Guided tours

Argolis. One day tour from Athens.


 

Argolis.  One day tour from Athens.

 A Related photo album and video can be found at the end of page

The tour “Argolis” can be considered as the most saturated because of the quantity and quality of monuments and viewing platforms. We will pass across the Argolis, this is the region of Peloponnese where the Greek civilization was born, and in particular, the well known “ golden Mycenae”

The program includes the visit of four historic monuments, such as the Corinth Canal, the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, the medieval town of Napflion and ( of course ) ancient Mycenae. We make a 2 hours long stop in Napflion in order for you to be able to observe this town of amazing  beauty and there you can have lunch in one of the many fish taverns, along the sea side.

The run from one sightseeing to the next is also interesting by itself, especially when we speak about passing from the Corinth Canal to Epidaurus. There are simply unforgettable sceneries appearing around you. Of course, during all the road I am going to share with you many interesting stories about the places we see, their history, myths & legends.

 

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Moving between sightseeing points is not tiresome. We drive for 1 hour from Athens to the Corinth Channel, there we make a care stop and observe the Corinth Canal. Then it takes 40 to 50 minutes to go from the Corinth Canal to Epidaurus. Here we make a 1 to 1,5 hours long stop for an excursion in Epidaurus . The distance from Epidaurus to Napflion is covered in 20 minutes. From Napflion we go to Mycenae, 30 minutes.  From Mycenae after lunch we return to Athens, this takes 1,5 hour.
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Detailed tour description. Cross-over

Usually we start from Athens at 8-9 a.m., then follows the drive to the Corinth Channel, around 1 to 1,5 hours. On the way we pass the Elefsina area and the island of Salamis, where in 480 B.C. the salamis naval battle took place, in which Greeks smashed the Persian fleet of Xerxes.

Along the northern coast of the Saronic gulf of the Aegean Sea (these places are even more beautiful than their names) we will drive until we reach the Corinth Channel, following approximately the same way, on which the mythical king Theseus went once to his daddy, Aegeus.

коринфский канал

The Corinth Channel ( 30 minutes long stop) is one of its kind. There you can see at the same time two seas, the Aegean Sea and the Ionian Sea. The first one who tried to dig the canal, was Emperor Nero. The eccentric guy of world history, who brought vessels with 6000 slaves and personally poured with the golden spatula, marking in such a way the beginning of this process. Theoretically, the channel should be completed during the life time of Nero, but this pyromaniac died , and the channel remained unfinished. Finally, it was  successfully completed  at the end of 19th century

 

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The drive to Epidaurus, 40 to 50 minutes along the sea. After the channel we will pass a place called Kehries (the former port of Corinth), where due to the tradition Apostle Paul disembarked, when he sailed to Corinth from Athens (whoever read the New Testament remembers two letters to Corinthians, tide connected to this event.)

On the same place is located “The Bath of the beautiful Helen”, where according to the myth, Helen of Troy bathed. There also we will find on our way the Byzantine Monastery of Assumption of the Virgin, located on the hillside, surrounded by olive trees. A picturesque bay with the village of modern Epidaurus impresses not only tourists, but also Greeks themselves. This place is of so much beauty, that it cannot be described by words, you have to see it.

 

Epidaurus.

Театр эпидавра

1 to 1,5 hours long excursion. Epidaurus is famous because of the perfectly preserved theatre with its unique acoustics, but apart the theatre here was located once the huge health resort of antiquity, dedicated to Asclepius (the main healer of the Greek mythology). In the museum besides the classical statues, are retained also different instruments and tools that were used in medical care and therapy in ancient Greece. There you will also see hospital sheet charts, imprinted on the marble slabs, telling stories about the craftsmanship of the ancient physicians (and often about their tricks).

