Mycenae, Nafplion, Epidaurus - (Argolis region). - 2 DAYS (Halfboard basis)

From Apr 1st to Oct 31 - Every Tue & Wed
Dep.: 8:45am Ret.: 7:00pm of the second day.

1st DAY:Leave from Athens and drive southwards through the industrial city of Elefsis, home of the Elefsinian Mysteries, the most important cult religion of antiquity before Christianity. Proceeding along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf we pass the island of Salamis; (at the narrowest point of the straits between Salamis and the mainland, a Greek fleet won a decisive victory over the Persian fleet, during 480BC) to arrive at the Corinth canal. (short stop).
The 6346 m long istmus is one of the 4 pre 20th century man made waterways on earth, considered as a wonder of the world that cuts the mainland of Greece off from the Peloponessus Peninsula. Up to the 12th c. ships were dragged on rollers across the isthmus. This was the reason that the city of Corinth was one of the most important and richest commercial centres of antiquity. The canal was finished and opened in 1893. St Paul lived, and preached in Corinth for 18 months.

Drive on to arrive at MYCENAE, one of the most significant historical monuments of Greek civilization, the wealthiest kingdom of the late Bronze Era (1350-1200 BC). Mycenae was the kingdom of the mighty Agamemnon, leader of the Grek army during bthe Trojan war. Most of you may remember the name Mycenae from high school, when you were forced to read Homer or from Art History texts depicting the gold masks unearthed here.
Visit the remains of the ancient city, including the lions' Gate, the circle graves, the cult centre, the Palace complex on the summit of the citadel and at the end visit the treasury of Atreus (the largest and best preserved of the surviving tholoi). Excavations begun in 1841 but it was 33 years later that the German Archaeologist Heinrich Schlieman unearthed tombs, pieces of Palaces and other relics that were mentioned by Homer, proving that what he was writing was based on fact.

Next stop is NAFPLION, one of the most attractive port cities in Greece, first capital of modern Greece (1828-1834), with remarkable Venetian architecture. Afternoon at leisure and overnight. (Dinner).

2nd DAY: Morning at leisure and then depart for EPIDAURUS. The theatre of Epidaurus, famous for its remarkable acoustics, was built between 340-330 BC, is a unique monument, the most perfect theatre of Ancient Greece, still in use today during the summer festival. Next to it you will visit the Asklipeion, the temple and the site of the god of medicine, centre of the Greek medical world and birth place of Asklepios, patron god of medicine. Psychotherapy, hydrotherapy and brain surgery were some of the treatments performed here.
Return to Athens driving on the Epidaurus / Corinth scenic coastal road. (Breakfast).

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