Tour Duration: 3 Days Tour Destination: Argolis, Mystras & Monemvasia
Pick Up & Drop Off Locations:
Places & Sites To Visit:
The 3-Day Tour of Argolis, Mystras & Monemvasia begins with a seaside drive around the port of Piraeus and to the west side of Athens through the industrial areas of Aspropirgos and Eleusina past the oiled derricks and the shipyards to watch the cruise ships and tankers arrive in the port of Athens from far away.
The island of Salamis is clearly visible on the way out of Eleusina and into the highway. While gaining height the bay between Salamis and mainland Athens is becoming visible. This is where the Athenians defeated the Persian Empire once and for all in the naval battle of Salamis in 486 B.C.
The drive continues on the highway along the Argo-Saronic gulf past small towns and villages for about 30 minutes. Then Peloponnesus peninsula becomes visible and it’s time to make the first stop for approximately 15 minutes to explore the Canal of Corinth, Isthmus that separates Peloponnesus from mainland Greece.
The tour then proceeds over Isthmus, on the highway for another 15 minutes until reaching the city of Ancient Corinth and Acrocorinth (Acropolis of Corinth). A short drive around the archaeological site is offered before entering, in order to see the highlights from a higher perspective, like the monolithic Temple of Apollo, the Agora, the Bema (Pontium) where Apostle Paul preached, the Imperial Temple and Fountain of Glafki. Visitor are free to explore the archaeological site for 60 minutes.
Next stop is the Fort of Acrocorinth located at 575m over the sea level. The occupies shows signs of Ancient Greek, Byzantine, Frankish and Venetian architecture due to several reconstructions and additions through different periods. Also known for its immorality the ruined Temple of Aphrodite is located on the highest location of the fort.
The next destination is Mycenae, located approximately 30 minutes away from Corinth. Mycenae is popular for The Mycenaean Fort that is located encircling a hill, The Lions’ Gate that was a show of strength and the trademark of Mycenae, The Cyclopian Walls that a legend had groups of Cyclopses helping in the construction, The Ruined Palace of Agamemnon in which the unfortunate king was murdered by his wife Clytemnestra, The Tomb of Atreus or "Tholos" where the body of the first king of Mycenae and his treasury is located and The museum of Mycenae for black figure pottery, coins and trading lines. A visit of 60 minutes is recommended for this archaeological site.
The final stop for the first day is Nafplio (At this point the visitors may decide to have lunch in the beautiful seaside town of Tolo before visiting Nafplion). Located 30 minutes away from Mycenae, Nafplio became the capital of the First Hellenic Republic and the Kingdom of Greece from the beginning of the Greek Revolution of 1821 until 1834. Nafplio is a seaport town on the Argolic Gulf popular for its Venetian style, pedestrian streets, shopping areas, The Venetian Fortress Palamidi located on a 200m high hill and accessible by 999 steps, Acronafplia (Acropolis of Nafplio) over Nafplio providing an impressive view of the old town and a Venetian fortification in the seaport named Bourtzi. The tour is finished in the evening. The visitors are free to enjoy and spend the night in Nafplion.
The second day starts with a 2 hour drive heading towards the south area of Peloponnesus us to visit the Palace of Mystras. Mystras is located 8 kilometers away from what is once was ancient Sparta. Unfortunately Sparta was devastated and there is nothing but a fragment left. It is important to know that Mystras was the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of Morea (old name for Peloponnesus) during the 14th & 15th centuries A.D. Passing through the new city of Sparta the travelers may spend some time to visit the olive oil museum. Then we head towards the hill of Mystras to visit the Palace. The Palace is located 310m higher from the ground and provides a spectacular view of the municipality of Sparta. Going through the Palace is easy since the entrance is located on the top of the hill and the exit is at the bottom. 1 hour is required for visiting Mystras Palace.
Next and final stop for the day is Monemvasia, located on the south-east coast of Peloponnesus for approximately 1,5 hours away. Almost half of the drive is along the 2.404m high mount Taygetos. The mountains shade offers a spectacular and intimidating view over the landscape. The night is spent inside the fortified town on the island of Monemvasia.
On the last day the travelers are free to follow their own schedule for 5 hours. Geologists believe that Monemvasia was attached to the mainland but separated after an earth quake around 378 BC. It's name stands for "only passage". At the foot of the rock we walk by stone homes built by Venetians, Ottomans & Byzantines. The city was founded by the Byzantines in the 6th century & became an important defensive port. In the 12th century it was a Venetian stronghold & later an Ottoman one until July of 1821 the day it was liberated. Time on the island can be spent enjoying the crystal clear water on the beach, exploring Castle of Monemvasia on the Acropolis of the island, trying the local delicacies or taking amazing pictures of the old town.
The day end with a relaxing 4 hour drive back to Athens.