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The prefecture of Argolida occupies the eastern tip of Peloponnese. Forming the geographic thumb of the Peloponnese, it is bounded on the west by the mountains of Parthenio, Ktenias, Artemesio, Lyrkeio and Trachi and in the north by those of Oligurto, Pharmakas, Megalovouni, Psili Rachi and Trapezona, giving the impression of a separate, self-sufficient and secret, well protected world.
The shield of mountains, together with a well-irrigated (by abundant underground streams and cisterns) fertile plain - coupled with a mild climate - made the area the perfect place for civilization to develop as early as the prehistoric times. This truly blessed plain, which seems eager to “pour” itself into the sea, escapes the embracing protection of its Argolidian boundaries in numerous points. With the peninsulas of Argolida, Kranidi and Hermioni on one side, and that of Lygourio jutting into the beautiful bay of Epidavros on the other, the prefecture of Argolida is presents an image of harmonious coexistence between sea and mountains, a truly ideal destination for alternative tourism.
The region of Argolida was the “heart” of Greece from 1600 to 1100 BC under the Mycenaeans. With their decline, the Dorians controlled the fate of the area until its conquest of the country by the Romans.
During the Byzantine era Argolida shared the fortune of the rest of the Peloponnese. It was ruled by the Franks and surrendered to the Turks in 1460, Nafplio, however, remained in Venetian hands until 1540.
Nafplion was the capital of the newly formed Greek state from 1828 to 1834, when this role passed to Athens.
Argolida is a place that has everything. The short distance from Athens, less than two hours by car, the good road network and regular intercity bus schedules contribute in making the prefecture of Argolida one of the most popular tourist destinations and the ideal place for alternative tourism in Peloponnese.
The modern traveler will marvel at the beauty of Argolida and appreciate its unhurried approach to life. Olives, forests, meadows, mountain villages and bare peaks abound; and we must not forget its beautiful beaches - Karathona, Tolo, Iria, Saladi, Portoheli, Ermioni and Epidaurus on the one hand - with others as yet undiscovered, dotting the countless bays and promontories. Its distant shoreline outlines three large bays; Argoliko, Hydra and Epidaurus.
The acquaintance with Argolida is full of pleasant surprises. Our tour starts at Argos, the most ancient city in Greece, built at the fool of Larissa and Aspida hills, which have always offered protection and supported its defense against aggressors throughout the ages. This is a city that counts 5000 years of life! A city with a magnificent past, but also a dynamic presence nowadays.
The beauty title through goes to Nafplion, the forever charming first capital of the Greek state and a favorite among travelers. Nafplion is a pole of attraction for thousands of tourists each year. The choices it offers satisfy all tastes year-round. At a short distance from the city there are splendid beaches and fishing villages that have become popular resorts, such as Tolo, Vivari, Asini, Nea Kios and Porto Heli. The castle of Palamidi, Bourtzi, the central Syntagmatos square, the old city quarters, Akronafplia are some of the sites that you must see in order to feel the heartbeat of that city.
Epidavros is what the ancients called a “sight to please the eye”. The small natural harbour surrounded by verdant land and the ancient Theater of Epidavros, a world heritage monument, compose the grandeur of the area.
And naturally the Mycenae, the matrix of the Mycenaean civilization evidenced in the multitude of ruins such as the Acropolis, the Lions Gate, the Mycenaean Palace, the Mycenaean Tombs and more, a pole of attraction for thousands of tourists every year. This was the home of Agamemnon, Klytaimnystra, Orestis and many more heroes sung by Homer and starring in the tragedies of Aeschylus.
Tourists that visit Argolida usually refer to tourist guides, which mostly recommend county's southern areas as the best place to visit. The cities of Argos and Nafplion, the archeological sites of Mycenae, Tiryntha and Epidavros, as well as various southern seaside resorts are very popular. However, few visitors have experienced the breathtaking landscapes of the Argolic mountains and even fewer can imagine this other side of Argolida, a paradise on earth for all forms of alternative tourism in Peloponnese. Tiny traditional hamlets are nestled on the mountain tops, linked with narrow streets and pathways, sharing common feasts and customs. Just 10-30km away from the city of Argos, quaint small villages can be excellent mountain resorts. They are natural balconies, where visitors have the opportunity to take in a full view of the golden valleys and the sea beyond.
The region is full of Byzantine and post-Byzantine monuments, monasteries and churches, such as the 11th-century monastery of Agios Dimitrios Karakalas in Tiryntha, the 11th-century monastery of Agioi Anargyroi in Ermioni, the 15th-century monastery of Pamegiston Taxiarchon in Epidavros, the 10th-century monastery of Agios Theodosios in Midea near the 12th-century church of the Virgin’s Dormition.
Argolida is ideal for long vacations but also for small “escapades”. They are a favorite “weekend break” of Athenians re-energizing them for the following work week.
The tourist infrastructure of Nafplion, Argos and Epidavros, as well as all coastal areas, is exceptionally developed and diverse enough to satisfy all tastes. There are accommodations of all levels, ranging from luxurious hotels to complexes of room rentals, guarantying a pleasant stay.
During the summer months, visitors have the unique opportunity to enjoy remarkable performances organized within the Epidavros Festival or attend local traditional fairs.
The magic of the shores of the Argolida, the bald mountains, golden valleys, the grandeur of the monuments and the eternal quality of its myths leave visitors a lasting impression.
With its unique archaeological sites, the comforts of its modern cities, the beauty of the unexplored mountainous areas and the sweet serenity of its fertile plains, the naked mountain peaks and the lacy coastline, the small quaint villages and magnificent coastal resorts, its glorious past and bright future, Argolida will always be here waiting for you to explore it. Because it combines natural beauty with a rich cultural heritage, ready to satisfy visitors that seek the beauty of nature along with a journey into history.