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Peloponnesus Routes

a) Ancient Corinth

Approximately 86.7km southwest of Athens is Ancient Corinth. Ancient Corinth was an important city-state in ancient Greece. It was considered the richest city of the ancient world. Here you can admire the famous and imposing even today archaic temple of Apollo, with the monolithic Doric columns of which seven remain upright in a prominent position above the ruins of the market. Outside of the main archaeological site are the monuments of Odeon, the theater, remains of the gymnasium and Asclepius. In Akrocorinth visitors can admire the castle of Corinth. The most important buildings that came to light are the temple of Aphrodite, the small temples were dedicated to Demeter and Kore, altars of the Sun and the fountain of "up Peirini".

 

b) Ancient Epidaurus

Ancient Epidaurus is approximately two hours from Athens. Located in the northeastern part of Argolida on the shores of the Gulf Epidaurus. Wonderful coasts with crystal clear waters and sandy beaches surround Ancient Epidaurus. Visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities like biking and trekking, or explore archaeological sites and paths that will lead to beautiful beaches and forests around that surround the village of Epidaurus. The most famous monument is the ancient theater of Epidaurus. It is considered the finest ancient Greek theater in terms of acoustics and aesthetics. The theater was built for entertaining patients of Asklepios but also as a means of treatment as it was believed that the monitoring theater had beneficial effects on mental and physical health of patients.

 

c) Ancient Mycenae

Mycenae is located 120km away from Athens. Mycenae was an ancient city of Argolis, near mountain Tritos and across the bay of Argolis. Nowadays, visitors can witness the ruins of the Acropolis. Of the surviving ruins the most important are the two royal funerary enclosures A and B, which were part of the great prehistoric cemetery. Excavations exposed the treasure of Atreus, the vaulted tomb of Clytemnestra, the Lion Gate, the Royal palace, the temple, the North Gate and the underground tank.

 

d) Nafplio

Nafplio is a city with great historical importance. It is the capital of the prefecture of Argolida and is located 139km away from Athens. It is one of the most famous and beautiful cities of Greece, Nafplio is a special place, rich in natural beauty and culture, which for centuries continues to charm its visitors. Nafplio was the first capital of Modern Greece after the liberation from the Ottoman Empire. Here the first governor of Modern Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias was murdered by members of the Mavromichalis family, on the steps of the church of Saint Spyridon.

Nafplio is also famous from Bourtzi, a small fortress built on an islet in the harbor. Other important attractions are Acronauplia and the fortress of Palamidi, the oldest parts of the city.

 

e) Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia is located 264km away from the capital of Greece, Athens. Ancient Olympia is known as the birthplace and the location where the Olympic Games were taking place in classical times. At Olympia was the gold and ivory statue of Zeus, a work of Pheidias, which was known in ancient times as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Nowadays, visitors can see the ruins of the stadium and the gymnasium, the place where athletes raced and trained. Also visitors can visit the museum and see various exhibits, Hermes of Praxiteles, the Nike of Paionios and sculptural decoration of the Temple of Zeus. From Ancient Olympia visitors can visit other important locations, which are quite close, as the port of Katakolon (33km), the Temple of Apollo (30km), the Temple of Aphrodite (30km), the ancient ILIDA (75km), the Castle Chlemoutsi (62km).

 

f) Sparta

Sparta is the capital of the prefecture of Laconia. It is located 213km from Athens. It is a city with a long history and is situated in the same position with the ancient city. Sparta is the birthplace of Leonidas and his three hundred brave warriors who died at Thermopylae, supporting Greek lands from the attack of Persians. Located next to Sparta, Mystras is a location of historical importance, and quite close Githeio, is a beautiful seaside city of Laconia. Nowadays, the archaeological discoveries of Sparta are few compared to the glamor and power the city had in antiquity and the late Roman times, but visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy their walks in beautiful town squares and the hospitable environment.

 

g) Mystras

Mystras is known as state the period of the Byzantine Empire. Located just 6km from Sparta and 219km from Athens. In 1259AD Castle of Mystras was ceded to the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus. From 1262AD, it became the seat of Byzantine General "sebastokrator" and then began the main historical periods, which lasted two centuries. Nowadays, are saved some buildings like the palaces, which have been restored. The site of Mystras is an important source of knowledge about the history, art and culture of the last two centuries of Byzantium. Since 1989 Mystras is a cultural object in the list of World Heritage of UNESCO. Visitors can walk through to "the dead city" and take a little of the aura and majesty of one of the greatest empires of the world.

 

h) Monemvasia

Monemvasia is a small historic town located in the southeastern Peloponnese. Famous for its medieval fortress, which resembles islet and is connected to the modern city of Monemvasia with bridge. Nowadays, inside the castle there are hotels, restaurants and bars. The ride over the cobbled streets of the old castle fascinates visitors and transports them to another era. Monemvasia is located 300km from Athens. It is the birthplace of the great Greek poet Yannis Ritsos and an aspect of the view from his house will give every visitor to understand why this poet has been so inspired. Around Monemvasia visitors will find a wide variety of beaches with pebbles or sand, solitude or busy, for all tastes.

 

i) Diros Caves

Diros Caves are located 280km from Athens. South of Areopolis, leaving the main road, travelers are driven to the coastal location of caves Glyfada, Shelter and Alepotrypa. Beneath the soil of Mani is the most beautiful lake cave in the world, the cave of Diros. No matter how many times you visit the caves of Diros, you will never get enough of staring the beauty of nature. In a beautiful way, full of exuberant images and in about 45 minutes boat ride, the visitors are amazed by the wonder of nature. The cave consists of stalactites and stalagmites. Over the centuries, the water level rose from the sea and so the formations of stalactites resemble white columns coming out of the water. In front of the cave Alepotrypa is Diros's beach with crystal clear, turquoise sea and pebbles which challenges visitors to swim in its waters.