The theatre of Epidaurus was constructed in the 4th century BC and is the best retained theatre of that period, and probably the most elegant is the specific architectural branch of the place. The acoustics of Epidaurus is unique, therefore no microphones are used during the performances. No sense to describe that, this has to be heard. There are many and different ancient theatres around the globe, but all of them just imitate   more or less successfully the acoustics of Epidaurus. Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti and many other celebrity tenors considered it a big honour to perform in Epidaurus, so tell me, don’t you deserve same honour? Every visitor of Epidaurus theatre is allowed to sing, whatever he or she wants, just feel free to release your hidden talent

For those, who don’t want to sing, but want to feel the acoustics in any other way, a small performance will take place with the ritual lighting of matches and ringing coins.

Then we drive to Napflion (20 to 30 minutes). The road is along olive groves and olive groves. Napflion (the stop as on the photo for 20-30 minutes)

Napflion

 

Нафплион

Unfortunately, there is such a stereotype, that in an imagination of many Europeans the Greek history is mainly referred to the antiquity. Perhaps therefore the capital city of the first Greek state, being mostly a medieval monument, is almost unknown on the background of ancient times.

Nevertheless, Napflion is one of the most beautiful cities of Greece. It is already known from the ancient time. The significance of the city proves its name: Napflios, the founder of the city, was the son of God Poseidon. Ancient Greeks clearly realised, that the landscape and the beauty of surrounding nature are very important for a good psychology. In this meaning Napflion is simply The resort. Beautiful cities, surrounded by the attractive beauty of nature, motivates people to release their unlimited creation capacities. Unfortunately the modern HiTec civilization has gone away from nature as a source of architectural inspiration. Today we would rather build a modern Babylon. City inhabitants become to be like small screws or such a “gadgets” in a computer's graphics. There are not many cities left, where the balance with nature is not lost yet and it doesn't disturb people to feel the harmony with the universe. The position of Napflion on the Peloponnese is one such “natural phenomena”, which people haven’t destroyed by their activity, but carefully added the town to the nature, creating a place for living, creating the Capital city. Napflion became the first capital city of the modern independent Greek State. Many faces and many centuries of the history of Nafplion are represented in buildings and fortification constructions, which are like framed and crowned   by gorgeous rocks over the waters of Aegean Sea.

The old town of Napflion.

НафплионThe specific charm of Napflion is tide connected to a presence of Venetians, imposing the characteristic mark on the appearance of the city centre. Thanks to their efforts, the city achieved an exclusive look and remained in harmony with the nature around. Old buildings of Napflion don’t look like decrepit, but they give to the city the unique combination of sublimity and comfort, so characteristic for venetians constructors. Today you will find many restaurants and cafeteria in an old town. Walking along the seafront, you can enjoy the most delicious and fresh fish in cozy fish taverns.

Moving to Mycenae (20 to 30 minutes). All over the road different kinds of citrus trees. Meal upon request (variety of gastronomic facilities).
Микены купольное захоронение Атрея

Mycenae.

Excursion 1,5 to 2 hours. This is one of the oldest cities in Europe, the blossom of the Greek Civilization. It impresses you with the greatness of ruins 16-12 centuries BC. Here governed the mythical king Agamemnon, who led the legendary campaign of Greeks against the Troy. (And later on he has been killed here by his loving wive Clitemnestra).

Here also ruled the mythical king Euristei. Under his orders Hercules exterminated almost all poultry and animals in Argolis (somehow later on that was recognized az one of Hercule’s act of bravery).Much later here also ruled the real king Heinrich Schliman. According to his orders the Mycenaean gold was excavated here (the most important archeological find in Greece). In the local archeological museum you will see replicas of Mycenaean gold and many original, but not golden, artifacts. The thesaurus of Atrey, the unique domed burial place, which remained almost untouched by the time of its construction in a 16th century BC.. And of course, the Lion Gate , the first heraldic symbol in Europe.

From the ruins of Agamemnon’s palace there opens the heartbreaking regal view over the whole of Argolis valley .

 After Mycenae the 1,5 hours long return drive to Athens.

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