Located at the center of Greece, Parnassus is one of the biggest and most beautiful mountains of the country. Its highest part is Liakoura peak at 2.457 m. and Tsarkos (2.415 m.) and Gerontovrahos (2.389 m.) peaks follow.
Mount Parnassus is a great area which extends to the municipalities of Boeotia, Phthiotis and Phocis.
Since 1938 a big part of the forest area of the mountain, has been declared as a National Park, which along with the one on Olympus were the first ones that were established in Greece. The Mountain of Apollo, as it also called, is known from the ancient times, as there are many myths connected to it.
According to Greek mythology, the mountain took its name from the hero Parnassus, who had built on the mountain a city that was ruined by Deucalion’s flood. Then, the citizens of the city, following the wolves’ howling, were led up the mountain slope in order to save themselves from the flood, where they built a new city that they named Lykoreia, which means the howling of the wolves.
Parnassus is a unique and special place, a wildlife shelter, while on its ground many endemic plants grow such as the Parnassian peony.
There are many big or smaller traditional villages at the highland landscape of Parnassus. Arachova and Delphi are located at the south hillsides of the mountain on 960 m. and 570 m. altitude respectively. These two villages have many visitors all year long. The very popular Arachova with its beautiful architecture attracts thousands of visitors mostly during the winter months, while Delphi due to the ancient monuments attracts many tourists all year long. Agoriani (Eptalofos) is located at the north-west part of Parnassus at the altitude of 830m. to 950m. A village with many waters and thick fir forests, with the beautiful square with the plane trees and the waterfall, it is considered the most beautiful village in the area, mostly due to its natural beauty. During the last years, there is great tourism development. Amphicleia is a town, located at the north part of the mountain and it is the center of the North. Dozens of shops, a great market, a health center and the easy access to the ski resort make it the ideal destination. Polydrosos is located at an altitude of 350m. at the north part of the mountain also and it has an easy access to most of the villages at Parnassus as well as the ski resort. Ano Tithorea is located at the north-east part of the mountain in the beginning of Velitsa gorge at an altitude of 400 m. One of the most beautiful villages of Parnassus is Variani which is located at the west edge of the mountain, on the boarders with Giona and at an altitude of 900 m. with rich vegetation and a lot of water.
The establishment of the Oracle of Delphi, at the south-west hillside of Parnassus, attached prestige to the mountain from the ancient years until now, making it as holy as Olympus in Greek people’s eyes. Parnassus was dedicated to Apollo and the “Corycian nymphs”, who lived at the Corycian Cave on Lykoreia, and this was the place where the Muses used to live. Throughout history, Parnassus was the fortification of the Greek tribes of south Greece, against invaders from the north, with the greatest occurrence the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. against the Persian forces.
The mountain played an important part during Greek Revolution in 1821, since this was the place where many great battles between Greeks and Turks took place, mostly the battles of Alamana and Gravia.