anc diolkos - isthmus canal - isthmia - kenchreai - acrocorinth - anc corinth
Tours in Ancient DiolkosThe name “Diolkos” means a “movable platform”. “Diolkos” was a stoned path, paved with limestone, which ran along from the Saronic Gulf to the Corinth Gulf. The Tyrant of Corinth, Periander, was the first who imagined the Isthmus Canal. The technical capabilities in ancient times made his idea impossible to be carry out. Instead, he developed the “Diolkos”. Not all ships could use the “diolkos” due to their size. In many cases, the cargo of ships was taken off at one side, and carried to the other, where a second ship was waiting to load the cargo. Today, there are still sections of the “diolkos” that one can see
Ancient Diolkos Tours Highlights-Ancient Diolkos or ancient passageway
-Geraneia Mountain with amazing views of the surrounding monasteries
-Rose Blossom cafe ~ treat your self to great coffee or refreshments together with traditional pastries overlooking the ancient passageway and the Canal.
Tours in Isthmus CanalThe Corinth canal is 6 kilometers long. It connects the Ionian Sea with the Aegean Sea and separates Peloponnese with the rest of Greece. Constructed between 1882 and 1893 it involves an excavation of 80 m (262 ft) in depth, the canal is 6,3km (4 miles) long, and can take ships of up to 10,000 tons.
Isthmus Canal Tours Highlights-The Isthmus Canal/Corinth Canal
-Zulu Bungy (www.zulubungy.com/)
PLEASE NOTE: If you are interested in experiencing the ultimate adrenaline rush and want to bungy jump the Isthmus Canal please state so. There is no extra charge for waiting time.
Tours in KenchreaiIn ancient times, Kenchreai was one of the two ports of the city-state of Corinth. In the Late Archaic period it was a permanent settlement and a fortified naval station. Kenchreai flourished during the Roman Empire, when the settlement was focused around the crescent-shaped harbor. The ancient harbor was partly excavated in 1962-1969 and excavations have uncovered several buildings.
Tours in Ancient CorinthDuring this tour we will visit the ancient town of Corinth, one of the richest towns in Ancient Greece, where St. Paul lived and preached for two years. We will visit the ruins of the ancient city, in which you can see the remains of the Agora, and one of the most outstanding monuments of pre –Roman period, the temple of Apollo.
Ancient Corinth Tours Highlights-Hadgimoustafa fountain
-Archaeological Museum of ancient Corinth
-Temple of Apollo
-Theatre and Odeon / Asklepieion
-St. Paul's church with the fabulous mosaic/mural depicting his vision v -Enjoy a delicious traditional authentic lunch on a fabulous balcony overlooking the entire archaeological site... Gemelos'taverna!
Tours in AcrocorinthClose to the Ancient Corinth, you will see the large citadel of Acrocorinth. It was successively used and fortified by many conquerors like the Romans and the Byzantines. In this tour, you will have the opportunity to visit the castle. Through its imposing entrance gates, you will enter the castle and you will explore it. You will also experience the spectacular panoramic views which will amaze you.
Acrocorinth Tours Highlights-First, Second, Third Gates
-Temple of Aphrodite -Views of Geraneia Mountain with the Blue lake and Temple of Hera.
-Acrocorinth Snack bar/ Restaurant with fabulous views.
In antiquity, the Greeks had devised a way of solving the problem of communication between the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs. In the late 7th or 6th centuries BC tyrants of Corinth constructed a paved road called Diolkos which led from Shinos Saronic Gulf to Poseidonia, Corinthian Gulf. Diolkos was 3-3.5 meters wide and it was paved with blocks of limestone set in a deep layer sand and gravel.Along this ran the oikos, a wheeled vehicle on which ships were brought overland from one side of the Isthmus to the other. Sections of Diolkos can still be seen today, the deep parallels ruts on the road, 1.5 meters apart, are the marks left by the wheels of the oikos.
The Isthmus of Corinth connects the Peloponesse with mainland Greece. It is made up of heavy faulted limestone rising from the south in terraces to a bleak windswept central plateau almost 300 feet (90meters) above sea level.
The Canal we see today was built in 1882 -1893 by Greek and French engineers using the most advanced machinery of that time.
The Canal is 6 343 meters long. It is 24.60 meters wide on surface level, 21.30 meters on sea bed and, at some places its side are 79 meters high. The canal is crossed by road and railway bridges while connection between Central Greece and the Peloponesse is also achived by two 'ferries' in the form of submersible bridges, one at either end ( Poseidonia and Isthmia ) . The canal reduced the distance between the ports of the Aegean and the Adriatic Sea by 131 Nautical miles!
Isthmia is an ancient city located on the Isthmus of Corinth. It is well known for being home of the Isthmian Games and is also the site of major Greek monuments such as the Temple of Isthmia that honours the Greek God Poseidon.
