to availability (for multiple-day tours only)
- Pick-up from and return to your hotel
- Pick-up from the Port of Piraeus
- Private tour, Road tolls and local taxes
- Our terminal: Leof. Andrea Siggrou 37, 117 43 Athina, Greece.
Excluded from the tour
- Entrance fees to the archaeological sites and museum
- Wine tasting fee (wine tours)
- Olive oil tasting fee (olive oil tasting tours)
- Gratuities (optional)
- Food and beverage
- Your private chauffeur/guide will discuss a program best suited to your interest and mobile abilities. Option for a professional tour guide with a state license at an extra cost. Read more for the difference between a STATE LICENSED TOUR GUIDE and a TOUR DRIVER GUIDE in Greece!
- Dress: religious and marmoreal sites: shoulders and knee must be covered
- Terms & Conditions and Frequent Questions
- Confirmation will be received at the time of booking
- A voucher will be emailed to you with our contact numbers and all necessary information for your tour.
- This is your ticket and proof of purchase. On the day of the tour please present a paper voucher in order to redeem your tour/activity.
Persons with Disabilities
- Due to uneven surfaces, certain sites are not recommended for persons with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair. Such sites are the Acropolis, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, Mycenae, Delphi and Meteora
- In all cases, we recommend comfortable flat-solid walking shoes, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
- Please note that on this tour, your tour driver is not licensed to accompany you on your climb. If you want this service you may book a licensed by-state tour guide for an extra cost.
- In case a group is followed by a licensed tour guide or an English speaking tour-escort the professional driver is not obliged to speak English!
Opening hours & Admission fees
- Opening Hours:Summer April 1st to October 31st from 08:00 AM to 07:30 PM
- Winter: November 1st to March 31st from 08:30 AM to 03:00 PM
- Free admission fees: Children under 18 & Students from E.U.
- Reduced admission fees: Citizens of the E.U. aged over 65 & Students from countries outside the E.U.
Free admission days
- March 6: In memory of deceased Minister of Tourism & visionary Melina Mercouri
- June 5: Environment international day
- April 18 : International monuments day
- May 18: International museums day
- September 27: International tourism day
- The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
- National Holidays
- Sundays in the period between 1 November and 31 March
- The first Sunday of every month, except for July, August, and September
- NOTE: If the first Sunday is a holiday then the second is the free admission day
Holidays in Greece
- January 1: closed
- January 6: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- Shrove Monday: 08:30AM - 03:00 PM
- March 25: closed
- Good Friday: 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM
- Holy Saturday: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- Easter Sunday: closed
- Easter Monday: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- May 1: closed
- Holy Spirit Day: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- 15 August 15: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
- October 28: 08:30 AM- 03:00 PM
- December 25 & 26: closed