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Palea Epidaurus is a lovely fishing village about 3 hours drive from Athens. It belongs to Argolida area and it is situated on the eastern part of Peloponnese. The historical legacy is related to mythology, as it is said to be the birthplace of Asklepios, the god of healing, son of Apollo. In fact, Epidaurus has the most popular health center of ancient times, called the Asklepieion.

During the 4th and 3rd century BC, this building was enlarged and reconstructed, as part of a Roman demanding program destined to monumental buildings. The project was successful and its benefits extended over the Hellenistic times.

Epidaurus Greece counts on some other characteristic monuments that also make it very unique. One of them is the Ancient Theatre, a monument whose magnificence remains until today. Just like the Asclepieion, the theatre owes part of its splendor to the Romans, since during their domination it received 21 more rows in addition to the 34 that already had.

Another advantage of this place is its acoustics, to the point that the voices of the actors do not need to be amplified, in spite of a 15.000 spectator capacity. No matter the location within the amphitheater, all spectators can hear the play perfectly.

Apart from the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, there is also another theatre in the area, the Epidaurus Little Theatre, which was is also used today to host musical and theatrical performances. However, the area of Epidaurus is not only famous for its ancient monuments, but also for its greenery and natural beauty.

The traditional villages of Ancient and Nea Epidaurus, the beautiful monasteries, the impressive gorges, and the lovely beaches dot the landscape. Ancient Epidaurus is a relaxing place that attracts a few tourists in summer. In winter, it is quiet and its inhabitants make their living from fishing and agriculture.

Nea Epidavros is a historical place for the Greeks, as this is where the First Institutional Meeting of the Greek State took place there in 1822. Above this village, there stands a ruined Medieval Castle.


8 Reviews
  • apolon77 13 May 2011
    Astonishing experience
    Luckily, I was able to combine a business trip in Athens with a visit in the great Epidaurus. Its only two hours from Athens and the trip is very refreshing both, a narrow mountainous road with greenery that goes coast by coast. I was a bit confused on the road (Greece definitely needs more signs) but finally arrived in the large large parking outside the site of Epidaurus.

    I was mostly astonished by the view of the ancient theatre, built in the 4th century, with the perfect architecture and the great acoustics. I couldn't stop noticing the greenery and the natural setting around the theatre. Sit on the upper rows and you will hear everything that is happening in the orchestra. Sit there for a while and enjoy the peaceful nature.

    The museum was a bit small, it certainly needs a larger building, better organization and more labels for the many findings from the area. A short walk from the theatre, there is the ancient site of god Asklepius and an ancient stadium.
  • vasilikiang 03 Sep 2009
    For truly relaxing holidays
    Ancient Epidaurus is a great, quiet village just two hours from Athens. If you have a car, it serves as a wonderful base for excursions: at a distance of just one hour, there is Nafplion and Mycenae on the north west, Corinth on the north, Poros, Ermioni and Porto Heli on the south. The village is actually right by the sea and it has a small port where boats and yachts moor in summer. With their small lights on, these yachts look beautiful in summer nights.

    Ancient (or Palia) Epidaurus seems to be alive only in summer, because of the many hotels that have been built there. Choose a hotel at the port, not in the inner streets, to have the best view when you wake up in the morning. Surrounded by much greenery, the village is adorable.

    The only bad thing is the beaches: there are no good beaches, except for the small beach called Nisi on the right of the port. The beach on the left is too rocky and might have urchins. Yalassi beach is also quite good but not that relaxing and the road there is too narrow.

    Also, you will be annoyed by the sphinx that will bug you everytime you seat to have a coffee or a meal. The greenery around are mostly pine trees and they gather many sphinx. Ask the waiter to give you some coffee to burn in an ashtray. It really gets them away!

    If you follow a paved path through orange and olive trees on the right side of the port, you will find the Small Theatre of Epidaurus. It actually looks as if it was buried under the yard of a house, as an old house lies next to its entrance. This was first excavated in the 1970s and excavation works still go on. Some plays and musical concerts are presented there in summer.

