Epidaurus

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The Protagonist of Ancient Greek Drama

Dazzling Lights and Eternal Applauses Concealed Beyond the Mysteries of Tragedy and the Gaiety of Comedy

Intertwined with the passage of time, Epidaurus is an irreplaceable spectacle of unique beauty with huge cultural heritage. Its monuments are true masterpieces of the ancient Greek art, a genuine testimony of the Greek culture that is still alive. Inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC, Epidaurus is one of the greatest marvels of the ancient world whose former glory has been retained through time gaining the title of a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. Where the richness of the blue waters of the sea meets the evergreen forests of the mountains, Epidaurus is a place that will enchant everyone, archaeology lover or not. It is no accident that the ancient Greeks decided to establish the greatest therapeutic center of antiquity dedicated to God Asclepius in Epidaurus; the most beautiful theatre of Greece, if not the entire world, where ancient drama is glorified starred from the cultural spirit of Greece. Indeed, of all the ancient theatres, Epidaurus one has been characterized as the most beautiful one that creates a unique feeling; a feeling that goes beyond the tranquility of intimacy! Even after two and a half thousand years of cosmogony, people seem to return every single summer in Epidaurus. Undoubtedly, its spirit is eternal. Under the starry sky of the Greek summer nights, you might even find yourself sitting in the chair of Pericles himself who was there two and a half millennium before; it is incredible how the time passes like a falling star in the galaxy. The eternal applause will inevitably lead you to Epidaurus, where Maria Callas, one of the most influential sopranos of the 20th century, and Alexis Minotis, one of the leading dramatic actors and directors of the Greek theatre, left their legacy, where Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles presented their tragic poets and Aristotle,Socrates and Plato gave us the definition of tragedy at Epidaurus, the eternal inheritance of the Greek civilization. Maybe again, it’s the energy vibes of Epidaurus’ theatre that will lead you here, the inconceivable truth that millions of people have applauded ancient tragedies and satirical poets since two thousand years ago while freezing in order to perfectly hear its unbelievable acoustics; it’s the eternal power and the unique beauty that no words could ever describe. Undeniably, lovers of ancient history will fall in love with the craftsmanship of ancient Greeks sculptors after having spent endless hours in the archaeological site of Epidaurus. Nonetheless, it’s not only the universal status of Epidaurus as the cradle of ancient Greek drama; it’s the mystery hidden behind Epidaurus supremacy. Other mysteries are concealed in the hinterland of Argolis, from picturesque villages and pristine seashores to monuments of immense natural beauty. Just before darkness has fallen, you will descent the stone stairs of the ancient theater in the scents of the pine trees and you will wake up from the songs of the cicades late in the afternoon while getting ready for dives into the crystalline waters of Epidaurus. Wandering at the picturesque promenade of Palea Epidaurus with the colourful fishing boats that will tempt you to discover the peninsula that seperates the beach into two while enjoying the rays of the sun dissappearing behind the hills. Whatever happens, you will always have Epidaurus! A cosmogony of two and a half millennia is ready to unveil its mysteries! Undeniably, Epidaurus is a place for your bucket list, a destination you must explore at least for once in your lifetime!

Discover Epidaurus

Best of Epidaurus

The Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus

The Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus is one of the oldest archaeological museums of Greece located in the archaeological site of Epidaurus. The museum was established from archaeologist Panagis Kavvadias in 1902 following his long excavations of the sanctuary of Asclepius. Its exhibitions contain a large numbers of reconstructions and the architectural components and temples as well as inscribed columns and pedestals, bronze medical equipment, altars, tablets and sculpted votive offerings and sections of the Tholos. The exhibition constitutes a characteristic ample of museology concept of the 20th century. Some of the most important exhibits include the statue of Asclepius and the headless female statue.

The Athens and Epidaurus Festival

The Athens and Epidaurus Festival takes place at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus every summer. Numerous performances of ancient drama and modern works are held in the theatre in the summer months of July and August.

