ancient corinth - nemea - mycenae - nafplio - epidaurus full day




Ancient Corinth

-Hadgimoustafa fountain
-Archaeological Museum of ancient Corinth
-Temple of Apollo
-Agora/Market place
-Roman buildings
-Bema
-Theatre and Odeon / Asklepieion
-Lechaion road
-St. Paul's church with the fabulous mosaic/mural depicting his vision
-Enjoy a delicious traditional authentic lunch on a fabulous balcony overlooking the entire archaeological site... Gemelos'taverna!

Nemea

-The Temple of Zeus / Jupiter
-The Ancient baths
-The Apodyterium
-The Ancient Stadium Crypt
-The starting grid
-The Archeological Museum
-The Wine Roads

Mycenae

-The Lion Gate
-Grave Circles A and B
-The Cyclopean Walls
-The Royal Palace
-The Treasury of Atreus
-The Mycenean Archaeological Museum
-The Mycenean Village

Nafplio

-Palamidi Castle
-Freedom quare
-Bourtzi
-Constitution Square
-First Hellenic Parlament
-Anastasios of Nafplia church
-St.Spyridon church
-Lunch at one of the many unique traditional tavernas like Vasilis Taverna
-Antica Gelateria di Roma for the best gellato and Italian delights
-Pergamonto for the best 'loukoumades'in Greece (puff balls with honey or chocolate and almond nuts)

Epidaurus

-The Epidaurus amphitheatre
-The Epidaurus Archaeological Museum
-The Asclepius

Ancient 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.

Nemea
Nemea is an ancient site in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese in Greece. Formerly part of the territory of Cleonae in Argolis and today situated in the regional unit of Corinthia. The small village of ancient Nemea was formerly known as “Koutsomodi” and then “Iraklion”.
In Greek mythology Hercules first labour was to kill the Nemean Lion living in the caves of Mount Tritos above the site.
You will be amazed with the sanctuary of Zeus built in 330 BC. It's importance lies in the fact that all ancient Greek architecture orders were combined in different part of the temple. Doric columns were used for the exterior colonnade, Corinthian for the ground floor columns and small Ionic columns in the interior at the cella and upper level. At the short ends 6 columns were erected while 12 instead of the classical 13 were erected at the long ends.
During the 5th and 6th centuries A.D early Christians gathered within the area of Nemea and established an agricultural settlement. As a common practice, they used blocks from the Sanctuary of Zeus in order to construct their own Christian temple,the Basilica. All 36 columns but three were knocked down. Nowadays thanks to S.Miller 9 columns have been reconstructed.
The site reached its period of greatest importance from the 6th to 3rd centuries BCE when for around a month every two years athletes and spectators gathered for the pan-Hellenic Games from 573 BCE until 271 BCE. The Nemean Games became a sporting event to rank alongside the other three major pan-Hellenic athletic games held at Olympia , Isthmia and Delphi.
The most important event was the stadion or footrace over one length of the stadium track, other events were footraces over various stadium lengths competitions in boxing wrestling combined boxing and wrestling, the pentathlon (wrestling,boxing,javelin,discus,long jump).Horse races were also held on the hippodrome track which included the four horse chariot of 5,600 meters. Two further competitions were for heralds and trumpeters. The ancient stadium has recently been discovered. It is notable for its well preserved vaulted entrance tunnel or crypt dated to about 320 BC with ancient graffiti on the walls.
The track it self was usually prepared with hard-packed clay.
Behind the starting line up was a space for the athletes to slow down, usually 15 meters length.
Built near natural hills for spectators to have a clear view of the events artificial embankments became a common feature as were conduits around the track to drain off excess rain water.
The Nemean stadium sloped a little (2 meters) for this purpose.
You can see the seats that were added. The seating area had steps and divisions to facilitate access and perhaps more importantly to ensure an orderly exit of the spectators. Certain VIP seats on a raised platform in the center positions were also a common practice reserved for specially trained judges . The ancient Nemean Stadium could seat approximately 50.000 spectators.
The Archeological museum of Nemea is fascinating.Founded by the University of California and besides the exhibits from Zeu's sanctuary, the museum collections include finds from various archeological sites in the Nemea region which span from early Neolithic to the Byzantine times.

Mycenae
A Unesco World Heritage Site described by Homer as a city 'rich in gold' was a fortified late Bronze Age city located between two hills on the Argolic plain of the Peloponesse.
The fortified royal residence of King Agamemnon ( leader of the Trojan War ) with mamoth Cyclopean walls dates from between the 14th and the 13th century BCE when the Mycenean civilization was at its peak of power, influence and artistic expression.
Situated on a rocky hill ( 40-50 meters high ) commanding the surrounding plain as far as the sea 15 km away, the site of Mycenae covered 30 000 sq. meters and has always been known throughout history. Heinrich Schliemann believed in the historical truth of the Homeric stories and interpreted the site accordingly. In 1876 he discovered the magnificent treasures of grave circle A which included ancient shaft graves with their royal skeletons and spectacular graved goods.
Entrance to the acropolis is through the famous Lion Gate a 3 x 3 meter square doorway with an 18-ton lintel topped by two 3 meter high heraldic lions and a column altar. You will be amazed as you explore the acropolis making your way to the top where the royal palace once stood. The large palace structure built around a central hall, or Megaron is typical of Mycenean palaces. Other features included a secondary hall, many private rooms and a workshop complex.
The Treasury of Atreus,a monumental circular building with corbelled roof reaching a height of 135 meters and 14.6 meters in diameter and approached by a long walled and unroofed corridor 36 meters long and 6 meters wide is sure to leave you impressed.
One of the most fascinating museums is the Archaeological Museum at Mycenae. The museum is built next to the citadel at Mycenae. Many objects unearthed in the vicinity are exhibited in its three halls. It provides context to the excavations and is easily visited before ( recommended ) or after a tour of the archaeological site.

