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The history of Porto Heli is mostly related to the ruins of Halieis, placed on the South side of the bay. The ancient city of Halieis was founded by Tirynthian refugees after the Persian Wars and it thrived during the period between 700 and 300 BC. It was enclosed by a wall with several gates -at least 5- and its large size allowed it to have some territorial rights and to be independent.
Each house in the area had a courtyard and a well. The town had communal baths and they were all distributed along with well-organized grids. Some of these grids remain on the surface, while some others are under the water and can be seen in the shallows when the sea is calm. The inhabitants of this city were mainly fishermen and farmers.
Many interesting findings in the area, such as coins, decorated pottery, remains of roof tiles, metal objects, and terracotta figurines. The actual reasons for the abandonment of this area remain unknown. A possible reason would be the attack of Porto Heli by Sparta and Athens, in order to own its great natural harbor.
In spite of its tourism development, the modern still seems to keep its small-fishing-village vibe from the past. Its name actually means the bay of eel, which reflects the importance of fishing in this place. The history of Porto Heli blends with the natural scenery offering visitors a unique experience.