The Great Theatre of Epidaurus

The Great Theatre of Epidaurus is one of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Greek art located in the prefecture of Argolis that has been included in the World Heritage Site list of UNESCO. Among all the ancient theatres of Greece, Epidaurus has been characterized as the best preserved and most beautiful one in the entire country, if not the world. The theatre was designed from architect Polycleitus the Younger in 340 BC. According to archaeologists, the theatre was constructed in two phases; the first phase dates to the 4th century BC, a period of significant construction activity, while the second phase corresponds to the second half of the 2nd century BC. Its original layout shows that the theatre was intended for the performance of dramatic works at the level of the orchestra while actors would have performed on a raised proscenium in the second phase. The theatre is situated close to Asclepius Sanctuary, one of the most sacred temples in ancient Greece dedicated to the god of healing, which belonged to the city-state of Epidaurus. Today, the sanctuary along with its buildings forms an extended archaeological site. Epidaurus Great Theatre had a capacity of 13.000 spectators while it was divided into a 21-rows of seats aimed for citizens and a 34-rows of seats aimed for the priests and rulers. Its superb acoustics, its architectural symmetry and its preserved construction are contributed to the creation of Athens and Epidaurus Festival, an institution that contributed to the cultural revival of the theatre. Great actors have acted at the theatre including Alexis Minotis, Anna Synodinou, Thanos Kotopoulos and the renowned Greek soprano Maria Callas. One of the most prestigious festivals of the country, the renowned Athens and Epidaurus Festival, takes place within the theatre every summer for a period of four months.

The Sanctuary of Asclepius

The Sanctuary of Asclepius is one of the most impressive masterpieces of Greek architecture found within the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. Asclepius Sanctuary was the most important therapeutic center of the ancient Greek world, flowed from the sanctuary of Kos, the birthplace of medicine. Since its construction (4th century BC), Epidaurus became known for the sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing. Combining religious faith and occult rituals, the Asklepieia functioned as hospitals and they were of great significance to both Greeks and Romans.

Archaeological Sites

The Great Theatre of Epidaurus is one of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Greek art located in the prefecture of Argolis that has been included in the World Heritage Site list of UNESCO. Among all the ancient theatres of Greece, Epidaurus has been characterized as the best preserved and most beautiful one in the entire country, if not the world. The theatre was designed from architect Polycleitus the Younger in 340 BC. According to archaeologists, the theatre was constructed in two phases; the first phase dates to the 4th century BC, a period of significant construction activity, while the second phase corresponds to the second half of the 2nd century BC. Its original layout shows that the theatre was intended for the performance of dramatic works at the level of the orchestra while actors would have performed on a raised proscenium in the second phase. The theatre is situated close to Asclepius Sanctuary, one of the most sacred temples in ancient Greece dedicated to the god of healing, which belonged to the city-state of Epidaurus. Today, the sanctuary along with its buildings forms an extended archaeological site. Epidaurus Great Theatre had a capacity of 13.000 spectators while it was divided into a 21-rows of seats aimed for citizens and a 34-rows of seats aimed for the priests and rulers. Its superb acoustics, its architectural symmetry and its preserved construction are contributed to the creation of Athens and Epidaurus Festival, an institution that contributed to the cultural revival of the theatre. Great actors have acted at the theatre including Alexis Minotis, Anna Synodinou, Thanos Kotopoulos and the renowned Greek soprano Maria Callas. One of the most prestigious festivals of the country, the renowned Athens and Epidaurus Festival, takes place within the theatre every summer for a period of four months.

The Little Theatre of Epidaurus is found in the area of Nisi close to the harbour of Palea Epidaurus. It used to be the theatre of the ancient city-state that hosted drama, religious and political celebrations. A remarkable characteristic of the theatre is the inscriptions on the seats of the theatre. The construction of the little theatre started in the 4th century and could host 2.000 spectators. However, the theatre was reformed during the Roman period, as the orchestra became semi-circular and the seats were re-ordered. Following a series of archaeological excavations, Epidaurus Little Theatre today hosts the annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival in the summer.

The Sanctuary of Asclepius is one of the most impressive masterpieces of Greek architecture found within the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. Asclepius Sanctuary was the most important therapeutic center of the ancient Greek world, flowed from the sanctuary of Kos, the birthplace of medicine. Since its construction (4th century BC), Epidaurus became known for the sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing. Combining religious faith and occult rituals, the Asklepieia functioned as hospitals and they were of great significance to both Greeks and Romans.

