Argolida, Peloponnese

Arguably the best known site in this area is Epidavros (Epidaurus), the magnificent rounded open-air theatre that's been around for 2000 years and still used today for cultural events. Equally important is the mother of all Mycenaean sites, none other than Mycenae itself (Mykinae or Mykines in Greek). Famous sites there include the Tomb of Agamemnon and the Lion Gate.

 

Argolida's other main attraction is the city of Nafplio (Nauplion) which used to be the capital of Greece before it was moved to Athens. It's amazing charm and history is still strongly echoed through its Ottoman fountains, neoclassical architecture, magical mosques and towering Venetian castle – the Palamidi.

 

There is also the main tourist port with a good beach at Porto Heli, but this destination is best left to the mass tourists, particularly during the high season. Another touristy area is the pretty Tolo with its miniature twin islands off the coast. This area is particularly popular especially with Athenians, although further away from the tourist beaches and beyond the high season there are many nice spots to discover in the area.

Eco travellers are encouraged to discover the many hidden gems of the prefecture such as the village of Didima, representing a strange geographical phenomenon as part of the area had sunk into the ground, creating a large, round chasm. Churches and a narrow path have been built around the chasm, allowing visitors to descend via stairways.

The seaside island-like village of Koilada (pronounced Kilada) with the Fragki cave is well worth a visit, so is the beautiful Kosta beach which is ironically a 'quiet getaway' for the people of Spetses island across. 

The village of Ermioni, built on the ancient site of Hermione, is known for its naval heritage and temple of Poseidon, as well as the Taxiarchon church.

 

If you want a warm, shallow yet very clean beach head to Nea Kios, built with character by Greek refuges who came from Turkey.

On higher elevations lies the village of Karya some 700 metres on the mountain of Artemision (which is over 1700 meters). Hikers can continue up to the monastery of the Virgin Mary after a restful stop at the village.

In Tirinthia there are huge boulders which many liken to the Gaelic dolmens. These were 'created' by the mythological Cyclops who supposedly hurled them around. 

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