We flew into Athens, Greece in September, 2022, rented a car, and headed off to the beautiful mountain village of Arachova. We were so excited to be back in Greece again and we were ready for many fun plans for the next two weeks. Arachova is in southern Greece about two hours northwest of Athens. This lovely village sets at the base of Mt. Parnassos and extends up the mountain like stadium seating. It is best known as a busy ski resort and winter playground but we found it to be super quaint in the off season as well.
But First Coffee
The drive from Athens International Airport was uneventful although we were in desperate need of a good coffee after flying 11 hours. Jointly the decision was made to wait until after we were out of the city for our coffee and then find a local authentic Greek spot. We did not want to have our first Greek coffee at at quick stop kind of place.
Just over an hour of driving and we spotted a Kafeteria on a corner. This brick coffee shop with outdoor seating looked perfect for our first flitzani Elliniko Cafe (cup of Greek Coffee).
My Greek language skills are not good but I was able to order coffees for both of us with much help in conversing with the owner. His English was much better than my Greek so it all worked well.
The coffee was delicious. As we sat outside savoring the strong taste we conversed with the owner. I must add, although I love all coffee, this was the best Greek coffee of my trip! Both he and his companion gave us great information of other small villages to stop at when we travel from Arachova to Delphi the next day, unfortunately we took a different route there, but nonetheless, I have them jotted down if we return. Once again, we found the philoxenia, or Greek hospitality, absolutely wonderful.
The drive from Kastro to Arachova is very pretty area of Greece and I enjoyed driving towards Mt. Parnassos. We stopped at the scenic view overlooking the village and it is postcard picture perfect.
Arriving in Arachova, Greece
The mountainous village of Arachova is even prettier than in the photos I have seen. The cobblestone streets and sidewalks along with the stone buildings give the village a warm and quaint charm.
Shopping and Wandering the Village
The village of Arachova is a perfect Greek mountain town. Every turn we made took us to another perfect view. One thing I should mention is there are a lot of steps here and they can be slick. On the plus side it is a great work out!
We stopped here and bought the local cheese, Formaella. Formaella is a semi-hard cheese made of sheep’s milk, goat milk, or a blend of both. The one we purchased was made of only sheep milk. Produced only in this area, Formaella cheese has gained CDO status (Controlled Denomination of Origin). We bought some Formaella cheese and enjoyed it with bread and fruit for lunch quite a few days during our trip. It was very good! We also bought some local honey and trahana to take home.
Where We Ate
Our host at Almond House where we were staying recommended and made us a reservation at To Tsoukali, a traditional Greek restaurant. This place was awesome.
The owner welcomed us and sat at our table and discussed the menu options with us, after finding we have been to Greece before he suggested some traditional, but not the usual, Greek dishes for the table. Dishes would be served one at a time and we could decide if we wanted additional choices after each course. We liked this idea and were actually pretty excited about it.
The meal started with bread and tzatziki followed by the tastiest soup I’ve had in a long time. It was tomato based with trahana, spices and feta cheese. Next was steamed vlita (wild greens) with olive oil, feta and spices. The spices were on the side of the bowl so you could dish it up as much or as little of the spice as you desired. Next we enjoyed fava with diced eggplant. I have always said Santorini has the best fava but I think the fava here ties Santorini for my first place winner!
We were so full we were not able to advance to the main course! Although we were stuffed, we still were able to eat more, a custard type dessert with cherry spoon sweets was brought to us for dessert. Along with this was served a digestif that consisted of a type of liqueur. I didn’t catch what it was but it tasted similar to a good bourbon with a hint of cherry. Nostimo! (delicious).
I totally recommend this restaurant!
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the homey Almond House Suites. Just a few minutes walk from the town we enjoyed the peacefulness of this lodge. With a beautiful view of Mt. Parnassus and also the Gulf of Corinth, we found time to relax and enjoy our first evening. In addition, a homemade breakfast is available that is totally amazing. The hospitality of the host and his wife, the cleanliness and the comfort of the hotel also deserve a shout out, not to mention the fantastic views!
Arachova, Greece is the perfect spot to enjoy a stay in. If you are visiting Delphi, I highly recommend you stay here! My next blog post will feature the ancient city of Delphi.