Epidaurus (Peloponnese - Greece)

After Tiryns, we rushed to Epidaurus to be there before the last entrance time crosses and gladly we made it. The best thing about Epidaurus is, currently it is being restored (like Athens), so some of the monuments have been reconstructed already and some are being done now; tourism is well promoted, and the Greek Ministry of Culture has also come up with an app (link below) for the perfect self-guided visit! Its a vaaaaaast area and a huuuuge complex, so give it a couple hours in your itinerary.


However since we were guided by Vassilis of WithLocals, he took us straight to the most important location within Epidaurus - the Theatre! This is one of the largest theaters in Peloponnese which has the seating capacity of 12000-14000. The magnificence of the theatre is only a part of the awe! It has crazy acoustics. It wasn't too crowded when we went with hardly 10-15 people in the theatre. Ofcourse Vassilis took it on himself to do a demo - we sat atop, almost 2/3rd rows away from the centre stage and Vassilis got there to the centre and guess what, we could hear his slightest voice and when others weren't noisy, we could even hear his footsteps across the stage, all the way upto my point! 

The acoustics is crazy and to think they came up with this in 1600 BCE, is purely mind boggling. Yes, just like Mycenea & Tiryns, this too is a Late Bronze Age architecture (though there were settlements here even earlier in 2800 BCE). This functioned till 1100 BCE. Currently, events happen here every summer and to quote Vassilis, 'its one of the most spectacular events you'll witness and sometimes international celebrities visit here too'! If you're really interested, the tickets for 2019 Summer programs are already in sale. 

From here, we did a short stop at the Greek Baths and headed to the Stadium. Its a typical Stadium with a track length of 180m. When the site was in worship, athletic contests were held here in honor of the God. The seats on either sides were made later in 300-100 BCE. 

Next we stopped at the Hestiatoreion. This is the only structure in Epidaurus complex that's relatively tall. It was the ceremonial, official entrance. This is a temple shaped building with 6 doric columns of which only 2 stand today with a portion of the facade atop it. 


Our next stop was the most important - Sanctuary of Asklepios and Artemis. The Tholos and Abaton are being reconstructed, so its easier to imagine them as a functional site, the rest of the structures are in ruins and only the plan of the structure can be seen. A portion of the restored, actual temples of Asklepios and Artemis (built in 380-70 BCE(Hellenistic era)) are currently inside the site museum. In its original place, only the floor plan can be observed, with the ruins of the of the temple that once stood here. 
Very close to this is the Bath of Asklepios, which is a semi-circular plan with short walls. Don't miss the inscription on this. 

The Tholos is a circular building and it has the pride of being an almost perfect circle or the best circular architecture of the era. Next to this is the series of ionic columns which originally formed a room as well. These 2 buildings together is supposed to be where Asklepious cured people of their ailments! So, this was like a hospital. 

The Abaton was built in 2 stages, because as the popularity of the temple grew, there were too many visitors to be accommodated here. The structure was made 2 storeyed. Today it is possible to do down the stairs and visit the lower storey. 
By this time, we were really really tired and we just walked past the other structures in the complex including, Propylaia, Ision etc and headed to the exit where quite a few cats were waiting to talk to Atyudarini!!!

Here's a tip: It is NOT wheelchair or stroller friendly! 


Entry Tickets & Timings:
Epidavrus: €12 (€6 in winter)
Timings (for both): 8:30AM to 5:00PM (winters); 8:00AM to 8:00PM (spring & summer); 8:00AM to 6-7:30PM (autumn)

To Get There:
On Google Maps: Epidaurus
From Athens: Several tour operators have private or group daytrips to Epidaurus (along with Mykinos & Nafplio). I took the Private tour of Peloponnese by WithLocals with the awesome guide Vassilis (€15 discount code).
By Public Transport: Refer to my earlier post.

