Escape the modern world and take a full immersion in the antiquity. Go back to 1350 BC to the ancient city of Mycenae home to the Kingdom of the mythical Agamemnon and look at the Cyclopean walls and the Lioness Gate. Then reach Epidaurus, this world heritage listed city is reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius, the healer, and was the most celebrated healing center of the classical world. Epidaurus is probably most famous for its theatre, one of the best preserved classical Greek buildings and still used today due to its amazing acoustics.
|DEPARTURE DAYS||Apr – Oct (Tue/Wed/Thu/Sat)
Nov – Mar (Tue/Sat)
Most sites in Greece involve extended walking and/or slippery surfaces.
Therefore we strongly suggest wearing comfortable sturdy shoes.
Sunscreen, hat and water are also good “travel companions”.
|DIFFICULTY||Due to extend walking and slippery surfaces please inform us if you have walking disabilities or using a wheelchair before booking this tour.|
Day trip from Athens to Mycenae and Epidaurus See the Atreus Tomb – The Mycenaean Citadel with the Cyclopean Wall and the Lioness Gate Enjoy a scenic drive along the Saronic Gulf coast Visit Epidaurus, birthplace of Apollo’s son and an ancient place of healing Stop at the town of Nauplia – 1st Greek capital
Drive along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf to MYCENAE (Visit). Mycenae ‘Rich in Gold’, the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon, first sung by Homer in his epics, is the most important and richest palatial center of the Late Bronze Age in Greece. Its name was given to one of the greatest civilizations of Greek prehistory, the Mycenaean civilization.
Then through ARGOS on to NAUPLIA 1st capital of Greece in 1829 – After lunch depart to EPIDAURUS (Visit)
On the headland called “Nesi” at Palaia Epidaurus, the theatre of the ancient city is quite well-preserved, in the shape it acquired during the latter years of its function. Apart from a few rows of seats, the cavea is made of limestone with poros staircases. Until now, nine cunei with eighteen rows of seats have been excavated, which originally could accommodate about 2000 spectators. All the benches and thrones of the theatre carry inscriptions with the names of the donors while implying a direct relationship of the monument with the cult of Dionysus.
The theater is marveled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken word from the proscenium or scene to all 12,000 spectators, regardless of their seating.
Map directions are indicative and can alternate, depending on weather and/or various circumstances.
Theatre of Epidaurus
Apart from a few rows of seats, the cavea is made of limestone with poros staircases. Until now, nine cunei with eighteen rows of seats have been excavated, which originally could accommodate about 2000 spectators. All the benches and thrones of the theatre carry inscriptions with the names of the donors while implying a direct relationship of the monument with the cult of Dionysos. From the inscriptions on the monument it is deduced that it was constructed in sections, starting at the middle of the 4th century B.C. and continuing into the Hellenistic period. There may have been an earlier, simpler form of the theatre. During the Roman period, the orchestra became semi-circular with the erection of a stage nearer to the cavea, of which the lower part has survived until now. Benches from the cavea have been used for the construction of the city-wall, situated on the top of the second hill of the headland.
Mycenae was founded between two tall conical hills, Profitis Ilias (805 m.) and Sara (660 m.), on a low plateau dominating the Argive plain and controlling both the land and sea routes. The site was first occupied in the seventh millennium BC (Neolithic period). The construction of the palace and fortification wall currently visible began c. 1350 BC (Late Helladic IIIA2). The latter saw three construction phases, the first wall being built of Cyclopean masonry. A new wall was erected to the west and south of the early one approximately one hundred years later (Late Helladic IIIB1), together with the Lion Gate, the citadel’s monumental entrance, and its bastion. Included in the newly fortified area were the city’s religious center and Grave Circle A, which was refurbished and used for ancestral cults. The famous tholos tomb known as the ‘Treasure of Atreus’, with its gigantic lintels and tall beehive vault, was probably built during the same period.
The Mask of Agamemnon is an artifact discovered in Mycenae in 1876 by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. This mask is made of gold and is a funeral mask found over the face of a dead body in a burial place at Mycenae. Schliemann thought that the body and the mask are of the legendary King Agamemnon. However, modern researchers and archaeologists are of the opinion that the mask dates from an era much before the life and reign of Agamemnon. Whatever the case is, this mask is crafted out of pure gold and such masks were put on the faces of deceased kings and royal people.