Castles & Fortresses

The Castle of Kazarma is the ancient acropolis of Epidaurus found on the ancient trail that connects Argos, Epidaurus and Nafplio. It was probably built from the Argives on the borders of the two ancient city-0states of Argos and Epidaurus. The acropolis has four circular towers constructed according to the polygonal system built on a hill of twenty-eight meters. The main entrance is located on the west side while there is another gate on the east side. During the byzantine period, the acropolis was rebuilt. Today, travellers can visit the site through the new road on the eastern side of the hill.

The Castle of Nea Epidaurus dominates the highest point of the village of Nea Epidaurus. It is a medieval castle that was constructed in order to protect the area from pirate invasions. The castle was constructed from the Franks in the beginning of the 13th century. The hill of Nea Epidaurus constitutes a natural fortification site that offers a panoramic views of the entire area of Epidaurus. Today, the ruins of some towers are the sole significant remains along with the church of Agios Ioannis.

Churches and Monasteries

The Church of Agios Ioannis Theologos is located in the village of Nea Epidaurus. The church was constructed in 1710 and distinguishes for its impressive wall paintings. Agios Ioannis Chapel offers spectacular views to the valley of Epidaurus.

The Monastery of Agios Dimitrios Mirovlitis, else known as the monastery of Avgou, is one of the most beautiful monasteries of Argolis located in the village of Pelei. Built on the rocky slopes of a mountain, the monastery distinguishes for its byzantine legacy although it is abandoned. The monastery took an active part in the Greek Revolution of 1821, and as a result it was burnt down from Ibrahim in 1825. The small cave of Avgo Monastery on the eastern part stands out for its preserved Christian murals that date back to the 11th century. Avgo Monastery offers panoramic views to Argolis countryside.

The Monastery of Agnoundos is one of the oldest monasteries of Argolis located seven kilometers away from Epidaurus. Agnoundos Monastery was founded in the 11th century and it is a beautiful monument of Byzantine art and local architecture. It distinguishes for its fortified architecture and its shaped turrets and gun loops. The main church is a genuine work of art decorated with beautiful wall paintings from the 13th century along with a brilliant wood-carved iconostasis. The temple is dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary and it celebrates with a great traditional feast on August 15. The monastery offers wonderful views to the Epidaurus countryside covered with rocky hills and verdurous forests.

The Monastery of Panagia Polemarha is located in the village of Nea Epidaurus. The monastery was constructed during the 15th century. Although the monastery is deserted, the unfinished temple with the abandoned monk cells and the stone cistern will amaze you with its architectural symmetry and its domed rooftop. Panagia Polemarha Monastery offers panoramic views to the sea.

Monuments

The Monument of the First Assembly is located in Epidaurus. The first national assembly of the Greeks was held at Piada during Greek War of Revolution of 1821. 59 representatives from the most rebellious regions of Greece attended the assembly in order to vote for the proclamation of the first assembly while they also appointed the colours of the Greek flag as blue and white.

Museums

The Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus is one of the oldest archaeological museums of Greece located in the archaeological site of Epidaurus. The museum was established from archaeologist Panagis Kavvadias in 1902 following his long excavations of the sanctuary of Asclepius. Its exhibitions contain a large numbers of reconstructions and the architectural components and temples as well as inscribed columns and pedestals, bronze medical equipment, altars, tablets and sculpted votive offerings and sections of the Tholos. The exhibition constitutes a characteristic ample of museology concept of the 20th century. Some of the most important exhibits include the statue of Asclepius and the headless female statue.

The Museum Koutsiomiti of Natural History is located in the village of Ligourio. The museum was founded from Vasilis and Anastasia Koutsiomitis in 1993. Koutsiomiti Natural History Museum has been recognized as the biggest thematic museum in minerals and fossils throughout Greece, as its collections are considered unique in Greece and among the richest in Europe.

Natural Beauties

The Gorge of Vothylas is considered to be one of the most beautiful gorges of Greece located close to the village of Nea Epidaurus. It is a verdant paradise full of greenery ideal for walking lovers. Start and end of the route is the square of the First National Assembly. The gorge is surrounded from the wild beauty of Argolis giving a sense of exploration. While approaching the high and steep cliffs of the mountains, the landscape changes into a more arid and rocky scenery. The top of the gorge offers panoramic views of Argolis countryside.

