A coarse, rough, Doric and at the same time warm
hospitable land. This is Fokida (ancient Phocis). Travelling
around, the local as well as the foreign visitor - traveller has
the opportunity to get to know and admire a place with several natural
beauties, in an alternating geomorphologic landscape and to walk on
the footprints of the human presence for thousands of years.
Departing from today the traveller reaches the area of myth. He will
feel the human presence in every corner of Fokida, the centre
"omphalos" of the Greek land and he will live its passage and route in
their authentic form through mythology, history, art and civilisation. He
will feel the warmth and the hospitality of its contemporary inhabitants
and he will become a voluntary ambassador of its beauty, history and
contribution to the world living far from its borders.
Fokida (Phocis) owes its name to the mythological hero Phocus, son
of Aiacus, king of Aegina who conquered the region or, according to a
different version, to Phocus, son of Ornytus, king of Corinth, who
conquered the region of Phocis.
Its first inhabitants were Pelasgi (Pelasgians) and later on came and
mixed with them Aiolians and Dorians. In the antiquity, Fokida was not
geographically the same as today. It extended eastwards to Locris and
Anticyra. With the formation of the Greek State, the region of Esperian
Locris was added to Fokida with most important cities, the cities of
Amfissa (Amphissa), ancient Myonia (nowadays Ag. Efthimia), Halaion,
Oianthi (Galaxidi), Tolophon and Efpalion.
Fokida department (with the ancient "eparchies" of Parnasida and
Dorida) is at the centre of Greece (omphalos (navel)) and adjoins the
departments of Boeotia (East), Fthiotida (North), Etoloakarnania (West);
region's south frontier is the Corinthian Gulf. It is 2,122 km 2 in extent.
36 km 2 are plain, 560 km 2 are covered by forests and the rest of the
region is mountainous with low vegetation and rocky ground.
it has a population of 48,526 inhabitants (census of
2001), which becomes almost double during the summer period. Its
capital is Amfissa, the historic Salona. It includes twelve municipalities:
Municipality of Amfissa, of Itea, of Delphi, of Desphina, Galaxidi,
Parnassus (administrative centre:
Polidrosos), Kallieis (administrative
centre: Mavrolithari), Gravia, Efpalion,
Tolophon (administrative centre:
Eratini), Lidoriki and Vardoussia
(administrative centre: Krokilio). It has
an alternating geomorphological
landscape endowed by nature with the
beauty of contrasts. It is decorated by
proud, high, historic mountains of a
wild beauty (Giona, Parnassus,
Vardoussia, Oiti), which attract
mountain climbers, nature-worshippers,
tourists and lovers of the skiing. Here it
was constructed Mornos river artificial
damp. But, at the same time, Fokida has
superb beaches that satisfy even the
most demanding of its visitors.
The role it has played to history has
been very significant.Its contribution to
the struggles of Greek people for their
survival is inestimable. (Delphi, Pythia,
Amphiktionies, Salona Fortress (Orgia),
Salona, Chani of Gravia and Odisseas Androutsos, Native land of many heroes of the 1821 revolution: G.
Makriyiannis, Athan. Diakos, Gouras, Panourgias, Diovouniotis, Isaiah
bishop of Salona, Skaltsodimos, Siafakas, Komna Traka, Papandria Mori
and many others, as well as of famous personalities of sciences, art,
letters, such as Al. Delmouzos, K. Kondos, Giannis Skarimbas and
Its main resources are agriculture (olive-trees), mineral wealth
(bauxite), forests, livestock, fish farms and Tourism.
Fokida, being away from the centres of current developments,
preserves with zeal everything old and authentic disappeared from all
other places. In its cities and villages the visitor will become acquainted
with the other aspect of Greece, enjoying simultaneously all modern
comforts. At the unique museum of Delphi and at the archaeological
and cultural museums of Fokida department, the visitor will meet
region's history. The climbers will discover itineraries of unique beauty,
while there are many organised refuges. Those who like walking can
profit from region's ravines, hills and paths. Visiting Parnassus National
Park is a unique experience. From Artotina, at the western limits of the
department, passes the European Road ¶4 , which afterwards crosses
Vardoussia and Giona and leads the mountain walkers to Delphi. At the
northwestern part of Parnassus, at the region "Itamos", in the deep
forest, there is a well-looked-after complex of tourist facilities, in
harmony with nature, perfect for isolation, relaxation and
concentration. But for those who prefer the calmness of the sea rather
than mountain mysterious charm, there are the clean and beautiful
beaches of that part of Fokida, which is on the beach with the
picturesque fishing villages and the noble small towns.
Although Fokida has a very good tourism infrastructure and offers a
pleasant accomodation all around the year, it is not known to many
people. But, those who have visited it and have found themselves
among the high, rock peaks with the horizon lying to the limits of earth
and have felt the solitude turning into faith and peace know that even
for a few moments they have been at the centre of the world.