If you’re looking for a quick and easy day trip from Athens that combines history, culture, and breathtaking scenery, look no further than the ancient theater of Epidaurus. Located just two hours southwest of Athens, Epidaurus is famous for its remarkably well-preserved theater, which dates back to the 4th century BCE and is renowned for its unparalleled acoustics. But the site also includes a fascinating archaeological museum, a sanctuary dedicated to the god of medicine, and beautiful natural surroundings that are perfect for a leisurely stroll.
Day trip to Epidaurus from Athens
For a day trip to Epidaurus, you can either drive yourself or take a tour. Driving gives you the flexibility to explore the area at your own pace, but if you prefer a more structured experience, a tour is a good option. Many tour operators offer guided day trips that include transportation from Athens, a visit to the theater, and a stop at the picturesque seaside town of Nafplio. Keep in mind that the theater is outdoors, so be sure to dress appropriately for the weather.
Tips to get from Athens to Epidaurus by car or bus
If you’re driving yourself, the easiest way to get to Epidaurus is to take the Attiki Odos highway towards Elefsina, then follow the signs to Corinth. From there, take the exit for Epidaurus and follow the signs to the site. If you’re taking a tour, transportation is usually included, and you’ll be picked up from your hotel or a central location in Athens.
Another option for getting to Epidaurus is by public transportation. You can take a bus from the Kifissos bus terminal in Athens to the town of Argos, then transfer to a local bus that will take you to the site. Keep in mind that public transportation can be crowded and may not always run on time, so it’s important to plan accordingly.
What to do in Epidaurus
The main attraction in Epidaurus is the ancient theater, which is considered one of the best-preserved ancient theaters in Greece. The theater was designed to seat over 12,000 people and was used for musical and theatrical performances, as well as religious ceremonies. Today, visitors can still experience the remarkable acoustics of the theater by standing in the center of the stage and speaking at a normal volume – their voice can be heard clearly in every seat.
In addition to the theater, Epidaurus is also home to a fascinating archaeological museum, which houses artifacts from the site and provides context for the history of the area. Visitors can see ancient pottery, sculptures, and other objects that were excavated from the site.
Finally, be sure to take some time to explore the beautiful natural surroundings of Epidaurus. The sanctuary of Asclepius, dedicated to the god of medicine, is a peaceful oasis with gardens, fountains, and temples. There are also hiking trails and picnic areas nearby, as well as the charming town of Nafplio just a short drive away.