How can I see the most well-known archeological sites in Greece, without leaving my job and without going down in debt?
Now you can! And we can support you!
See below our suggestion on how you can spend one week in Greece, having the time to visit the most well-know archeological sites and having as base the most beautiful city of Greece, Nafplio.
Nafplio, the first capital of historical Greece, is ideally located close to some of the most well-know archeological sites in Greece. Mycenae, Epidaurus, Tiryns!
- Monday: Airport of Athens – Corinth Canal – Check in – Explore city paths of old city of Nafplio
- Tuesday: Palamidi Castle – Walking to the amazing path with the private beaches
- Wednesday: Mycenae – Arvanitia Path
- Thursday: Epidaurus
- Friday: Tiryns – Argos
- Saturday: Open Market – Acronafplia Castle – War Mesuem – Archeological Museum Of Nafplio
- Sunday: Check out – Return to the airport
So the experience starts with the first day when probably you will be tired after a flight and aprox 2h drive in order to reach the final destination, which is Nafplio. On your way to Nafplio you can stop over the Corinth Canal that separates the mainland of Greece in two parts. It is only 5min off the Highway towards Nafplio.
Below is the map with the directions from the National Airport Of Athens towards Nafplio with a stop at the Corinth Canal.
Corinth Canal, tidal waterway across the Isthmus of Corinth in Greece, joining the Gulf of Corinth in the northwest with the Saronic Gulf in the southeast. The isthmus was first crossed by boats in 600 BC when Periander built a ship railway, small boats being carried on wheeled cradles running in grooves. This system may have been used until the 9th century. Work on the canal began in 1882, and it opened in 1893. The canal is 6.3 km (3.9 miles) long and has a water depth of 8 metres (26 feet); its width varies from a minimum of 21 metres (69 feet) at the bottom to a maximum of 25 metres (82 feet) at the water’s surface. The canal has brought great economic benefits to the ports of Posithonía at its northwest end and Isthmía at its southeast end.
Once you arrive in Nafplio you will have some time to take some rest and also you can walk at the old city of Nafplio with the centre point the Syntagma Square
At the map below you will find where the downtown of the Old City Of Nafplio is located so to have a better understanding of the structure of the city.
So the first whole day of your weekly gateway in Nafplio is mainly focused in the city of Nafplio, the first capital of Greece, in order to meet the area where you will based for the next week and be more familiar with places where you can spend the evening. This day is amazing for people who enjoy walking! Nafplio has two hills the one at the left of the city where the Palamidi Fortress is and the other one is “the edge” of Nafplio, the Acronafplia Castle. All travelers who enjoy walking will love this day as they will combine amazing views with visits at historical places!
The Palamidi Fortress
You have two options to visit Palamidi. You can either drive there
Or if you enjoy walking you can try the path with the 999 steps and the amazing view …
For the rest of the day and on your way down from the Palamidi Fortress you can follow the path below that connects the two main beaches of Nafplio, the Arvanitia and the Karathona beach. It is a gravel road, parallel to the sea that is used by a lot of locals as an alternative jogging path instead of the gym. While walking on this path you will have the sea at your right and the Palamidi Hill at you left and you can enjoy amazing views. On your way you will meet some small amazing beaches that you can use as “private beaches” as there are not a lot of people visiting them as it requires walking.
The destination for today is Mycenae. Probably and you have heard a lot about Mycenae but here is a full guide of what you should expect there. At the map below you can see how you will go to Mycenae.
In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the major centres of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece, Crete, the Cyclades and parts of southwest Anatolia. The period of Greek History from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae. At its peak in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares.
The first correct identification of Mycenae in modern literature was during a survey conducted by Francesco Grimani, commissioned by the Provveditore Generale of the Kingdom of Morea in 1700, who used Pausania’s description of the Lion Gate to identify the ruins of Mycenae.
In Mycenae you can see the Tomb Of Agamemnon
The Tomb Of Clitennestra
The Citadel Of Mycenae, the underground Cisterns and the Archeological Museum Of Mycenae from where you can also buy some souvenirs that will remind you always that you had the amazing experience of visiting this historical site!
In the evening you can walk on one of the most popular paths of the city, the Acronafplia Path where you can enjoy an amazing walking next to the Argolic Gulf , the greatest sunset and the view of the Bourtzi Castle located in the centre on the port of Nafplio.
Do not forget to stop by the Arvanitia Lighthouse that is located at the very end of the hill! At this point you can visit the small church of Panagitsa, the “Panagitsa Of The Cave” as some say that was built in the 1050’s and was used also as a hidden school.
This day has a visit at the Most Well-know archeological site of Ancient Greece, the Epidaurus.
Epidaurus is located 27,3km East from Nafplio and at the map below you can see how you will go there
Epidaurus was a small city in ancient Greece, on the Argolida Pininsula at the Saronic Gulf.
