Palaia (Old) Epidavros, also called Archaia (Ancient) Epidavros, is a fantastic and quite famous destination for the weekend getaway of Athens sailors and beyond!
Palaia Epidavros, a small settlement of 1900 inhabitants, is located on the peninsula of the Peloponnese, right between the Argolic and the Saronic Gulf, at a distance of only 30 NM from the Alimos marina in Athens.
Visiting Palaia Epidavros and exploring its nearby wonders makes up the perfect weekend getaway for sailors and tourists visiting the place alone, with friends or with family.
Palaia Epidavros has so much to offer that you are guaranteed to be left full of culture, traditional savory foods, and just perhaps with a sense of spiritual healing!
Although the bay, at the end of which you will find the harbor of Palaia Epidavros, has very shallow waters, the two entrance lights drawing the shoreline will safely guide you to the port.
For docking at the Palaia Epidavros port it is advisable to check in with the port authority in advance (Tel .: +30 2753 041216), as the marina is usually busy, with not enough birthing spots.
Anchoring in the gulf, however, and paddling to the shore is always a nice idea! South of the harbor, there is a safe bay that you can bind to, while still staying in the Palaia Epidavros.
Once at the the marina, you will be able to grab some food, and stock up on fuel, water, and supplies.
Found right next to the Palaia Epidavros port, this beach is coated in lush green with a rocky and sandy shore. You will be amazed by the freshness of the blue waters but make sure to take a sun-umbrella with you as you might not find one there!
Following the path through the pine-trees from Vagionia, you will reach this calm and secluded beach of Palaia Epidavros. Here, the waters are crystal clear, the beach is rocky and sandy, and the sun is hot, so don’t forget to pack lots of sun-protection!
South of the Palaia Epidavros harbor, you should be able to easily spot the beach of Panagitsa with its characteristic white-washed chapel right next to the shore. Growing all the more popular every year, this beach is a haven of natural beauty and a must-visit destination for those looking for some idleness and a bit of relaxation.
The Small Epidavros Theater
Built in the 4th century BC on a hill next to the present harbor in honor of God Dionysus, the Small Epidavros Theater is also known as "Laloun" (talking), because the names of its eminent, local sponsors at the time were found engraved around the theater’s seats and thrones.
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Various theatrical and musical events as well as festivals take place every summer at this small theater with a capacity of 800 seats, found only 800m from the port, only a 10-minute walk!
Across the theater you can also find an ancient Mycenaean cemetery with seven vaulted tombs and also, only at a short distance, the ruins of the Ancient Temple of Artemis.
Don’t forget to ask locals to show you where the underwater ruins lie! With even an amateur’s snorkeling gear you can dive in the waters near the harbor (south) and close to the coast, and be amazed by the ancient remnants of hellenic tradition that lie on the sea-bed!
Ancient Epidavros Theater
The Ancient Theater of Epidavros is a UNESCO world heritage site and known worldwide as a cradle of ancient Greek civilization. It is still used today, with superb productions of ancient Greek dramas being planned there every summer.
It can be found only 16km (10mi) away from the Palaia Epidavros marina -a taxi fare costing approximately 3eur/km.
If you visit the place, do not miss the chance of such a spectacle. Even if you do not know the Greek language, you will still have the opportunity to touch upon the phenomenon of ancient Greek civilization!
The Epidavros Asclepion
Another UNESCO world heritage site, the Epidavros Asclepion was built in honor of ancient Greek god Asclepius –father of medicine.
This archaeological site is situated among the Peloponnese’s lush verdure, healing sunlight, and thermal springs, and is believed to have been a healing temple and the place of origin of medicinal practice and research in Greece.
At the Archaeological Museum in town, visitors can take a real look at the magnificent artifacts that were unearthed at the site of Epidavros, which -let’s not forget, was a healing sanctuary, entirely dedicated to god Asclepius, where even the theater was considered a way of healing.
The Epidavros Festival
Also known as Greek Hollywood, this Festival is held every summer at the ancient Greek Theater of Epidavros, hosting a variety of dramatic and musical performances. From June until August.
Lygourio, the settlement next to the theater and the center of New Epidavros, floods with tourists and celebrities who come together to celebrate the culture of ancient Greek drama.
If you decide to visit Lygourio, you will also have a chance to appreciate the twelve Byzantine churches and the countless chapels as well as its natural beauty and gentle hosts!
In Palaia Epidavros you will be able to find several options for Greek dishes, cooked, or baked food as well as seafood, accompanied by the traditional Greek salad and complimentary dessert!
In the area around the harbor, you will find several restaurants and taverns, with tables on the court, as well as free WiFi.
A tavern we found very interesting there was "To Mouragio", right in front of the harbor, directed by Mrs. Demetra!