- Corinth Canal
- Ancient Corinth
- Kastella (Panoramic view)
- Temple of Zeus
- Panathinaiko Stadium
- Greek Parliament
Full day tour
The Corinth Canal, 90 kilometers from Athens, connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. Dreamt of by Alexander the Great and Julius Caeser, the Canal was finally built in 1893 saving 200 nautical miles of often dangerous seas. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former peninsula an island. It is 6.4 kilometres (4.0 mi) in length but only 21.4 metres (70 ft) wide at its base, making it impassable for most modern ships and today it is used mainly for tourist traffic.
Ancient Corinth was one of the largest and richest cities of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BC, controlling much of the trade between East and West. The Romans destroyed the Greek city in 146BC but Julius Caeser left a garrison here in 44BC and built a new city in its place and made it the provincial capital of Greece. Dedicated to the worship of Aphrodite or Venus, the Vestal Virgins in Corinth were a source of attraction throughout the ancient world and the city population grew to between 100,000 to 700,000 according to different sources. In the early Christian era it was the wealth and licentiousness of Corinth, which attracted St. Paul to visit the city and write his Epistles.
During the trip you also have the opportunity to take an excursion boat through the Canal itself which takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Leaving the port of Piraeus we drive along the coast over Castella Hill with its magnificent views of the 3 harbors of Piraeus and down to Mikrolimano, the little harbor, where the original refugees from Constantinople, after being ejected by the Turks, set up some of the best fish restaurants of Athens.
On past some of the Olympic stadiums built for the 2004 games into Athens centre where we first visit the Acropolis, crowned by the Parthenon. Built in the Golden Age of Athens in the 5th century BC and despite being partly blown up by the Turks in 1700 this is still one of the most impressive buildings of the ancient world.On to the theatre of Dionysos where the great classical plays were first performed and then to the centre to view Hadrian’s Arch and the great Temple of Olympian Zeus and to the Panathinaiko Stadium, built for the first Olympic Games in 1896.
In the very heart of Athens in Constitution Square, the Parliament building and behind it the Royal Gardens and the first Palace of Greece where the kings and queens of modern Greece first resided where you can watch the changing of the guard (the Evzones).
Finally to Plaka, the old town of Athens, which lies at the foot of the Acropolis and is a maze of local artisans, folk culture, inviting shops and restaurants offering every variety of Greek food.