The tour to Mycenae, Nafplion, and Epidaurus is a popular one-day tour.
Argolis is one of the longest-occupied regions in Greece, with evidence of Neolithic settlements. It’s no surprise that Mycenae, mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, today is an essential step in every trip to Greece. Attractions such as Agamemnon’s fortress with the hilltop acropolis and Agamemnon’s Palace, the famous Lions’ Gate, the royal cemetery, the Treasury of Atreus, the sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of medicine with the amazing theatre of Epidaurus, and the elegant city of Nafplion, draw huge crowds of people.
NOV-MAR Organized on Tue, Thu, Sat, BUT… Sites/museums close at 15:00
APR–OCT the 1-day tour to Argolis is organized on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat
PRICES: Organizing tours throughout Greece since 1958, we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. Our prices are not matched.
Special price for ISI card holders’, NO lunch / NO entry fees = 49 €.
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DISCOUNTED entrance fees:
– Juniors under 26 and E.U. students do not pay entrance fees.
– Students from other countries and E.U. seniors over 65 pay 12.00 €
– Lunch (3 course menu) is served in Mycenae for 10.00 € extra per person.
The prices are per person, and include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– Pick up / drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the foot of the website)
– The services of the professional tour guide all through the tour.
POPULAR TOURS: Afternoon to Sounion 33 € | 1 day Delphi 59 € | 2 days Delphi-Meteora 120 € | 4 day classical & Meteora | 1 day cruise
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Copied from a client’s Blogspot:
The tour which I joined was organized by G.O. TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/
However, I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL https://astoriatravel.gr/
After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially, I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (20% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! It was not a scam. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (next to Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL.
The Corinth canal
The canal of Corinth – the mythical fortified city of Mycenae with the Lions’ Gate, the palace of Agamemnon, and the tomb of Atreus – The Epidaurus, with the sanctuary of Asclepius (the god of medicine), and the famous for its amazing acoustics theatre of Epidaurus & a short photo stop at the romantic and beautiful “Venetian” old town of Nafplion.
Mycenae was the kingdom of mythic Agamemnon. Myths related to history have inspired poets and writers over the centuries from Homer and the Greek tragedies of the classical period. The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also founded and excavated the site of Troy. You enter the citadel through the famous Lions’ Gate.
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. It was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential place for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Acronafplia played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.
Sanctuary of God Asclepius and the amazing theatre of EPIDAURUS
The priests of the sanctuary of Asclepius were excellent surgeons. Today, next to the sanctuary of Asclepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests to perform even brain operations.
The administration of the sanctuary decided to build a theatre on the grounds of the sanctuary, to entertain the patients.
Time plan of the day tour to Argolis
07:30 Start the pick up from the hotels. Departure from the terminal at 08.30
10:00 Arrival at Corinth canal. Short photo stop
11:15 Arrival in ancient Mycenae Visit the ancient site & museum
13:00 Lunch in a local restaurant Lunch is optional. See the price paid.
14:15 Drive on to “Venetian” Nafplion Short photo stop at Nafplion
15:15 Arrival at the site of Epidaurus Visit the museum & the theatre
18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens Drop off at your hotel by 19:30
After Nafplion, we continue to EPIDAURUS and visit the ancient theatre. The UNESCO’S world heritage listed monument is the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius, the healer, and was the most popular healing centre in the classical world. Epidaurus is most famous for its theatre, one of the best-preserved classical Greek buildings and still used today due to its amazing acoustics.
Map for one day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)
Mycenae, the home of the Atreid’s royal family, is situated on a hill-top on the road leading to Corinth and Athens. The site was inhabited since Neolithic times (about 4000 BC) but reached its peak during the Late Bronze Age (1350-1200 BC), giving its name to a civilization that spread throughout the Greek world. During that period, the acropolis (= highest point of a city) was surrounded by massive “cyclopean” walls which were built in three stages (1350, 1250, and 1225 BC). The outer fortifying walls are large stones and must still look similar to 3500 years ago when they were built.
