Combining mountain and sea, the small bathing resort and port of Itea is the perfect destination for those seeking an authentic Greek experience near the famed site of Delphi. Just as sweet as the wildflower, thyme and fir honey for which this quiet coastal town is known for, are the waking views of both mountain and ocean. So, from dining to sightseeing and local experiences, these are some of our tips and favourite places to go if you want to experience Itea, Greece like a local.
Food – What do the locals eat?
As you drive into Itea from the mountainous surrounds, you’ll notice that the hills are covered with olive trees, which once belonged to the sanctuary of Apollo in ancient times. Itea has since been nicknamed the “sea of olives” and their production is now an important part of the local economy – in fact, the Amfissa olive trees are protected by UNESCO.
Being a port village, it comes with little surprise that fresh seafood is common on all plates and menus in Itea. One local favourite is Seafood Ouzo; a hybrid dish that borrows from Italian risotto and Greek Kritharaki. Using various types of seafood, this dish is essentially a variation of the classic northern Greek dish mussel pilaf.
Authentic to the Roumeli region (Central Greece) is the kontosouvli; BBQ spit-roasted meat. Unlike other parts of Greece, Iteans use lamb for their kontosouvli, not pork. Here, the lamb kontosouvli is stuffed with walnuts, pine nuts, feta and trahana.
Considered to be the best honey in the world, Moka Honey is produced by a local family. Under the shadow of Mount Parnassus, the family produce honey from thyme and fir, which is considered the most qualitative flora for honey production. Visitors to Itea can visit the honey farm and the shop can deliver products to hotels in Itea.
Raki is an alcoholic beverage that contains about 40-65% alcohol by volume. It’s made by distilling pomace (the remains of grapes pressed in winemaking) for about six weeks. The drink is similar to orujo in Spain, grappa in Italy and marc in France.
Sites – Discover the Undiscovered
Enjoy a meal with a view
The taverns, seafood restaurants, cafes and bars that line the promenade of Itea Beach are the best places where you can enjoy fresh seafood and a variety of local dishes, all with an amazing view of the Corinthian Gulf and the Peloponnese.
Stroll along the waterfront
Whether you’re visiting Itea during the summer or winter, a stroll along the picturesque waterfront is always a nice way to kill some time and enjoy the local scenery. In the warmer months, the waterfront comes to life with cultural events and water sports; and in the cooler months, you can walk along the promenade and enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants.
Visit some blue flag beaches
There are many beautiful, clean beaches around Itea, including the blue flag beaches of Trocadero and Miami. Some other nice, peaceful beaches include Xenia, Annunciation, Vrachakia and St. John.
Located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus is the Corycian Cave. The hike to the cave is a full-day endeavour, however, is a truly magical experience. The cave plays a significant part in Greek mythology, as Delphi, the ancient city at the foot of Mount Parnassus was where the oracle once gave cryptic predictions and guidance to visitors. Visitors would then hike to the sacred Corycian Cave of Pan, the god of the wild, and his nymphs during the winter when Apollo (the son of Zeus) abandoned his post.
Day trip to Galaxidi
20 minutes along the coast from Itea is the small island town of Galaxidi. Perfect for a day trip, Galaxidi is home to many beautiful neoclassical houses, old captains’ mansion, picturesque ports and the charm of a non-commercialised town.
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