1 Week Holiday
Gulf of Corinth, Corinth Canal and Archeological Sites sailing area
Itea sits on the Crissaean plain 5 miles Southwest of Delphi. The port was founded in 1830 and became an important centre of trade. It is not a traditionally Greek town but it is the closest place from which to visit Delphi, a 20 minute drive away. Squares and alleys full of trees make for enjoyable walks around the dock and on the beautiful green hill of Agioi Anargiri. Nearby are the attractive Blue Flag beaches of Trokantero and Maiami. Itea has numerous waterfront bars and restaurants and some more traditional tavernas worth experiencing within the backstreets
The picturesque town of Galaxidi was built on the site of the ancient town of Oianthi and is positioned in an area of outstanding natural beauty. During its history this thriving nautical town resisted invasion by the French, Catalans and Knights of Rhodes but the fleet was eventually captured by the Turks in the 19th Century. A visit to the Nautical Museum is highly recommended, where you will find ship figureheads, parts of vessels, nautical tools and instruments and a rich collection of nautical tradition. Sample wonderful local seafood in tavernas along the waterfront.
According to legend, Zeus let two eagles fly from the ends of the world to find the navel of the Earth and they met at Delphi. The World Heritage site commands one of the most beautiful landscapes in Greece, nestling below the cliffs of Mt Parnassos with panoramic views over the Gulf of Corinth. Delphi’s excavations have unearthed the diverse cultural influences over a millennium including treasures and temples offered by each of the Greek cities to Delphi which was the religious centre and sanctuary of the Ancient Greeks and home to the Oracle. The site is best visited in less busy Spring and Autumn.
Lying just off Cape Olmia are the four islets of Zoodochos Pigi, Daskalio, Glaronisi and Prasonisi known collectively as the Alkyonides or the Kalanisa. There is a delightful anchorage in calm weather in a cove to the south of Daskalio island. The remains of pre-Christian settlements and Corinthian pottery have been discovered on the islands and an abandoned monastery is to be found on Zoodhokos Pigi island.
Corinth is a busy, modern town but the yacht harbour provides a safe haven whilst waiting to transit through the Corinth Canal. In town there is an interesting museum, good shops for provisions, a vegetable market and a number of tavernas. On the plateau above the town are the ruins of ancient Corinth which was once a wealthy and important city at the hub of trade between the mainland and the Peloponnese. It was once inhabited by the finest seamen, merchants, ceramicists and hedonists alike and it is well worth a visit to the architectural birthplace of the Corinthian column.
Before the canal was built, the ancient seafarer had to transport his entire ship and cargo across the land connecting the Peloponnese to the mainland. The idea was courted as early as 600BC, several aborted attempts were made, and construction of the canal was finished by the Greeks in 1893. It is 3.2 miles long with spectacular limestone cliffs rising to 79m above sea level. The canal is tidal with a current of around 2.5-3 knots. Two sinking bridges at either end allow traffic to pass by road above. It is one of the most expensive canals per mile in the world.
Korfos is a small port on Sofiko Bay. This sweeping bay is near landlocked in a wetland marsh area of 5000m2. It is reasonably attractive save for a few rather ugly buildings built on the surrounding slopes. Korfos is a peaceful spot with some good tavernas along the waterfront commanding views out over the bay. The bay provides a peaceful anchorage in calm weather.
The Asklepieion of Epidaurus
The World Heritage site of Asklepieion was an important healing sanctuary, reaching its zenith in 3-4th Centuries BC. Named after the god of medicine, Asklepios, it was considered the cradle of medicinal arts in the Hellenic world. Pilgrims came from all over the Mediterranean to be healed of their ailments through physical and spiritual means. Monumental buildings within the complex include the dormitory, the dining hall, the hospice, the temple and the stadium. The functioning amphitheatre is preserved almost intact and famous for its acoustics owing to geometrically perfect design.
The mighty citadel of Mycenae is 1 hour from Epidaurus. It is the most important site of the Mycenaean civilization dominating mainland Greece, the Aegean islands and the shores of Asia Minor from 1800BC. This is where Homeric legend and history merge. Mycenae was ruled by the mythical kings Atreus and Agamemnon. Outside the main ruins is a huge, vaulted, preserved tomb. The ruins are entered through the imposing Lion Gate. Inside there are the royal palace, further tombs and merchant houses. The rich finds from the area are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Athens.