Home of the Muses in Greek myth, 8,061-foot (2,457-meter) Mt. Parnassus is one of the star attractions of Parnassos National Park. Activities on offer span the gamut from skiing and snowmobiling to climbing and mountain biking via hiking and 4WD adventures, but most travelers experience it only on a visit to the ancient site of Delphi.
There is no charge to visit Parnassos National Park or to soak up the scenery as you drive by Mt. Parnassus’ stark peak. You’ll need a pass to ski either Kellaria, with 10 lifts and mainly intermediate slopes, or Fterolakka, with seven lifts and some challenging off-piste. Most international visitors to Greece discover Mt. Parnassus as part of a trip to ancient Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site once famed for its female prophet, the original oracle.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Mt. Parnassus is of particular interest to fans of Greek and Roman mythology, lovers of wildflowers, and ski addicts.
- Weather can change quickly on Mt. Parnassus. Bring warm gear when hiking in fall or spring.
- While parts of the ancient Delphi site are accessible for wheelchair users, Mt. Parnassus is not generally an accessible destination.
How to Get There
Mt. Parnassus towers above Delphi in Sterea Ellada on the Greek mainland. With no ski buses, driving is your only practical option if you plan to hit the slopes, while Mt. Parnassos National Park is also best visited by driving or on a tour. The bus ride from Athens to Delphi takes 2.5 hours, so many travelers prefer to visit the site and Mt. Parnassus on an organized tour.
When to Get There
Late spring (late April to mid-May) is a wonderful time to hike on Mt. Parnassus, with a spectacular display of wildflowers and, often, scented herbs underfoot. The ski season typically runs from mid-December until the end of April, with the slopes at their busiest on weekends, during the Christmas–New Year period, and over the Greek Orthodox Easter holiday.
Mt. Parnassus in Greek Mythology
Mt. Parnassus has given its name to more than just a mountain in Colorado. In Greek and Roman mythology, it’s best known as the home of the Muses, goddesses of literature, science, and the arts, and often stands as a synonym for poetry and big ideas. It’s also associated with Apollo, the god of prophecy, who was worshipped at Delphi on its lower slopes.