Isthmias temples and stadiums highlight its religious, athletic and political past. The city of Isthmia houses many massive structures. The Archaic temple of Poseidon which was excavated in 1952 was built in the Doric style in 700 BC. There was also a temple built for the god Apollo.
Isthmia was also home to a Roman temple that was built for the worship of Palaimon.
When the Isthmian Games were founded in 582 BC, the people of Isthmia built a stadium for the sporting activities. The stadium was rebuilt in the Hellenistic period and featured a racetrack.
The amazing archeological museum was built in 1970. It contains collections of finds from the sanctuary of Poseidon, the sanctuary of Palaimon, the Hellenic settlement at Rachi and from the excavations in the area of Isthmia and the ancient harbor of Kenchreai.
In ancient times, Kenchreai was one of the two ports of the inland city-state of Corinth. Situated on the eastern side of the Isthmus of Corinth, Kenchreai sat at a natural crossroads for ships arriving from the east and overland traffic heading north and south between central Greece and Peloponesse.
According to Act 18:18, the Apostle Paul stopped at Kenchreai during his second missionary journey, where he had his hair cut to fulfill a vow.
From a distance, acrocorinth is seen by every visitor to ancient Corinth. It looms up in the background, its fortification walls clearly visible. Few visitors actually see acrocorinth as only the most dedicated archeological tours take the trouble to drive up to this lofty fortress hill to be captivated by the breathtaking ,magical,spectacular views.
Acrocorinth was first a Greek acropolis, then a Roman citadel. Later it became a Byzantine fortress. The Franks captured it in 1210, and it then fell into the hands of one of the rulers of Naples. An arms manufacturer and banker then owned it,followed by the Knights of Rhodes, the Turks, the Venetians, then the Turks again. After the 1821 War of Independence it returned in the hands of of the Greeks.
There are three lines of defense and three gates protecting the citadel from the west. The First Gate was built in the 14th c. A moat was cut out of the rock to provide a defense against attack. The Venetians were responsible for building the Second Gate with a tower on one side and the Third Gate has two rectangular towers on either side. The tower on the right is mostly from the 4th century BC, while the other one is Byzantine as are most of the walls. From the Third Gate the path takes you up through the old Turkish part to the rampart and the northern postern. A steep climb takes you to the remains of the mosque and the minaret.
Keep..... This is the Turkish sections, where you see the remains of the Frankish castle of the Villehardouin who held it in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The southern ramparts leads you towards the Peirene Spring which is next to the ruin of an old Turkish barracks. Modern steps will lead you down into an underground chamber from the Hellenistic period with the roof being added by the Romans. The legend associated with this spring is with the winged horse Pegasus who stamped its hoof and created the spring. While he was drinking the water, he was captured by Bellerephon.
The Temple of Aphrodite...retracing your steps north of the southern rampart and then making your way north west to the highest section at 574 meters you will find a column marking the place where the temple once stood.From here, the views are breathtaking.
You can see beyond Corinth to Mount Parnassus in the north,Attica in the east and on to the mountains of the Peloponesse in the south.
The Temple of Aphrodite who was worshiped here was a center of religious prostitution. Over 1000 prostitutes worked here and as a result Acrocorinth was notorious for its licentiousness all over the ancient world. ST. Paul may have preached here during his visit in Corinth.
When Paul arrived in 51CE, the Corinth he saw was little more than 100 years old, but was five times as large as Athens and the capital of the province. Ancient Corinth founded in the 10th century BCE had been the richest port and the largest city in ancient Greece. Strategically located guarding the narrow isthmus that connects the Peloponesse to the mainland it was a powerful commercial centre near two seaports only 4 miles apart Lechaeum and Cenchreae . It had a population of 90.000 in 400 BC and 50 000 to 700 000 after the Romans built the new city.
Ancient Corinth was young,dynamic not hidebound by tradition with no dominant religious or intellectual tradition. The heart of the city, the forum, was filled with temples and shrines to the Roman Emperor and various members of his family,built alongside temples to the older Greek gods such as Apollo. Apollo's son, Asklepios, the god of healing had a shrine there as well as at Epidaurus, the ancient site of miracle healings.
Little remains of ancient Corinth. These ruined arches and entryways to shops on what was once the Agora call on ones imagination to see the gleaming buildings complete with statuary as they once were.One sees acres of buildings and pavement stones, the well known synagogue lintel inscription and the 'Bema' on which the Roman proconsul would hold court.The Bema was also the public platform where St.Paul had to plead his case when the Corinthians hauled him up in front of the Roman governor Gallio in 52 AD.
The Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth contains a number of artifacts of religious interest,including inscriptions of Gallio and Erastus,both mentioned in the Book of Acts;a synagogue inscription,menorah reliefs and votive offerings of terracotta body parts to Asklepios.
Activity level: Moderate
Duration: Full day
Type: Ancient History, Sightseeing, Walking, Full Day, Shopping
Duration: Full day
Type: Ancient History, Sightseeing, Walking, Full Day, Shopping
Admission to archeological sites
Certified tour guide
Certified tour guide