See Corinth, Mycenae and Nafplio in a day with Enjoy Tours Greece and Kostas
If you have never been to Corinth or Mycenae or Nafplio, you are in for a treat! On the way to Corinth make sure you look out of the left-hand side windows for breath-taking views over the Gulf of Corinth. The large island close to the mainland is Salamina, ancient Salamis, where Xerxes, the Persian emperor, watched the defeat of his fleet in 480 BC. It was quite a victory as the valiant Greeks were outnumbered by the Persians.
The blues of the sea are incredible on sunny days, so you may want to take some photos. In fact, this trip down to Nafplio gives you a chance to see some spectacular scenery.
The Corinth Canal
The Corinth canal, which joins the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf is one of the engineering marvels of the 19th century. Only when looking down on it from the road can you begin to understand what a feat of engineering this was. It is amazing to actually go down the canal, as you can almost touch the sides from the boat.
If you didn’t have breakfast, you may be able to pick up a souvlaki or gyros just a few steps away from the canal.
Ancient Corinth and Akrocorinth
Ancient Corinth is where St Paul addressed the Corinthians. You can walk in his footsteps around this ruined city and visit the onsite museum.
Afterwards, head for the hills and Akrocorinth. Take a jacket, as it’s usually windy and cool, if not cold, up there. This city has been inhabited by the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Franks, Venetians, the Knights of St John and the Turks. They all added bits to the city, so it is a melange of architectural styles. You need to be fit to walk to the top of the city, as there are quite a few steps to negotiate. The view from the top is well worth the effort.
Most tours don’t go to Akrocorinth, so if you want to go there, arrange it in advance with Kostas. It will add a couple of hours to your tour. That means that you might want a customised tour, leaving Nafplio until another time.
Photo credit: Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany – The Lion Gate, Mycenae, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45976024
Mycenae is perhaps most famous because of the brothers, Agamemnon and Menelaus, the ‘Lions of the house of Atreus’ which are carved in stone in the arch above the gate to this ancient site. Clytemnestra’s bath can also still be seen here, as can her tomb which dates back to around 1,200 BC.
If you remember the story, Clytemnestra was Agamemnon’s wife. He sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia so that the gods would give the Greeks good weather to sail for Troy. When Agamemnon returned years later, Clytemnestra killed him to avenge her daughter’s death.
The “Treasury of Atreus” or “Agamemnon’s tomb” is not on the same site, but it’s very close, on the opposite side of the road to the palace complex.
The museum is a must-see on the site. You’ll need about an hour to see all the exhibits. Don’t miss it!
When you can tear yourself away from Mycenae, you will start the trip to Nafplio which takes you through orange groves. Just before you get to Nafplio, you will see the excavations of Tiryns. This is a World Heritage Site along with the palace complex at Mycenae.
Tiryns is associated with Hercules, as the king of the city, according to myth and legend, gave Hercules his labours from his palace in Tiryns. For the ancient Greeks, Tiryns unbelievable, so they attributed its building not to men, but to the race of Cyclops.
Nafplio was the first modern capital of Greece after the revolution of 1823. It remained the capital until 1834 when Athens became capital.
If you walk along the promenade, you will see the Venetian fortress, Bourtzi, where Kolokotronis was imprisoned after the revolution. He had been its hero. In summer, you can take a boat to the fortress.
Above Nafplio is the Palamidi castle, the second prison Kolokotronis was sent to. You can drive most of the way up to the castle, so don’t be daunted by the steps! There are said to be 999 of them. Take care if you clamber around the walls!
Nafplio, with its neoclassical architecture is a shopper’s paradise. the winding cobbled streets of the old town are truly fascinating. You never know what you will see. There is a komboloi (worry beads) museum at Staikopoulou 25, if you are interested in these.
There are many other things to see in Nafplio, such as the archaeological museum and the Folklore Museum on King Alexander 1, St. If you have time, visit the National Gallery at 23 Sidiras Merarhias St.
For me, no trip to Nafplio would be complete without a visit to Roulis taverna. You can have meat dishes too!
You’ll certainly sleep well when you get back to Athens after this wonderful tour!
Enjoy Greece tours with your guide, Kostas!