We enter the citadel of Mycenae through the famous Lions’ Gate, because of the two lions above the entranceway, the first monumental sculpture in Europe (13th century BC). Immediately on to our right, we come to Grave Circle A, a royal cemetery in which Schliemann found six shaft graves, 19 skeletons, and the incredibly rich burial furnishings which made his discovery one of the great archaeological finds of all time. This is where Schlieman found the ancient mask, which he called “the Mask of Agamemnon” but turned out to be the face of an unknown king from a period 300 years earlier. That mask is probably one of the most recognized ancient artifacts in the world and is still unofficially known as “the mask of Agamemnon”.
The rest of the site is interesting if you know what you are looking at, so take the time to read the material available in guidebooks. A ramp and stairs lead up from the grave circle to the palace on the top of the hill; unfortunately, little remains of the palace except for a Great Court and a megaron (a room with a central hearth and inner columns). The view when you get to the top of the hill is spectacular. You are really commanding the valley all the way down to Argos and Nafplion. From here you can follow a path down the back of the site to the Postern Gate and the Secret Cistern, a pitch-dark tunnel leading down some 80 steps through the solid rock. We can then return to the Lion Gate around the north side of the hill.
Outside the city walls, and across the road from Mycenae is the Royal grave or a treasury of Atreus, which is one of the most impressive parts of ancient Mycenae. You walk through a passageway into an enormous bee-hive tomb dug into the ground. This is known as “a Tholos tomb” and this was the way the ancient Mycenaeans began to bury their dead after the 15th century BC. The size of this tomb is incredible, and the stones are so massive that it’s believed that engineers who built Egyptian pyramids must have served as consultants when the Mycenaeans began constructing these “treasuries.”
A second tholos near the grave of Atreus was excavated by Schliemann and is called the Tomb of Klytemnestra; it is one of the latest and most finely constructed of the tholoi. The third one is called the Tomb of Aegisthus. is much earlier and its roof has collapsed. Returning down the modern road about a km we come to the most famous tholos, the Tomb of Agamemnon; the half-columns, which decorated its doorway, are in the Mycenaean Room of the National Museum.
Do not leave the site without a visit to the museum of Mycenae. Of the jewelry found in the graves, some are displayed at the site’s museum and some in the Athens Archaeological Museum.
In myth, Mycenae was the home of Agamemnon, commander of the Greek army, which fought against Troy, and historically it was the most powerful Greek state during the last third of the Bronze Age (1600-1100 BC), which is why this period is called Mycenaean. Heinrich Schliemann excavated here in 1874-76 and found in Royal Grave Circle A the rich treasures which prove that Agamemnon really lived and that Homer’s story of the Trojan War was history, not myth.
The myth of Mycenae is the story of the Pelopid dynasty. Pelops, who gave his name to the Peloponnese (=Island of Pelops), had two sons, Atreus and Thyestes. Atreus, being the older son, became king of Mycenae but later he punished his brother, who had an adulterous affair with Atreus’ wife Europe, by forcing him to eat his two sons for dinner.
Atreus had two sons, Menelaus and Agamemnon, who married 2 sisters; Menelaus married Helen(the beautiful Helen of Troy) and Agamemnon married Clytemnestra. When Helen ran off with the Trojan prince Paris, Agamemnon and Menelaus became commanders-in-chief of the great expedition, which fought and won the Trojan War. When Agamemnon returned from the war, Clytemnestra was not overjoyed to see him; she had taken a lover (Thyestes’ son Aegisthus) and Agamemnon, who had earlier, at the beginning of the Trojan war, sacrificed his daughter Iphigeneia so that favourable winds would blow his fleet to Troy, now drove up to the palace with his new concubine, the Trojan princess Kassandra. Clytemnestra, therefore, invited Agamemnon to come in and take a bath; she gave him a garment to put on (with no holes for his head and arms) and while he stood there with this bag on his head, she killed him with three blows of an ax. Later Orestes, the exiled son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, returned to Mycenae and killed his mother to avenge his father; for his crime of matricide, he was driven mad by the Furies (mythic emblems of guilt) until finally, in the Attic version, he was acquitted at the first Areopagus trial, under the Acropolis.
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