Promenades and Villages

Ligourio is one of the biggest towns of Argolida located on the mountain slopes of Arachneo. Its beautiful settings in conjunction with the rich historical monuments of the area highlight it as a place of unique identity. On the highest spot of Ligourio, there are the walls of ancient Lissa, the Mycenaean bridge, the Ligourio pyramid and the ancient walking path of the sanctuary of Asclepius towards Ligourio and Epidaurus. One should definitely try the view from the highest points of the village; it’s spectacular! Of great interest are the fifty churches and chapel of Ligourio, twelve of which are of the Byzantine era, surround the wider settlement of Ligourio; according to the legend, the churches were built in order to protect Ligourio from enemies and invaders. Ligourio serves as a meeting point in the summer months, as more than one million people who visit the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, also visit Ligourio. The charming town is renowned for its fine agricultural products; it is worth noting that its pure, virgin olive oil has been registered with a protected designation of origin (PDO) from the European Union.

Nea Epidaurus is a seaside village located on the northeast side of Nafplio city. Nestling on the coasts of the bay of Epidaurus, the charming settlement is one of the most historical villages of Greece that has been inhabited since the Mycenaean period. During the Greek Revolution of 1821, the first constitutional assembly of Greece took place in Nea Epidaurus where 59 representatives from the revolted areas of the country participated at the assembly. The main monuments of Nea Epidaurus include the monument of the First Constitutional Assembly that dominated the central square of the village, the castle of Nea Epidaurus, the chapel of Agios Ioannis Theologos and the Canyon of Vothylas. Nea Epidaurus is famous for its delicious oranges, its production of quality olive oil and its excellent pure honey.

Palea Epidaurus is a semi-mountainous village located on the northeast part of Argolis prefecture. Amphitheatrically built on the remnants of the ancient city of Epidaurus, its harmonious location between the sea and the mountains create an ideal setting for nature lovers. Palea Epidaurus cultural heritage and historical legacy is owed to the worldwide famous Epidaurus Ancient Theatre and Asclepius Sanctuary. Since the establishment of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, performances of ancient drama and modern plays are held at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, where Greek and foreign artists have the opportunity to present their personal approach to the masterpieces of art. It is also worth mentioning that the festival of Musical July takes place at the small theatre of Epidaurus every July while the festival of Agrotourism, where the locals have the opportunity to exhibit their products, is held at the port of Palea Epidaurus. The main monuments of Palea Epidaurus include the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, the sanctuary of Asclepius and the archaeological museum of Epidaurus. The excellent know-how of the locals have contributed to the fame of Palea Epidaurus for their fresh fish and seafood; the taverns definitely worth a stop! Of the most beautiful beaches of Palea Epidaurus are Gialasi, Nissi, Panagitsa and Vagonia.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Great Theatre of Epidaurus, Palea Epidaurus

Excursions

Road Trip: The Archaeological Site of Mycenae was first unveiled from Heinrich Schliemann who brought to light the royal tombs of its citadel opening a new chapter in the history of European civilization. races immortalized from time; in the palaces of Mycenae, the ghost of Aegisthus, Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, persons of myth and tragedy dipped in human passions, seem to hang around seeking for vindication, as the tragic poets did. Mycenae, the capital of Greece in prehistoric times and religious center of the Mycenaean world, was firstly called rich from Homer eight centuries ago. The rich city of Atreus and his sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus, and all of the Mycenaean kings who lived there will definitely amaze you; the phantasmagorical view of the Argolis plain and the timeless view of the Aegean Sea from the palace will take your breath away. The Lion Gate, the official entrance to the city of Mycenae, will leave you speechless. Heritage and legacy of this powerful European civilization, Mycenae is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world you will ever discover. Protagonist of the show is no one else than your imagination, which will guide you through the palace of Agamemnon and the religious center of the Acropolis, the Cyclopean walls and the underground cisterns, the vaulted tomb of Clytemnestra and the Treasure of Atreus. Will you explore a route between epic and drama in the city of Mycenae?

Road Trip: The City of Nafplio holds the reigns of one of the most beautiful cities of Greece. Nafplio, the first capital of the newly-established Greek state and the place where the first political assassination in Greece took place, the city where the first Constitution Square was built, where the first national printing office was established and the first Greek Parliament was constructed along with the first theater of Greece and the first pharmacy; indeed, Nafplio was ahead of its time! Whether you are a lover of the deep emotions of not, Nafplio will inspire you feel the unique emotion of romanticism, , a place where you might think that time has stopped some a while ago. However, one thing is certain; the sense of escapism will embrace your body and soul. Under the rock of Acronafplia, the old city of Nafplio lives in her own space-time. Houses with red tile roofs of past centuries seem detached from the present luring visitors to the period when Nafplio was the first capital of the newly established Greek state. Charming neoclassical balconies and majestic Venetian buildings create an architectural puzle interpsersed from romanticism under the aromas of bouggainvillea flowers. Quaint cobbled streets with wonderful buildings will accommodate your steps while the colours of the flowery balconies with their flavors will guide you through the beauty of Nafplio. Born in the pages of a novel and left to the history of yesterday, Nafplio unveils a fairytale story full of colours and scents ornamented from sights that will amaze every traveller. From the square of Constitution, the picturesque alleys of Psaromahalas and the statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias to the island fortress of Bourtzi, the castle of Palamidi and the round of Arvanitia, Nafplio will astonish you. Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor of Greece, dreamt of transforming Nafplio in a miniature of the principal cities of Europe. And so he did. Timeless Nafplio needs no introduction; in an open-air museum as Nafplio, where million of pages of Greek history were written with powerful conquerors and heroic uprisings, everyone will get ecstatic. Frankish buildings, Venetian houses and Neoclassical mansions give an enchanting atmosphere and lots of treasures to the beautiful city of Nafplio while cobblestone alleys and picturesque squares with hanging fuchsia bougainvillea flowers beautify her with wonderful colours. Nafplio’s rich history survives everywhere; each door unveils the mysteries of a different conqueror through myths and legends of this erotic city, above the imposing Palamidi castle with the 999 stairs until the Bourtzi fortress in the sea. In the heart of the old town of Nafplio, the historical Syntagma Square is a true jewel of the city, reminiscent of an Italian piazza, with its glorious Venetian buildings is an ideal starting point for strolling in the alleys of Nafplio. Psaromahalas, the most picturesque district of Nafplio, was the only district that existed in the lower city even before the 15th century. From the years of Byzantium, it used to be inhabited from fishermen, as evidenced from its name, and today it remains one of the most charming regions of the old city of Nafplio. Climbing up to the slippery cobblestone alleys of Palamidi Castle gives a feeling of a labyrinth landscape, a spectacular location to enjoy the views to the island fortress of Bourzi. Napoli di Romagna, as the Venetians used to call Nafpio, exudes a spirit of nobility that will definetely make you explore all the mysteries of it. As for the beauty of this city, this is undeniable! With a castle-jewel to observe from above like the Olympian Gods, an island fortress to guard the pirate invasions from the sea and an emulated architecture that even Florence would be jealous of, Nafplio is a destination for your list! Even if you are no in love, when in Nafplio, you will want to be struck from the arrows of Cupid and ascend the starts to Palamidi to admire the cyclopean walls of Acronafplia. At the end, it will be inevitable not to feel nostalgia and melancholy upon leaving this erotic and poetic city.

Boat Trip: The Island of Hydra is a romantic island with a distinctive architectural character embellished with colorful fishing boats and neoclassical captain mansions. Beautiful captain mansions overlooking the endless blue sea of the Aegean and labyrinthine cobblestone alleys leading to mysterious picturesque neighborhoods and seashores with crystal clear waters. This is Hydra, how not to fall in love at first sight with this island? This island can intrigue you with the uniqueness of its beautiful harbour and the traditional character of the settlement with the imposing stone mansions, the flowery courtyards and the cobblestoned alleys that overlook the deep blue of the Aegean. Hydra, famous throughout the world for her elite atmosphere, renowned for the great island character and the neoclassical architecture, blessed with rich historical monuments, a favorite of nature lovers, the black and white star of the Greek cinema has a charm that remains unchanged over the time.

Boat Trip: The Island of Spetses is a beautiful island of mysterious aromas embellished from the jewel of the island, the Posidonion Hotel adorned and the beautiful square with the statue of Laskarina Bouboulina. It is an island with great cultural and naval tradition accompanied from neoclassical architecture nobility, which is waiting for you to discover it. And the journey begins from the charming town of Dapia with its unique pebbled floor courtyards and its beatiful “balcony” overlooking the endless blue of the Saronic Gulf. Walking along the seafront cobblestone promenade, you will be enchanted from the cannons decorating the chapel of Agios Mamas, the beautiful white and blue seafarer houses of Agios Nikolaos, the romantic chaises riding at the waterfront, the traditional shipyards of Palio Limani and the endless view of the fishing caiques sailing from the old harbour. Lose your way amongst the narrow alleyways behind the majestic beauty of the seaside promenade, and discover the discreet charm of the whitewashed houses with blue windows and red tiled roofs adorned from flowery courtyards of bougainvillea and pebbled mosaics transforming your promenade in an adventure overlooking an unexpected view to the sea.

Activities

Camping: Are you a camping lover? Those who want to spend their vacations enjoying the beauty of sceneries will find many campsites in the area of Epidaurus.

Hiking: Epidaurus hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. Undoubtedly, the ancient path that used to serve as the commercial road connecting the harbour of Palea Epidaurus with Asclepius Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful hiking routes one can explore. Another interesting route starts from Nea Epidaurus village and leads to the castle of Nea Epidaurus; the views are spectacular! Dimena village is also offered for hiking explorations in the mountain massifs of the surrounding area.

Mountain Biking: The rich natural diversity of Epidaurus is highly suitable for mountain and road biking. Exciting trails from rural roads to specially designed cycling routes are available in various parts of Argolis. One of the most beautiful routes starts from the ancient theater of Epidaurus with direction to Ligourio village. After five kilometers through olive groves and dirt paths, there is a one kilometer downhill to the main asphalt road. You will find the ancient path after cycling for ten minutes; an old stone inscription will help you find this spot! It is a wonderful route for every season that offers panoramic views of Epidaurus. Another interesting trail starts from the great theatre of Epidaurus and leads to the little theatre of Epidaurus; it is an easy route ideal for beginners!

Off Road: Lovers of off road driving can follow the dirt roads leading to the mountains of Argolis in order to explore the mysterious beauties of the prefecture. One of the most beautiful routes starts from the village of Palea Epidaurus towards the monastery of Avgo. Make sure you always check the maps of Epidaurus before you get into your car!

Paragliding: Are you eager to experience the thrill of free flying in the beautiful land of Epidaurus? Live the unique experience of a real take-off, touch the clouds and stimulate your adrenaline! The perfect climate conditions of Greece are ideal for paragliding experiences, since the drier the climate the better for the development of the sport.

Beaches

Aliotou is a pebbled beach with blue waters located close to the harbour of Nea Epidaurus village. It is one of the most popular beaches of Epidaurus. The marina on the side of the harbour is an ideal anchorage for boats and yachts.

Gialasi is a pebbled beach with blue waters located on the south part of Palea Epidaurus village. Gialasi is one of the most popular beaches of Epidaurus. It is an organized beach with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas, water sport facilities, beach bars and taverns.

Kalamaki is a sandy and pebbled beach with emerald waters located on the bay of Palea Epidaurus village. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility and relaxation. Kalamaki is accessible on foot by following the path through the forest of Vagiona beach.

Nisi is a sandy and pebbled beach with blue waters located on the right side of the harbour at the peninsula of Epidaurus. It is a calm beach ideal for those looking for tranquility.

Panagitsa is a sandy and pebbled beach with emerald waters located on the south side of Palea Epidaurus village. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility and relaxation.

Polemarha is a sandy and pebbled beach with crystalline waters located close to Nea Epidaurus village. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for relaxation and tranquility. An off road vehicle is highly recommended.

