Mycenae and Olympia in a two-day trip
The Peloponnese is, quite literally, a legendary place. After all, this is where gods and heroes were said to walk the earth and where the world’s greatest sporting event was born.

My choice was to enjoy a 2-day trip starting from Athens, that would include the rich archaeological site of Mycenae, the picturesque town of Nafplio and the stunning site of Olympia, famous to many as it was the very place where the Οlympic Games were held during the antiquity.

Corinth Canal

Corinth Canal Photo Credit: Oleg

Corinth Canal

During the first day, as we were driving from Athens enjoying the sunny sky and the scenery, we stopped at the Corinth Canal, an engineering marvel. The view was truly incredible and our very knowledgeable driver let us know of the history behind this project that spanned many centuries.

Lion Gate at Mycenae

Lion Gate at Mycenae Photo Credit: Ronny Siegel

Mycenae Archaeological Site

We then reached the archaeological site of Mycenae where the palace of legendary Agamemnon, who led the Greeks during the Trojan War, once stood. I enjoyed an excellent 2-hour private guided tour of the site, admiring the land in which the Mycenaean civilization flourished from about 1,600 to 1,100 BC. The ancient town was surrounded by gigantic walls that were constructed by Cyclopes – according to legend – while the most famous spot is the Lion Gate, the entrance to the town featuring two female stone lions above the lintel.

Nafplio City

Nafplio City Photo Credit: tjabeljan

The Atmospheric Town of Nafplio

After my inspiring stroll through history, I had the opportunity to visit the atmospheric town of Nafplio, to explore its beautiful cobbled streets and Italian-style charm. It is a very romantic destination, so if you are travelling as a couple you will most likely fall in love with it. It occupies a priviledged location, on a small port beneath the towering Palamidi fortress, and is graced with attractive narrow streets, elegant Venetian houses, neoclassical mansions and interesting museums.

Olympia Archaeological Museum

Olympia Archaeological Museum Photo Credit: Yannis Varouhakis

Town and Archaeological Site of Olympia

We then departed to reach the town of Olympia, where we checked in at a nice hotel to get some rest and spend the night. The next day, we were more relaxed and had plenty of time to admire the richness of the extensive – and quite intact – archaeological site of Olympia. Little remains of the magnificent temples and athletic facilities of the past, but what still exists is enough to give you a hint of this World Heritage-listed sanctuary’s former glory. The Olympic Games took place here every four years for at least 1000 years, until their abolition by Emperor Theodosius I in AD 393. This fact alone is inspiring enough as you are wandering amid the tree-shaded ruins and the impressive ancient stadium that used to seat at least 45,000 spectators.

During our private 2-hour guided tour, we also admired the temples of Zeus and Hera, the palaestra and the workshop of Phedias. Last but not least, we paid a visit to the Archaeological Museum with its various impressive exhibits.

On our way back to Athens, I felt a unique sense of inspiration and satisfaction, having set foot on this extraordinary land. Peloponnese is still today a legendary destination, not to be missed.

If you wish to do this trip, please send us an email at hello@greeceinsiders.travel and we will arrange it for you!