One of our main missions is to make Athens a destination, not just a stopover on the way to the islands. Not only because of everything you can do and see within the city walls but also because of all the wonders that lie within a short drive from it. One beautiful April day, we headed a mere hour and a half west of the big city and found ourselves in sunny Argolida. A county known for its particularly tasty Nemean wine and more history than you can shake a stick at.
The kingdom of mythical Agamemnon is the most important centre of the Late Bronze Age in Greece. The site was first occupied in 7,000 BC, although it reached its peak between 1350 and 1200 BC. Walking around the Acropolis, the tombs and soaking in the views of the valley below is a unique experience, perfectly matched by the exhibits in the museum very articulately described as “how could they possibly be this old and this amazing?”
Built in the 4th century BC and boasting a capacity of 15,000, Epidavros is the best-preserved ancient Greek theatre still in use. Everyone comes here to stand on the stone in the middle of the stage and drop a coin. Why? Because you can hear said coin drop all around the theatre without the use of any modern amplification. This place is magical in the summer months when you can see it come to life during the annual festival. Still pretty special by day though, especially if you take the time to wander around the Asklipieio, by all accounts the main healing centre of the ancient world.
The first capital of the modern Greek state, Nafplio is the perfect ending to our Argolida away day. With its pretty cobbled streets and two Venetian castles, it still forms part of a trip down history lane but with the added benefit of a place or two for a snack, coffee or a much deserved alcoholic beverage. Wonderful views of the sea from various parts of this city bring our day to a perfect close.