Vagiona is a sandy and pebbled beach with emerald waters located behind the church of Agios Nikolaos in the village of Nea Epidaurus. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility and relaxation.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktail Inspirations

Coffee Corners 

Agnanti: Coffee, Nea Epidaurus

Mple: Coffee, Palea Epidaurus

Stork: Cafeteria, Palea Epidaurus

Gastronomic Delights

Leonidas: Greek Cuisine, Ligourio

Perivoli: Grill and Meat, Palea Epidaurus

Mouria: Greek Cuisine, Palea Epidaurus

Akrogiali: Greek Cuisine, Palea Epidaurus

Cocktail Inspirations

Dream Theater: Cocktails and Drinks, Ligourio

Kapaki: Cocktails and Drinks, Palea Epidaurus

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of Epidaurus include a wide range of agricultural products. Palea Epidaurus village is famous for its fresh fish and its seafood, Nea Epidaurus village is famous for its excellent quality oranges and its fine honey, Trahia village is known for its fine dairy products while Ligourio town is famous for its virgin olive oil has been registered with a protected designation of origin (PDO) from the European Union.

Epidaurus has not any specific food specialties.

Events & Festivals

Every July, the Agroutourism Festival takes place at the harbour of Palea Epidaurus where wooden booths with traditional products across the Peloponnese are set up from the local people. Visitors will have the opportunity to taste local wine, traditional sweets, fine honey, chesses and pasta along with other objects of art.

Every July, the Musical July Festival takes place at the little theatre of Epidaurus hosting a series of musical performances.

Every 20th of July, the traditional celebration of Prophet Elias takes place in the village of Nea Epidaurus followed from traditional music, dance, food and wine.

Every 6th of August, the traditional celebration of the Ascension of Christ is celebrated with a traditional festival in the village of Nea Epidaurus.

Every summer, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival takes place at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. Numerous performances of ancient drama and modern works are held in the theatre in the summer months of July and August.

Every September, the Epidaurus Triathlon Race takes place in Epidaurus.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, Epidaurus was the birthplace of the healing god Asclepius. In fact, Epidaurus was one of the most important healing centers of antiquity.

History

Archaeological excavations show that Epidaurus has been inhabited since the Mycenaean period. Since Epidaurus was the birthplace of the healing god Asclepius, it was considered as the most important healing centers of the Classical world. To this extend, the sanctuary of Asclepius used to gather sick people from all over the country. Although the majority of the diseased people visit Epidaurus to gain a miraculous cure, they had to undergo some special treatment including natural baths in order to thank Asclepius with offerings and participate in the Asclepius Games that would take place in the stadium of Epidaurus every four years. Asclepius brought prosperity to the sanctuary in the 4th and 4rd centuries BC. Unfortunately, two earthquakes (551 & 552 AD) caused damages in the sanctuary of Asclepius until its total destruction from attacks and wars. However, an extensive archaeological excavation took place in the 19th century that led to the maintenance of the sanctuary and the theatre. Today, Epidaurus Great Theatre is the best preserved theatre of the ancient world distinguished for its superb acoustics and architectural symmetry.

Travel & Transport

By Bus: KTEL Buses operate routes from the Kiffisos Station in the city of Athens to the village of Epidaurus on a daily basis. The journey usually lasts two hours.

By Car (135 kilometers): In order to get to Epidaurus, you will have to follow the National Road of Athens to Corinth. Right after the Corinth Canal, you will have to follow the signs to the village of Epidaurus. The journey usually lasts two hours.

Mysterious Greece Tips

An Agrotourism Festival in Epidaurus

A vibrant agrotourism festival awaits travellers of Epidaurus on July! One will have the opportunity to discover the authentic spirit of Greece through tasting traditional local products of Peloponnese. Local producers will show you the genuine taste of the peninsula!

Attend the Athens & Epidaurus Festival

Athens and Epidaurus Festival is one of the most prestigious festivals of Greece that promises summer nights full of dance, music and theatre! The program of the festival involves classical opera, open-air theatre and dance performances in various locations of Athens as well as the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. Undoubtedly, it is an experience of a lifetime to enjoy a performance at this masterpiece of art with its superb acoustics!

Choose Your Island: Hydra, Methana, Poros or Spetses?

Just a breath away from Epidaurus, you will have the opportunity to explore some of the mysterious islands of Greece! Hydra, Methana, Poros or Spetses? Find more information from our travel guides!

Dairy Products from Trahia

It is worth visiting the village of Trachea for its excellent dairy products. In fact, there are more than ten traditional cheese-making businesses in Trachea!

