Ancient Corinth & Epidaurus theatre
A day immersed in ancient history and the gorgeous Peloppones countryside.
A NOTE ABOUT DRIVING TIMES
A fair amount of driving, about 4.5 hours in total, but most of it is very scenic. Piraeus-Corinth, 75 min; Corinth-Epidaurus, 75 min; Epidaurus-Piraeus, 2 hrs.
About an hour after leaving port we’ll stop briefly at Corinth canal for a little modern wonder before our journey into the past. At Ancient Corinth you’ll get a glimpse into the wealthy and important place Corinth was in its glory days, followed by a scenic drive to Epidaurus theatre, stopping along the way for stunning views and perhaps a little refreshment or lunch.
Four miles long with an almost sheer drop of about 200 feet, the Corinth canal is a seemingly impossible work of engineering and labor. Even though the canal was accomplished in the late 19th century, the idea of creating a short cut between the Ionian and Aegean seas goes back to the 7th century B.C. In those times there was much superstition surrounding the endeavor, and most everyone who considered taking up the task ended up dead before they could begin, including Julius Caesar. We’ll stop here just briefly to get some photos.
You’ll want to keep your camera handy as we travel on, because the landscape in this part of Greece is very beautiful. In fact, all of the Pelopponese peninsula is renowned for its natural beauty.
As you walk among the ruins at Ancient Corinth you’ll get a sense of the expansiveness of the once-glorious civilization. Due to its fertile soil and strategic position Ancient Corinth enjoyed great affluence and power long before the rise of Rome, which we can still see in the remains of the majestic temple of Apollo. After laying Corinth to waste in the 2nd century B.C. the Romans decided to revive it, and Corinth flourished again as a Roman colony.
The area has been systematically excavated by the American School of Classical Studies since 1896. The cool thing about these ruins, besides the fact that they are set in such a gorgeous spot, is that you can really walk among them and touch the ancient stones.
On the way to Epidaurus theatre we’ll touch on the eastern coastline of the peninsula with its fairy tale views, stopping along the way for photos and a coffee or lunch break on the terrace at Stork if you wish.
Epidaurus theatre is another fine example of the brilliance of the ancient Greeks. This classic theatre, integrated into the hillside with views of the surrounding countryside, achieved perfection of both visual proportions and acoustics. From the top row you can hear sounds as quiet as paper being crinkled or coins being dropped onstage. Then consider that this architectural feat was realized in the 4th century B.C. — with no computers or electricity or heavy machinery — and this may very well be the moment when you realize that people were incredibly smart long before modern times.
DURATION: 9 hours
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