My complete - 
Peloponnese TravelogueDay trip to PeloponneseMycenae & TirynsEpidaurus
Attica Travelogue: Athens, Daphni Monastery
Central Mainland Travelogue: Delphi, Hosios Loukas Monastery

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

21 comments:

  1. Wow! This looks so amazing! I long due for visiting Greece, and I have never been at the Peloponnese. There must be so many interesting historical sites to see with so many stories behind them. Like this one too. Just so beautiful! And looks like you had the place just for yourselves!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love it when locals introduce you to something you might have missed. I can just imagine that theatre being filled out in its hay day. Although I would hate to picture the type of gladiator games that might have take place there. This is really making me excited for my up coming trip.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I always love reading about historical sites like this. Looks like it would take a couple of days to see the whole place properly. Good that you shared the tips about accessibility. Will keep it in mind.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an incredible part of Greece to see. I think most people tend to stay in Athens, or visit the more touristy areas. I myself haven't been here, and what a shame. Those ruins are incredible, and the theatre reminds me of the one in Sicily. Incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great that you made it to Epidaurus in time, it would have been such a shame to miss this site. The theatre does look impressive, imagine what it must have been like in its heyday! Thanks for the tip about the uneven access, that's a really helpful thing to know.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is good news. Happy that they are restoring the place. We would love to visit once the work has been completed. Thank you for sharing all these updates about tourism in Greece. These are really good to know and very encouraging.

    ReplyDelete
  7. How crazy to be able to stand in a place built in 1600 BC. I can't even fathom how long ago that was. I have always wanted to visit the ruins of either Greece or Rome for this very reason. Just to witness the ingenuity that went into the architecture and the acoustics like you mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fantastic view and pictures of sceneries look so mesmerizing. I will surely try to visit Greece. It’s a great post. I love traveling and want to travel all over the world. Thanks for sharing this post.

    ReplyDelete
  9. WoW what a well planned and informative trip! With Epidaurus being under construction were there a lot of things that were off limit? The Sanctuary of Asklepios and Artemis sounds so amazing. I bet you could just feel all the energy from hundreds of years gone by as you explored the grounds

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've always had a great experience using WithLocals - they really do know best. And it looks like you got an in depth tour of all the best stuff to see!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't even know how they managed to figure out acoustics like that; even modern theaters don't seem to be able to seat 12,000-14,000 people and have acoustics like that! Makes you wonder what they know about engineering that we can't seem to figure out. Nor can I quite wrap my head around 2800 BCE. Sounds like WithLocals is a great company to use - thank you for sharing this interesting site! What kind of events do they put on in the theater?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow! Your tour is really awesome! I like it that the local government dutifully and diligently preserved these priceless historical/cultural sites. And I do hope it stays that way; left unguarded, irresponsible vandals will not hesitate to destroy these structures.

    Visiting Greece still remains somewhat of a dream for us considering that we are from the Philippines. Getting a European visa constitutes a challenge. But who knows?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Epidaurus looks like an incredible spot to see in Greece! It's wonderful to hear that it is being restored like Athens. I love places like this, that are less touristy than the main areas. Would love to see it someday!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've always wanted to visit Greece, it has such a unique and interesting history. I'd love to spend a month here taking tours like this one, learning the language, and sampling all the food. Maybe someday I'll get that lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It is truly amazing to see these remains, and making us realized how advance they are. They also know how to entertainment themselves!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! I've never been to Greece but it seems absolutely incredible. I feel like tours get a bad rep some times but I've really enjoyed the ones I've been on and it seems like yours was great too.

    ReplyDelete
  17. There's really just no shortage of dramatic, historic sites in Greece to be honest, but this seems like another one worth adding to the list!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Those historic sites look breathtaking! I can't even imagine how they built such a massive theater with amazing acoustics in those era!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have to admit I love to see ancient ruins of Greek or Roman Empires. I have been only to Athens, but saw a lot of Lycian ruins in TUrkey and Roman in Algeria. Stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have always had the best experience using WithLocals... they always know the lay of the land and all the hidden gems to show you. Looks like an amazing trip!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting...! Why not leave a comment.? And tell your friends..!!!
By commenting you accept to our GDPR Policy.