Find More Information for Epidaurus Archaeological Site

Archaeology lover or not, it is worth having a look at the Official Website of Ministry of Culture to discover more information for Asclepius Sanctuary and Epidaurus Theatre.

Find More Information from Mythical Peloponnese

If you want to find more information for the peninsula of Peloponnese, you should visit the wonderful website of Mythical Peloponnese!

Fresh Oranges from Nea Epidaurus

You should definitely buy some fresh oranges from Nea Epidaurus! Their taste will amaze you!

Explore the Sunken City

Close to the coast of Palea Epidaurus, diving lovers will have the opportunity to explore the remains of a sunken city; it is located at a depth two meters in the shallow waters of Kalymnios beach!

It’s Sunset Time

At the great theatre of Epidaurus, one will have the opportunity to enjoy of the most beautiful sunsets of Greece!

Mysteries Behind Epidaurus Little Theatre

Epidaurus Little Theatre was mainly used for rituals of the Dionysian cult. The most remarkable characteristic of the theatre is the inscriptions, a real – living museum! This is the reason that the little theatre of Epidaurus is called the theatre that speaks!

Observing Like An Olympian God

Wandering where you will admire the most spectacular views of Epidaurus? Grab a paper and start writing! Gialasi beach towards the peninsula of Methana, the chapel of Agios Ioannis Theologos in Nea Epidaurus, the monastery of Agios Dimitrios Mirovlitis and Koliaki village!

Stork: Coffee With A View

Stork is one of the most beautiful spots to enjoy you coffee with a view! Don’t miss it!

The Story Behind the Greek Festival

After the end of the First World War, calls for the revival of ancient drama gradually began to be realized: the Professional Theatre School company was formed (1924); Angelos and Eva Palmer-Sikelianos organized the Delphic Festival for an international audience (1927, 1930); the National Theatre was founded (1932); and systematic research was carried out into the staging of ancient theatrical works. In 1936, the Metaxas government established annual festival seasons with performances of ancient drama in open-air theatres. Leading playwrights and musicians visited the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus to stage one-off daytime musical and theatrical performances, experimenting with the site’s potential and exploring the extent to which their ideas could be implemented. In 1935, Dimitris Mitropoulos gave a concert there with the Athens Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, while in 1938, Dimitris Rondiris and the National Theatre presented Sophocles’ Electra, with Katina Paxinou in the title role and Eleni Papadaki as Clytemnestra. However, the outbreak of the Second World War led to any further activities being shelved. The founding of the summer Athens and Epidaurus Festival by the government of the elder Karamanlis in 1955 finally placed ancient drama firmly center stage. The long-held ideological fixation with modern Greece’s historical unbroken links to its ancient past at last found both comprehensive institutional expression and the ideal home. By the summer of 1954, Rondiris and the National Theatre were already experimenting with a reworked revival of his own, earlier production of Euripides’ Hippolytus. The Festival was officially opened on June 19, 1955 with a National Theatre production of Euripides’ Hecuba directed by Minotis and with Paxinou in the lead role. Over the 52 years of the Epidaurus Festival, the stage of this renowned ancient theatre has hosted all the leading lights of the post-war Greek theatrical arts; its scene has become the ultimate signifier of success for Greek actors, actresses, directors, composers, choreographers and set designers alike. During the first two decades of the Epidaurus Festival, the theatre was reserved for the exclusive use of the National Theatre. Apart from ancient drama, the Theatre of Epidaurus was also occasionally used for the performance of opera, dance, classical music, and other types of music. The best known of these events are undoubtedly the Greek National Opera productions of Bellini’s Norma (1960) and Cherubini’s Medea (1961) with Maria Callas, directed by Alexis Minotis and with costumes and stage sets by Yannis Tsarouhis (GreekFestival.Gr, 2015)

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Ancient Stadium of Epidaurus: Sharon Mollerus by Flickr

Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus: Shutterstock

Asclepius Sanctuary: Peter Kock by Panoramio

Bay of Palea Epidaurus: Pascal Poggi by Flickr

Little Theatre of Epidaurus: Pentaxforums.com

Palea Epidaurus Village: Aldo Bergsma by Flickr

Sunset at Ligourio: Nikos Desklias by Panoramio

View of Epidaurus: Sunny Garden Appartments