Choice of the Month: Argolida

Asine - grounds of the Mycenaean acropolisAsine village in Argolida with its Mycenaean acropolis

Argolis or Argolida is this Eastern part of the Peleponnese peninsula where you will find ancient Mycenae, the magnificent Epidaurus theatre (still in use to this day) and charming Nafplion, the first capital of modern Greece. The area is literally filled with ancient temples, medieval castles, it even has a small Hellenic pyramide. Nothing huge, like the Egyptian ones, just a tiny one – but nevertheless a pyramide.

Argolida is looking upon both the Argolic Gulf and the Saronic/Epidaurus Gulf. It is a haven of small coves and secluded beaches. It is a perfect place for any kind of sailsport and if you hit the right spots it also becomes quite cosmopolitan, like Porto Heli.

Nafplion, the capital of Argolida

Nafplion - view from Palamidi Castle upon Akronauplia

Nafplion – view from the Palamidi Castle upon Akronauplia
Palamidi castle above NafplionBourtzi Tower in Nafplion portThe mole of NafplionNafplion, Greece
Top, from left to right: Palamidi Castle rising above the city of Nafplio, view from the shore at the Bourtzi Tower in the middle of Nafplio port, view of Nafplio port from the mole. Below: Panoramic view of the central Constitutional Square of Nafplion

Nafplio is a seaport town that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. Today Nafplio is the capital of Argolis.

Nafplio - pedestrian zoneNauplia - view of the portNauplia street viewView from Nafplion to Argolis Bay Nauplia street view

Nauplia house Nauplia shopNafplio is a seaport town that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. Nafplio is now the capital of Argolis.


Argos with the oldest theatre in Greece

The oldest theatre of the ancient Greek world you will find in Argos
The castle of Argos on Larissa hillHoplite armour at the Archeologic Museum of Argos in GreeceView from the Heraion of Argos into the Inachos plain, Argolis, GreeceFrom left to right: The Castle of Argos on Larissa hill, a hoplite armour on display at the Archaeological Museum of Argos, view of the Heraion of Argos into the Inachos plain of Argolida.

Argos is another city in Argolis, 11 kilometres from Nafplion, which was its historic harbour. Being a settlement of great antiquity, Argos has been continuously inhabited as at least a substantial village for the past 7,000 years.The city is a member of the ‘Most Ancient European Towns Network’. At a strategic location on the fertile plain of Argolis, Argos was a major stronghold during the Mycenaean era. In classical times Argos was a powerful rival of Sparta for dominance over the Peloponnese. Numerous ancient monuments can be found in the city today, the most famous of which is the Heraion of Argos.


View of Kranidi town, Argolida

Port of Koilada ArgolidasBay of Porto CheliBeach at Agios AimilianosTop: View of Kranidi town. Below from left to right: The port of Koilada Argolidas, view of Porto Cheli Bay, and the beach at Agios Aimilianos

Kranidi is situated in the eastern part of Argolis, on the easternmost “finger” of the Peloponnese peninsula.

It is known for being the location of second homes of several celebrities, including the Dutch crown princely couple Willem-Alexander and Máxima, Russian president Vladimir Putin and actor Sean Connery.

The area around Kranidi consists of low hills, covered with olive groves and small forests. The town itself is about 4 km from the coast. Several villages of the Kranidi municipality are on the Aegean Sea coast, including Koilada, Portocheli and the small beach settlement Doroufi.

Porto Cheli

Porto Heli port and town in Argolida, Greece

This photo of Porto Heli is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Porto Cheli is a small seaside town of Argolida, only 3 hours drive from Athens. It gets very busy during summer due to the nice beaches and the cosmopolitan environment. In fact, many private yachts moor in the port of Porto Heli creating a lovely scene day and night.

From Porto Heli you can visit Spetses and Hydra by boat. From the small port of Costa, 5 km from Porto Heli, there are local boats to Spetses. These boats depart every 20 min and arrive in Spetses in 10 min. You can go by car to Costa and get to Spetses by boat or taxi boat.

Bay of Porto Cheli, Argolida

This photo of Porto Heli is courtesy of TripAdvisor

There are daily ferries (flying dolphins) from Piraeus to Argolida. This route passes Porto Heli and the Saronic islands, including Poros, Spetses and Hydra.


Panoramic view of Tolo, Argolida

Panoramic view of Tolo in the Bay of Argolis

Although the modern history of Tolo starts in 1830, the area where it is situated and its surroundings go back much further. The bay of Tolon was first written about by Homer, as was Asini in the Iliad, named as one of the cities whose fleet took part in the Trojan War. In the centuries to come the bay of Tolon gave refuge to battle ships at various times and then during the Byzantine period was revived as an auxiliary port to Nafplio.

Tolo, ArgolidaAg. Apostoli in front of village of Tolo, GreeceBay of ToloFrom left to right: View from Tolo, the islet of Ag. Apostoli in front of the village of Tolo, and a view of Tolo Bay and beach

With its natural beauty and situation allowing easy access to the neighbouring archaeological sites, Tolon has in modern day evolved into a popular summer resort, offering hospitality to tourists from all over the world.


Ermioni village, Argolida

Evening view of Ermioni village in Argolida

Ermioni is a small town in Argolis. It has become a popular tourist resort. It is on a very small out-cropping of the land facing the island of Hydra. You can reach Ermioni within two hours from Athens by Hydrofoil. The ancient country of Ermionis used to lie in this area. It is linked by a road linking Kranidi and Galatas along with Poros. The island of Dokos lies directly to the southeast.


Asine - view of the Argolic GulfAsini Beach, ArgolidaView from ruins of ancient Greek city of Asine, PeloponneseView of Asine cove with the resort of Tolo in the backgroundTop photo: Asini – view of the Argolic Gulf. Below from left to right: View of Asini Beach, view from the ruins of the ancient city of Asine, and Asine cove with the resort of Tolo in the background

At modern Asini you will find the acropolis of the ancient city-state Asine. It occupies a promontory about one kilometre from the northern edge of Tolo and is also called Kastraki by the locals. The highest part of the promontry is 52 metre above sea level – from here you can get a great view of the coastline.

The earliest human occupation of this site dates back to the Neolithic period. According to Homer, Asine participated in Trojan War together with other local cities. Asine as a state seems to be ruined by Argos (around 700 BC) according to Pausanias and the inhabitants moved or were moved to Asine in Messenia (today’s Koroni).

There is a small beach in the bay at the western side of the promontory with organised bathing facilities. At the eastern side the beach is sandy with shallow waters but with no facilities.

Things to see in Argolida

Mycenae acropolisMycenae lion gate - detailThe Tomb of Aegisthus outside the walls of the citadelAncient Mycenae: When in the area of Argolida it is definitely worthwhile to spend a day at the site of ancient Mycenae. The archaeological site is located 11 km north of Argos; Corinth is 48 km to the north. From the hill on which the palace was located one can see across the Argolid to the Saronic Gulf.

In the second millennium BC Mycenae was one of the major centres of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece. The period of Greek history from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae.

Amphitheatre in EpidavrosThe ancient theatre of Epidaurus: A visit at the amphitheatre of Epidaurus is an absolute ‘must’ when in the neighborhood. You might even be so lucky to find tickets for one of the plays or concerts, which to this day still are arranged at the ancient theatre during the summer months. Follow this link to find the program for 2013

The Asclepieion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world, the place where ill people went in the hope of being cured. Today you can visit the ruins of the ancient sanctuary, you will find them a short distance from the ancient theatre of Epidaurus

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