Aria Hotels has added the Elatos Resort & Health Club to its collection of boutique hotels and villas. Two hours away from Athens, Elatos sits on Mount Parnassos and specializes in outdoor activities. (Think quiet, relaxed skiing in winter and hiking, mountain biking and other country pursuits all year round.) The hotel is set to begin a number of improvements and upgrades which should be completed by December 2013.
The Elatos resort has 39 chalets built using timber specially imported from Finland. The chalets can accommodate between two and six people in two or three bedrooms. (Good to know: All chalets have a kitchen, fireplace and veranda.)
In the central clubhouse is a restaurant, bar, health club and conference center. Aria Hotels will be introducing an all-new restaurant concept combining local cuisine with an innovative international touch. The health club has a heated indoor swimming pool under a vaulted wooden ceiling, a sauna, Jacuzzi and a gym. For children, there is babysitting and a mini club.
Elatos also caters for conferences, events and special occasions. The hotel's conference center has a meeting room that can be set up in various configurations for up to 80 people. For weddings and baptisms, the resort has its own private church.
Mount Parnassos is one of the highest mountains in Greece, which provides for a long skiing season. It has two main skiing areas, Kellária and Fterólakka, and a small private ski center, Gerontovrachos, which is ideal for families with younger children who want to learn alpine skiing in a safe and secure environment.
Other outdoor activities can include hiking, mountain biking, off-road driving, horse riding and bird-watching. (There is even sky-diving for extreme sports enthusiasts.)
A number of monasteries in the region also make it popular for religious tourism. These include the 11th century Monastery of Osios Loukas, one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece, just 50 minutes away from the resort. History buffs will want to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Delphi, which is 30 minutes' drive from Elatos.