    The ancient site of Epidauruslies about 15 km from the village, close to Ligourio town. The highlight of this site is the theatre. It is very big and has great accoustics. Someone actually dropped a coin in the stage and we could clearly hear it, seating in the last upper row. The museum was smaller than I expected, only two rooms with few findings. The site of Asklepieion was not that impressive, but still interesting.
  • el2335 27 Jan 2009
    Wonderful especially in off season
    Peloponnese is a wonderful area, especially off season, when there are not many tourists and prices are still kept low. We stayed in Angelika Villas Epidaurus last May and truly enjoyed our week there. The breakfast was delicious and the owner makes the best Greek coffee ever. We had rented a car from Athens for our holidays and thus it was easy for us to move. We made excursions to the ancient theatre, Nafplion, Porto Heli and other smaller towns in the area, whose name I don't remember. Nice beaches were also close and water was warm, although it was still early May. Hiking was also a daily activity for us, as the landscape was green and refreshing. It was an enjoyable week, a nice break among nature and good people.
  • isle28 08 Oct 2008
    A real experience with a proposal
    We are always attracted when a cultural site is situated near the sea. So, the ancient theater of Epidavros is an excellent spot! We stayed in Magda Hotel in ancient Epidavros which is a wonderful place. It rents large appartements and is situated next to the sea. The hotel has a wonderful garden with lots of flowers. Breakfast is served in the garden where you can overlook the waves of the sea. Very friendly lady who runs the place! The ancient theater is a real experience ... especially when my partner, standing in the orchestra, asked me, sitting in the upper row, to marry him!!
  • wrud99 28 Jul 2008
    Many sites to visit
    We spent a week in Palea Epidaurus last month. It is a well situated place for visting cultural attractions, such as the ancient theatre of Epidaurus and the site of Mycenae. Thus,it works as a nice base for excursions to Nafplion and Porto Heli, some popular summer resorts. The beaches in Epidaurus are nice and not as crowded as in other Greek areas. The best beach is Galasi. The restaurants are good but rather expensive sometimes, especially fresh fish. For a good restaurant, try Akrogiali. Just one note: go by car because this is the best way to get a nice view of the area. Public transport is not adequate.
  • debra246yr 06 May 2008
    You will be touched
    I live with my husband Tom in New York. Tom is Greek and sometimes we come to Greece to visit his parents in Nafplio. This summer, he took me a trip to Epidaurus, about half an hour from Nafplio. We saw the sanctuary of Asklepius, but I mostly liked the ancient theatre, which was nearby. It was built some centuries ago but plays are still being performed there. I was amazed that the theatre had such great acoustics! A week after our visit, Tom bought tickets for a play there. The play was in Greek and I didn't understand much, but believe me, I was touched! Maybe it's the atmosphere of the area that touches people right to their heart.
  • sylvia_b 29 Jan 2008
    Is Magic
    Me and my family spent two weeks in Greece from August the 16th to the end of the month. It was our second time there, we really loved it when we first came here. I had heared so much about the Greek tragedies and theatres and I was so curious. So, we used an online travel guide to get informations and we took the bus from Athens bus station, where we arrived by plane. The bus hours to Epidaurus are not that often and the trip lasts about two and a half hours. First thing was to visit the ancient theatre, which I found huge and so impressing! Be sure to wear flat shoes, the road to the theatre is old and long, and the stairs the same. The area is magic, pine trees all around. What I didn't like was the high prices of the food and water selled there.Unfortunately there was no play that day but I hope to come back and see one. Having seen the place, it must be great experience.
  • franklin 26 Mar 2007
    Incredible Theater
    The Theater at Epidaurus was one of the most memorable monuments that I saw on my trip to Greece. I was able to catch a performance there and the acoutstics were so clear, and with out any amplification.