Touring in Peloponnese: Argos

Argolic Gulf, Peloponnese, Greece

3rd stop: Argos

11 kilometres from Nafplion you’ll find Argos, a city also situated in Argolis in Peloponnese, Greece. Nafplion was Argos’ habour in the historic days. Being a settlement of great antiquity, Argos has been continuously inhabited for the last 7,000 years, which makes it one of the oldest cities in Greece as well as Europe. At a strategic location on the fertile plain of Argolis, Argos was a major stronghold during the Mycenaean era. In the ancient years 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, the temple in the greatest sanctuary in the Argolid, dedicated to Hera.

Coordinates: 37°40′N 22°50′E
(1) Nafplio  (2) Argos-Mykines  (3) Epidaurus  (4) Ermionida

The Heraion of Argos, GreeceMap of ancient ArgolisArgos ancient theatre - the oldest in Greece

The castle on Larissa hill

Back in the 12th century, a castle was built on Larissa Hill, which was the site of the ancient Acropolis. The castle was named Kastro Larissa. Argos was taken by the Crusaders and belonged to the lordship of Argos and Nauplia. It was sold to the Republic of Venice in 1388, but soon taken by the despot of Mystra Theodore I Palaiologos; he on the other hand sold it to them six years later in 1394. Then just 3 years later the Ottoman Empire plundered the city and took most of its inhabitants and sold them as slaves. The Venetians then repopulated the city and region with Albanian settlers who together with the Greeks of Argos supplied the troops of the Venetian armies.

Considerable remains of the city have survived and are a popular tourist attraction today. Agriculture, however, is the primary economic activity in the area, with citrus fruits the predominant crop. Olives are also popular here.

Argos railway stationArgos has a railway station on the Kalamata – Tripoli – Corinth line of the Hellenic Railways Organisation. The Archaeological Museum of Argos houses ancient artifacts recovered not only from the principal archaeological sites of the city, including the theater and agora but also from Lerna.

In ancient Greece, Lerna was a region of springs and a former lake near the east coast of Peloponnese peninsula, south of Argos. Its site near the village Mili at the Argolic Gulf is most famous as the lair of the Lernaean Hydra, the chthonic many-headed water snake, a creature Heracles killed, as the second of his labors. The strong Karstic springs have remained; the lake has vanished.

Lerna is notable for several archaeological sites, including an Early Bronze Age structure known as House of the Tiles, dating to the Early Helladic period II (2500–2300 BC).

Accommodation

Hotel Morfeas
2, Danaou Street | St Peter Square, Argos 21200, Greece (60$)

The hotel is right in the centre of Argos. Great location. Rooms are rather small for two. The breakfast is OK, although minimal. Very small lobby and breakfast area. Rooms are cleaned daily and staff is pleasant.

Zephyros Apartments
Kiveri Beach | Argolis, Argos 21200, Greece (90€)

The location is excellent, the Kiveri village is charming, the view is amazing. The rooms are big with new furniture (including comfortable beds) and you can take breakfast in the shadow of the plants. The owners are very client-oriented and ready to help you anytime.

Amphitryon Hotel
Spiliadou Street, Nafplion 21100, Greece (107$ – 134$)

Excellent location, great customer service and the breakfast has an enormous selection. Superb facilities, the bathroom has blinds that can be pulled up for extra natural light. Truly wonderful for couples, especially if they seek peace and quiet. Staff is helpful, polite and Greek. Also, check the Nafplion Palace up the hill, there’s a great view of the city, superb architecture and a large swimming pool, perfect for doing lengths. Book online for best deals.

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