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This short Peloponnese tour is a good opportunity to see several major sites of the peninsula just in two days and travel into mythology and history of Greece while relaxing into your car.
Athens – Corinth – Mycenae – Epidaurus – Ancient Olympia
Beginning with a drive along the coast, you will get the chance to see some Greek seaside villages and the island of Salamis. Salamis is where the historical naval battle took place between the Athenians and the Persians.
Our first stop of the day, the Corinth Canal. Eventually opened in 1892 separating the Peloponnese from the rest of Greece all the while connecting the Saronic Gulf to the Corinthian Sea. Having time to walk across on a pedestrian bridge and admire the canal closer, you may go bungee jumping on some days (if you’re game).
Moving on we will make our way to Ancient Corinth. This ancient city was dominated by the hill of Acrocorinth and the old Castle, the biggest and oldest castle in southern Greece. Ancient Corinth is located at the foot of the hill and includes the Roman Agora of Corinth, the temple of God Apollo and a small museum. Away from its archaeological and historical interest Ancient Corinth is also one of the most popular religious destinations in Greece. This was where the Apostle Paul preached Christianity, was judged by the tribunal in the Agora and established the best organized Christian church of that period.
Then it’s back on the road and heading for Mycenae (dated to the 2nd millennium B.C.E) which represents the era of Achilles, Agamemnon, and Helen of Troy. Actually, in the site, you will see the renowned Lions Gate (the oldest architectural sculpture in Europe), the cyclopean walls, the burial circle A and the remains of Agamemnon’s Palace. Within the site there is a modern museum, exhibiting the findings of the “City Of Gold” which is also worth visiting. Just before leaving the site we will make a small stop at the treasury of Atreus, the best-preserved Tholos tomb found and one of the finest examples of the Mycenaean architecture.
On the go again we will be off to the site of Epidaurus, a short drive away and you will be able to see one of the most important ancient Greek sanctuaries. Dedicated to God Asclepius, he was the god of healing and medicine, Epidaurus is located in a peaceful environment and spread out on a hilly area, its highest point being the actual theater of Epidaurus. As the best-preserved ancient Greek theater (dated 4th century B.C.E.) it is proof of what miracles the ancient Greek minds could create. Test the acoustics great even today and climb up to the higher seats just to close your eyes and dream you are attending an ancient Greek tragedy.
From here we will travel through time towards a more recent history of Greece and to the city of Nafplion. Nafplion is considered the most scenic city which also functioned as the capital of Greece until 1834. It offers you an impressive combination of fortresses and castles (Palamidi, Bourtzi), an enormous port opened to the Aegean Sea and the unique architecture of the old city of Nafplion revealing Venetian, neoclassical and oriental elements. Lunch will be at a traditional tavern by the sea, before leaving we’ll drive up until the castle of Acronafplia for a panoramic view of Nafplio.
Continuing we will drive to Ancient Olympia, passing through highways, and local streets providing you with a view of the Ionian Sea from the western coast. Reaching the village at Ancient Olympia we will settle at the hotel, having free time to walk around or just rest.
Ancient Olympia – Athens
On our second day we will visit the archaeological site and the museum of Ancient Olympia. This is one of the largest sites in Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus. Walking through the site you will pass by the Gymnasium, the Palaestra, the workshop of Phidias, the Temple of Zeus and you will end up at the Stadium where for every four years the Greeks competed for glory and for spiritual elevation honoring their cities. The museum is also quite unique as it includes the renowned statue “Hermes of Praxiteles” with its perfect analogies and tools that belonged to Phidias himself. With the tools, he created one of the seven wonders of the world “the gold ivory statue of Zeus”. After walking in the footsteps of ancient athletes we will take our lunch at the village and then leave for comfortable drive back to Athens.
Your driver shall hold Olive Sea signage at the pick up point.
Bring sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and comfortable clothes during summer months & warm clothes and waterproof jacket during winter months. Have your ticket (electronic or printed) with you & your ID/PASSPORT (or copy).
Admission Fees For Sites:
SUMMER PERIOD: 1 April – 31 October
WINTER PERIOD: 1 November – 31 March
Full: € 12,00 – Reduced: € 6,00
Winter: 08:00 – 15:00
Summer: 08:00 – 20:00
Full: € 12,00 – Reduced: € 6,00 (Valid for the theater that is part of the archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios )
January-March: 08:00 – 17:00
April: 08:00 – 19:00
May – October 31st: 08:00 – 20:00
Full: € 12,00 – Reduced :€ 6,00
(Archaeological Site of Olympia, the Archaeological Museum of Olympia and the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity, valid for one day)
Winter: 08:00 – 15:00
Summer: 08:00 – 20:00
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