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Just 34 km (21 miles) southwest of Delphi, Galaxidi (or Galaxeidi) is a pretty and picturesque village with a population of around 2,000, located on a well-protected natural double harbour on the northern coast of the Gulf of Corinth.
Built on the site of ancient Haleion, it has been inhabited since prehistoric times and archaeological findings from the Early Helladic, the Geometric, the Archaic and the Classical periods dot its vicinity. Haleion peaked during the Hellenistic and Roman periods until the second century A.D., after which Haleion fell into obscurity, only to be mentioned again in 981 A.D. as a result of its sacking by the invading Bulgarians.
Franks and Ottoman Turks also left their mark on its tumultuous history, including the town’s subjugation by the Villehardouins and then by the Ioannite Knights.
In view of its coastal location within the surrounding rugged mountainous topography which impeded overland connections, Galaxidi flourished as a maritime economy; indeed, its development of maritime trade through its sizeable merchant fleet peaked from the 18th till the early-20th centuries, its thriving commercial and maritime economy still exemplified by the luxurious houses of that period. The Nautical and Ethnological Museum is well worth a visit for its nautical paintings gallery as well as its archaeological exhibits, which now exceed 300 articles.
The preserved architecture of Galaxidi has contributed towards Galaxidi’s development as a visitor attraction, this being further reinforced by its beautiful verdant natural surroundings, its walking path in the forested headland opposite the waterfront – which itself is lined with tavernas, bars and shops.
The attractions of Galaxidi make it a location that must not be missed, the more so in view of its proximity with Ancient Delphi.
All images and clips copyright Eric CB Cauchi / Eternal Greece Ltd, unless otherwise stated.