Under 19th-century Ottoman rule, Thessaly and Sterea Ellada acquired a Byzantine aura; seek it along forgotten mountain-goat paths that lead to the treasures of this era. Along the way, you'll encounter glorious mountain-top vistas that look out over silvery olive groves, fruit-laden trees, and patchwork farmland.
Small mountainside villages, monumental ruins, the country's finest honey, and superb ski slopes make up Sterea Ellada (the "Greek Continent"), the only section of the mainland to join the new Greek state after the War of Independence. For thousands of years, pilgrimages from all over the Mediterranean and Asia Minor led to the Delphic Oracle, where ponderous questions met cryptic replies. The lath-century Monastery of Osios Loukas, a modem religious center near Delphi , displays the Byzantines' architectural mastery. Be kind to strangers you meet on the road below the monastery: at the crossroads, an unknowing Oedipus met and murdered his father on the way to Thebes , where he married his mother.