A breathtaking and spectacular view! A great photo opportunity of one of Greece’s famous landmarks!
We make our first short stop at the spectacular 6.5km long (4 miles), 8 meters deep and 24.5 meters wide Corinth Canal, which separates the Peloponnese from mainland Greece, connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf and the Aegean Sea. While the Corinth Canal was not completed until 1893, rulers during classical Greek times dreamed of digging a cutting through the Isthmus. It was Periander, the second tyrant of Corinth in the 7th century BC, who first envisioned the Corinth Canal. In 67 AD, Roman Emperor Nero attempted to construct the canal, personally breaking the ground with a pick axe and removing the first soil. The Roman workforce, consisting of 6,000 Jewish prisoners of war, began digging 130–160 ft. wide trenches from both sides, while a third group at the ridge drilled deep shafts to probe the quality of the rock. Although the effort was abandoned after Nero’s death, a memorial of the attempt left by Nero’s workers can still be seen today in the canal cutting. Today approximately 11,000 ships transit the Corinth Canal each year, mostly tourist ships and smaller cruise ships.
Epidavros ancient theatre
The most awe-inspiring and magnificent theatre; an absolute marvel of the ancient world!
We continue our road trip through a very scenic route in the Peloponnesian nature towards the south to meet and photograph the Great Theatre of Epidaurus. This UNESCO world heritage-listed ancient theatre is probably the most beautiful and best preserved of its kind. It was built in the 4th century BC by Polykleitos the Younger. Due to its excellent acoustics and condition, the ancient theatre is still used today, most notably under the framework of the annual Epidaurus Festival. The acoustics in the theatre are incredible; spectators in the back rows can easily hear actors on stage without any amplification. At first, it was believed that the structure’s location was the cause – it was built on the slope of Mount Kynortio at an incline of 26 degrees. But researchers discovered that while this is partially true, the real reason is the seats themselves. The steps act as ‘acoustic traps’; the rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and amplify high-frequency sounds from the stage. We will get to the centre top row to realise the actual expanse of the venue and take in the entire atmosphere! Photographing the theatre from the centre top is a lifetime experience!
One of mainland Greece’s most beautiful destinations!
Nafplio is the town that even Greeks recognize as one –if not the only- most beautiful of all mainland towns, with numerous Venetian and Turkish buildings, beautiful neo-classical homes, twisting labyrinthine streets, and the most sophisticated atmosphere. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. So close to modern Athens, Nafplio town has a yet intense medieval atmosphere. We will walk around the gorgeous narrow paved streets of the Old Town which is like a trip to the past and gives us a million photo opportunities! After picking a pink flower from one of the many bougainvilleas we will head to the port to catch an unexpected glimpse of Bourtzi in the bay; a small islet with a fortress that used to protect the town from naval attacks. We will drive 216 meters above the town on the top of a hill, to visit the eighteenth-century fortress of Palamidi with an amazing view of the sea and the town. It is very well preserved, and it’s evocative and beautiful to walk on the worn stones, between the massive walls and buildings. There are 913 steps in the winding stair from the town to the fortress. However, to reach the top of the fortress there are over one thousand. Locals in the town of Nafplio will say there are 999 steps to the top of the castle, and specials can be found on menus that incorporate this number to catch a tourist’s eye. Nafplio is famous for its delicious and traditional Greek dishes. Visited by thousands all year round, Nafplio has a great selection of restaurants to eat and drink at. We will have delicious homemade food in a restaurant where locals eat!
Mycenae archaeological site
The kingdom of mythical Agamemnon. A majestic setting of mountains, valleys, and the distant sea.
Starting our drive back to Athens, we stop at Mycenae archaeological site; one of the major centres of Greek civilization and a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece. The Mycenaeans dominated the Greek world between 1600 and 1200 B.C., about a thousand years before the rise of Athens. These were the early Greeks Homer wrote of in the Iliad and the Odyssey. The location used to be extremely strategic. Surrounded by enemies, the Mycenaeans needed a strong and richly fortified capital on an easy-to-defend hill. Though today just scant ruins remain, the city’s mighty Lion Gate entrance is still awe-inspiring.
Don’t miss out on this fantastic one-day personalised getaway from bustling Athens!
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