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Epidaurus home of the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus in Greece

epidaurusThe famous ancient theater which in the summer hosts performances of ancient drama in the context of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival is the main reason to come to the area. Built at the foot of the pine-covered mountain Akros at the mouth of a bay, the village of Palea Epidaurus is quite nice and is surrounded by an area overgrown with olives and citrus fruits.

The most beautiful place is its picturesque harbor, a classic stop for boats – the moored sailboats and boats compose the typical summer image of the settlement.
On the beach of Palea Epidaurus you will find rooms to let and hotels, many fish taverns, which open in summer and gather a lot of people, especially on festival nights. The route that connects New with Old Epidaurus is beautiful, with the asphalt road crossing a dense pine forest above the sea.

What to see

Ancient theater of Epidaurus

This top monument is part of the wider archaeological site of Asklipieio (outside the village of Ligourio) and is the work (end of the 4th century BC) of the architect and sculptor Polykleitos. Thanks to its excellent symmetry and acoustics, which are known all over the world, it is considered the most perfect example of ancient theater in the world.
It has the typical structure of a Hellenistic theater (hollow, orchestra, stage) and was built in two construction phases: the first at the end of the 4th century BC and the second in the middle of the 2nd c. BC.

Asclepieion

asclepiosLeaving the theater and returning to the main cobbled path,you arive at the pre-eminent areas of the Asclepieion. After passing the ruins of the Guesthouse and the Roman Conservatory is the temple of Asclepius, which was built between 380 and 375 BC.

From the temple is preserved mainly the pillar (the floor). Behind the temple is the Dome, a circular structure that was the center of the mysterious cult of Asclepius. Finally, in direct relation to the above two monuments, is the Avaton (or cemetery), the long and narrow building in which the patients were treated.

Archaeological Museum

You will see many objects that the patients offered to the god as a sign of gratitude (the so-called votive offerings), as well as parts of architectural sculptures from the dozens of buildings in the area. The showcase with the ancient medical tools steals the impressions.

Castle of Piada
Piada was once called Old Epidaurus. Ruins of the castle are preserved today on a nearby hill.

Day trips

Ligurio

Inextricably linked to Epidaurus, the quiet town comes out of its “hibernation” every July and August and lives in the pulse of the festival, as it is flooded with lovers of ancient drama looking for a place in its taverns. Its main attraction is the magnificent Byzantine church of Agios Ioannis the Merciful (11th century), which dominates the square.

Didima

Leaving OldEpidavros and heading south, you will meet Tracheia after about 10 km – it is worth making a stop at its famous cheese dairies. Further south, following the dirt road to the village of Pelei looking for the Monastery of Avgou, which you will find literally rooted in a rock, in a location of wild natural beauty, at the entrance of the Radian gorge.
Continuing your way to the South, you will meet the Twin Caves. The second one is more interesting, which you can walk around to visit the chapels of Agios Georgios and the Transfiguration of the Savior, built opposite the walls of the cave.

Kranidi
Picturesque town in a privileged position, built on the hill of Agia Anna, south of Epidaurus. Take a walk in the alleys, where old stone houses coexist with tiled roofs and beautiful preserved neoclassical buildings and visit the monasteries of Panagia Pantanassa, Agia Anna and Agia Triada.

When to go

In the summer and especially in June and July, the period of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival.