Even a day trip from Athens through the mainland is enough for travelers to find themselves in the amazing lanscapes, historical sites and picturesque coastal villages of the Argolida region. During the summer season, the internationally known Epidaurus Theatre Festival attracts crowds of spectators. From the beach resorts of the county you get very easy access to the cosmopolitan islands of Hydra, Spetses and Poros. Argolida region has been inhabited since the Mesolithic era, but flourished during the Bronze Age. It is the region’s leading archaeological sites of Mycenae, Argos and Epidaurus that attract thousands of visitors all year round.
Here you will find the famous Nafplio fortified old town, the cosmopolitan Porto Heli beach resort, the famous beaches at the coasts overlooking Hydra and Poros islands, as well as a large number of ancient cities, Byzantine churches and sites mentioned in the ancient Greek mythology. On these mountains, fields, coasts and islands of Argolida , Homer places many scenes of his epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey; a journey here is always exciting and unforgettable.
Argolida Must See
- Nafplion is one of the most beautiful cities of Greece, and was the first capital of the newly established - after the liberation from the Turks - Greek State until 1834. Founded in prehistoric times and participated in the Argonaut expedition and the Trojan War. The city declined during the Roman period and flourished again during the Byzantine era. Franks, Venetians and Turks left their traces, all visible today across the city.
- Porto Heli The cosmopolitan coastal city of Porto Heli lays in a secluded bay with a natural harbor, surrounded by wonderful coves with small sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, beautiful pine forests and olive groves. Today Porto Heli and its neighboring areas (like Aghios Emilianos, Ververonta, Korakia and Petrothalassa) are popular destinations for Greek and foreign tycoons whose yachts and villas decorate the protected coves of those beautiful locations.
- Mycenae “Polychryses” (i.e. “full of gold”) Mycenae, the legendary city of King Atreus and Agamemnon, hymned by Homer was excavated during 19th century by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. It is one of the most important and famous archaeological sites in Greece. The Mycenaean citadel with the impressive Lions Gate, the Palace complex with the six royal tombs and the secluded magnificent vaulted Tomb of Agamemnon (also called “Treasure of Atreus”) create an enthralling ancient site.
- Epidaurus The ancient theater of Epidaurus - with a capacity of approximately 12,000 seats – was built by the architect and sculptor Polykleitos during the 4th century BC. It is located on the northwestern slope of Kinortion mountain. It is very well preserved and has exceptional acoustics. Since 1955 - and hence every summer- the theatre of Epidaurus hosts performances of ancient drama or concerts, during the Festival of Epidaurus.
The most important witnesses of the historical heritage of the city are - of course - the imposing castles -Palamidi, Bourtzi, Acronafplia – with their imposing fortifications, dating from different historical periods. Akronafplia actually preserves parts of fortifications that date back in the classical antiquity!
Argolida Must Taste
- Deep fried red mullets and a lot of different fresh seafood in the fish restaurants in Kilada, a fishermen village close to Porto Heli
- Local cheeses, fresh baked bread and tasty cooked meat plates in the taverns along Trachia village.
- Juicy, several kinds of grilled meat on a spit in the traditional and popular taverns of Ligourio, a village next to the ancient theater of Epidaurus.
- Fresh oranges and fruits harvested from of the lush gardens of Argos.
- Vine leaf wrapped dolmas cooked in olive oil and superb Nemea region wines in the traditional taverns of Nafplion.
Argolida Must Do
1. Walking tour in Nafplio
A stroll in the streets of the city is one of the best walks in Greece, a fabulous walk; wander around the streets among the magnificent neoclassical houses with the wonderful earthy warm colors, reflecting over the waters of the Gulf of Argolis; admire the exceptional Renaissance town urban design and Ottoman fountains and visit either by car or climb on foot if you feel fit, the famous 999 steps leading to the impressive fortress overlooking the town, the legendary Palamidi.
Stand at the edge of the fortifications and the stone walls to take a deep breath, enjoying the spectacular view from above; do not miss a mini tour to the excellent museums in Nafplio (Archaeological, War, Folklore Museum, as well as the Library and the Art Gallery). End your colorful and surprising day by tasting traditional Greek food, cooked with one of the best olive oils in the world, served in the most romantic atmosphere: in Nafplion’s old neighborhoods!
2. Watch a theater play in Epidaurus
A performance here is the top cultural event in the Peloponnese and a fabulous experience not to be missed for no reason. The plays are mostly works of ancient drama writers (like Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus and Aristophanes) and are performed by famous Greek and foreign actors. Take a seat in the ancient theater early in the evening and enjoy the moments before the show; it is when the sun sets and the cicadas still sing on the pines, the lights turn out and the actors appear in the same way they did 2500 years ago!
It is one of the most moving moments in a Greek archaeological site!
3. Boat trip around the bays of Porto Heli
A unique boat trip along the olive tree covered coastline, enjoy the calm waters and the astonishing landscapes! Sail along the shores and bays north of Kranidi, see the imposing rising peaks of Didima mountains and feel the typical Mediterranean atmosphere; enter the Kilada Bay and go ashore in the small village where you will find some wonderful fish restaurants.
Embark for Porto Heli, sailing around the imposing cape of Korakia and its lighthouse, watch the keen skiers at Ververonta and finally moor next to the luxury yachts of the Greek ship-owners and grandees.
4. Mountain journeys by car
Discover the hidden Argolida on a drive from Epidavros to Kranidi through Didima mountains, drive through small and quiet picturesque villages, if you are there in Autumn, watch the olive harvesting, visit small byzantine churches and monasteries as well as the Trizina archaeological site and learn
Argolida Must Stay
Sat high upon the Bronze Age acropolis of Akronafplia with breathtaking views across the Bay of Argolis and Nafplion below, is perched the magnificent Nafplia Palace hotel. From the drawing board of an award wining architect, sprang the concept of an uncompromisingly luxurious hotel. Now, with a new collection of achingly beautiful villas and bungalows, once again Nafplia Palace can lay claim to being the jewel of the Peloponnese.
With two bars and three restaurants to suit your mood and moment, facilities for private meetings or 300 delegates. And simply sumptuous accommodation; with 51 hotel rooms and 33 individually designed villas, many with private heated pools or outdoor Jacuzzis.
Comprising a 38-suite resort and an Aman Spa, Amanzoe is Amanresorts’ third Mediterranean retreat – the Greek complement to Montenegro’s Aman Sveti Stefan and Turkey’s Amanruya. Drawing its name from the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace’ and zoe (pronounced zoi), the Greek word for ‘life’, Amanzoe is situated on a hilltop close to the quaint town of Porto Heli on the east coast of the Peloponnese. The resort offers almost 360º panoramic sea views as well as a private Beach Club in a picturesque bay.