It was a bright sunny day when we woke up in Delphi this morning.
After breakfast in our hotel, we enjoyed a final look at the view from our balcony, and then it was time to set off on our journey back to Athens.
We knew we had about 3 hours of driving ahead of us, but as our flight back to London wasn't until 20.00 this evening, we wanted to try to do something more interesting with the day than drive straight down the motorway back to Athens.
From doing some research online last night, we found that there is an "old" route between Delphi and Athens which doesn't involve going on the toll road. That sounded like it might be a lot more scenic!
Our journey started by leaving Delphi behind and driving towards the small village of Itea. Itea is situated on the coast and we thought it was the seaside town that we had been able to see in the distance from our balcony.
We found a place to park and admired the impressive Greek Orthodox church.
It was really beautiful.
We walked down from the church to the seafront.
The views here were really beautiful too.
We watched a fishing boat coming into the harbour, completely surrounded by seagulls!
And when we turned our backs on the sea, we could see up to Delphi on the slopes above.
We left Itea and began to drive through the mountains, in the direction of a town called Distomo.
The road here was really spectacular...
...and we had some more incredible views out to sea.
It's hard to make out in the photo, but there was a beautiful little Orthodox church with a blue roof on the top of the hill in front of us at this viewpoint.
We continued around the coast for a while...
...before stopping by the sea in Distomo.
There were some great views here too, and a little lighthouse.
From here our route took us inland. We drove through the nearby town of Livadia, but didn't stop because it all looked rather industrial. We continued on via minor roads to the village of Chaeronea, where we had read online that there was an ancient theatre.
There was indeed, and it was quite an unusual one, carved into the side of the mountain.
We drove on more tiny roads, past interesting churches, towards the village of Orchomenus.
There was a pretty monastery here....
...as well as another ancient theatre.
It was mid-afternoon by this point, so we needed to make progress back towards Athens. Tim successfully navigated the route back in and we handed back the hire car without any problems. Phew. We had just enough time to head back to one of the restaurants we'd enjoyed during the week for a late lunch. Tim went for a dish of beef and onions, in a tomato sauce...
...while I decided to try a Greek dish called pastitsio, which was basically like a Greek lasagne
It was a lovely meal, and a fun end to what has been a really great holiday. Greece has definitely surpassed my expectations, and I'm not sure anywhere will ever surpass the view from our Delphi hotel