Epidaurus was independent of Argos and not included in Argolis until the time of the Romans. With its supporting territory, it formed the small territory called Epidauria. Reputed to be founded by or named for the Argolid Epidaurus, and to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary situated about five miles (8 km) from the town, as well as its theater, which is once again in use today. The cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC, when the older hill-top sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas was no longer spacious enough.
In Epidaurus you can visit the Ancient Theatre Of Epidaurus , The Ancient Stadium Of Epidaurus , The Sanctuary of Asklipios, The Sanctuary Of Apollon Maleatas, And the Archeological Museum Of Eidaurus.
As you will be in the area it is very important to visit the Sunken City of the Ancient Epidaurus.
Today starts with the original French Breakfast at the most well-known place in the area the “Gallika Salon de Thé & French Bakery”.
For today the schedule has the visit to the historical Tiryns and the Most Ancient City Of The World, Argos.
Tiryns is a Mycenean Archeological Site from which Mythical Hero Herakles performed his 12 labors.
Tiryns was a hill fort with occupation ranging back seven thousand years, from before the beginning of the Bronze Age. It reached its height between 1400 and 1200 BC, when it was one of the most important centers of the Mycenaean world, and in particular in Argolis. Its most notable features were its palace, its Cyclopean tunnels and especially its walls, which gave the city its Homeric epithet of “mighty walled Tiryns”. Tiryns is linked with the myths surrounding Heracles, as the city was the residence of the hero during his labors, and some sources even cite it as his birthplace.
Argos is considered as the most ancient city of the world. Visiting Argos you will have the option to visit the Ancient Theatre Of Argos
The Hellenistic theater at Argos is cut into the hillside of the Larisa, with 90 steps up a steep incline, forming a narrow rectilinear cavea. Among the largest theaters in Greece, it held about 20,000 spectators and is divided by two landings into three horizontal sections. Staircases further divide the cavea into four cunei, corresponding to the tribes of Argos. British archaeologist Richard Allan Tomlinson describes the positions of the steps as not conforming to any regular plan, and the blocks are consequently of varying sizes. A high wall was erected to prevent unauthorized access into the theatron and may have helped the acoustics, but it is said the sound quality is still very good today.
Around 120 CE, both theaters were renovated in the Roman style. It was around this time that the smaller of the theaters was converted to an odeon, and the Hellenistic theater became Greco-Roman. Containing one of only two examples of a circular orchestra, the other is at Epidauros. The Romans constructed a proskenion that covered part of the orchestra with a hyposkenion below it. The cavea doesn’t show evidence of renovation so it can be assumed that they remain original. (Lavy)
Another notable feature is the Charonian stairway. Actually more like a tunnel, the stairway lead underground from the backstage to the orchestra pit and is presumed to be used to “sudden appear” among the actors in play. Other reports suggest these tunnels were too short and narrow to operate effectively for actors, especially actors in costume. In 1988, archaeologists revealed a full circle orchestra bounded by stone like the theater of Epidauros. “Argos and Epidauros are the only two theaters proven to have this orchestral feature
As you will be in the city, you can visit the downtown, the St. Peter’s Square that was fully renovated in 2017 and is very pedestrian friendly.
We suggest you to spend your last day in Nafplio to visit some archeological sites that are located in the city and also to have some time to spend for shopping if you want to have some memory gifts for back home!
Every Wednesday and Saturday in the city of Nafplio there is an open market where all the locals go to buy the grocery and also you can find different fresh products as well, including fresh fish from the Argolic Gulf!
The second place that you can visit in Nafplio is the War Museum.
Located in the area where the first Army Cadet School were, the War Museum was inaugurated at the end of 1988. The Museum is a directive of the history of the Army Cadet School and that of contemporary history of the Greek state, the participation of the citizens of Argolida prefecture in all rebellious acts, from the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire to the liberation from the occupation troops.
At the end before lunch you can visit the Archeological Museum in the main square of the old city, the Syntagma Square.
While walking today you will pass from different pedestrian areas where you can find local retail stores if you wish to shop any gifts. In addition, at the Syntagma Square there are a lot of coffee shops and restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Greek coffee and meet the Greek cuisine!
For the evening we left the best part of this trip. This is because at the evening you can enjoy walking at the historical Acronafplia Castle, enjoy amazing view of the Argolic Gulf, take some memorable photos at the sunset!
Unfortunately all the vacation come at the end at some point. It’s time to go back home!
Do you feel fully recharged for the rest of the year?
Was the one week enough for you to create unforgettable memories and come closer to the Ancient Greek Culture?
If you feel that a little more would be ideal, check the link below, where you can find a suggestion on how you can extend your stay and meet some other places of Greece in order to come closer to the Greeks of 20th century and their life style!