Nafplio
One of the most picturesque towns in the area of Argolis as well as one of the most romantic towns all over Greece. Nafplio was the first capital of the newly born Greek State after the 1821 War of Independance between 1823 and 1834.
The town declined during the Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine times. Frankish Venetians and Turkish conquerors left their mark in the town and strongly influenced its culture architecture and traditions during the centuries.
Follow a dream trail to discover Nafplio's precious gems starting from the medieval Old Town, the narrow cobblestone alleys, the neoclassical well preserved mansions with the beautiful Bougainvillea trees adorning their yards and balconies and the Turkish fountains.
Discover Freedom or Liberty Square depicting the Hellenes gratitude towards the French people for their help with the 1821 Revolution. In the very heart of the town stands Syntagma Square or Constitution Square where you can admire important historic buildings and monuments.You will admire two Turkish mosques, the first a Mutual Learning School and the second was home to the first Greek Parliament. The Archeological Museum and the Municipal Gallery are among the buildings that stand out. The church of Anastasios of Nafplia and St. Spyridon in front of which the First Governor of Hellas Ioannis Kapodistrias was assasinated are well worth a visit. PALAMIDI CASTLE which proudly stands at 216 meters above sea level is absolutely breathtaking. In order to reach it you have to climb all of its 999 steps carved into the rock. Not to worry though....Ancient Greece Tours drives you up the winding roads where you will be spellbound by the magnificent views. Venture into a place drenched in history, where the famous Theodore Kolokotronis had been imprisoned. St. Andrew ( Agios Andreas ) battlement built at the top of the castle by Venetian conquerors offers stunning views to the Argolic gulf and Mycenean plain.
ACRONAFPLIA is the historic rock at the foot of Palamidi hilL. Inhabited since prehistoric times, the peninsula consists of three levels among which stand three independant castles. It was there that the ancient acropolis was situated, fortified with Cyclopean walls.
The famous BOURTZI is the most photographed spot of Nafplio. The Venetian small fortress stands on the rocky islet of Agioi Theodoroi.
Take a romantic stroll around the so called Arvanitia Promenade dominated by the rocky landscape of Acronafplia. Enjoy a leisurely tour around the town , buy some souvenirs and be fascinated with the "komboloyia" displayed everywhere. Enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious meal in the old town or just enjoy refreshments at the port overlooking amazing Bourtzi.

Epidaurus
The prosperity brought by the Asclepeion enabled Epidaurus to construct civic monuments including the huge theater that delighted Pausanias for its symmetry and beauty . Among all the ancient theaters,Epidaurus theatre is the most beautiful and best preserved. The theater is admired for its exceptional acoustics which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken words from the skene to all 14 000 spectators regardless of their seating.
At Epidaurus,there was held one of the most important festivals of the ancient Greeks, the Asclepieia. They were held once every 4 years and the festive programme included drama,music and sports contests including horse racing. The actors were men only; even the female roles were played by men. Women were allowed to attend the performances but not to take part in them. The actors covered their faces with masks and used their voices and body movements as means of expression.
Epidaurus theater is used again today for dramatic and comic performances. Great actors have performed here among them the Greek soprano Maria Kallas, Isabella Rossellini, Gerard Depardieu and Kevin Spacey. 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.

Asclepius
The Asclepeion of Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical World, the place where ill people went in the hope of being cured. To find out the right cure for their ailments they spent a night in the “enkoimeteria” a big sleeping hall. Found in the sanctuary there was a guest house for 160 guestrooms.
The tranquility of nature, the soft and clean lines of the surrounding mountains, the lush vegetation and the mineral springs in the vicinity appeared to be very important in the treatment of patients via the help of the priests.
Patients coming here accepted high quality medical services. This has been proved by the surgical tools found here which are exhibited in the Epidaurus Archaeological Museum.
Activity level: Moderate
Cultural exposure: 10/10
Duration: Full day
Type: Ancient History, Sightseeing, Walking, Full Day
Ancient Corinth Entrance Ticket: 7€*
Nemea Archeological Museum Entrance Ticket: 4€ Full, 2€ Reduced (Valid for Archeological Museum of Nemea, Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea, Stadium of Nemea)
Theater of Epidaurus Ticket: 7€ full, 2€ Reduced
Archeological Site of Mycenae Ticket: 8€ full, 4€ Reduced
Valid for: Archeological Museum of Mycenae, Mycenae, Treasure of Atreus

* Students of non European Union countries holders of an international student card are entitled to 50% discount on the entrance fee. Young people up the age of 18 are entitled to free admission. European Union students are entitled to free entrance while European Union senior citizens over 65 have 50% discount on entry to all Greek museums and archaeological sites.

Free admission days : 6 March, 5 June , 18 April, 18 May, the last weekend of September annually, Sundays in the period between 1 November and 31 March, first Sunday of every month, except for July, August and September and on 27 September International Tourism Day.

Ancient Corinth is open: In winter: 8:00am to 3:00pm | In Summer: 8:00am to 5:00pm

All other sites are open, in winter: From November 1st to March 31st: from 8:30am to 3:00pm, in summer: From April 1st to October 31st daily from 8:00am to 7:30pm.

Closed on Holidays: Jan 1st, March 25th, May 1st, Oct 28th.
Christmas and Boxing Day: closed
Easter Sunday: closed
Good Friday: open from 12noon to 3:00pm
Holy Saturday: open from 8:30am to 3:00pm
Easter Monday: open from 08:30am to 3:00pm
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