Epidavros, Mycenae, Tiryns
Where: 145 km (90 miles) southwest of Athens
Why: Two of the most ancient archaeological sites in the world. Visit the ancient theater of Epidavros and witness up close the achievements of the ancient Greeks in theater construction. If visiting Athens in the summer, take time out to attend a performance. Mycenae and Tiryns: Ruins from two of the most ancient civilizations. Mycenae, 50km (31 miles) south of Corinth, bears the remains of the ancient palace and its findings testify that this center of the Mycenaean civilization has existed since 3,000 B.C. Tiryns: The earliest human occupation on the hill goes back to the Neolithic period (about 5000 B.C.). It was followed by successive settlements but their remains have been destroyed almost completely by the extensive construction arrangement of the Mycenaean age. Enough evidence survived from the settlement of the Early Bronze Age (2500-2000 B.C.) to prove the existence of a series of apsidal houses arranged around a very huge circular building on the summit of the hill.
How to get there: By car, bus or train
By car: From Athens, head south towards the Corinth Canal
By train: There are several trains a day from Athens to Corinth and Argos. For train schedules to the Peloponnese: +302105131601.
By bus: Bus station for the Peloponnese: +302105134110
Approximate travel time from Athens: 2-3 hours
Don't miss: the Gateway of Lions, the entrance of the Mycenaean acropolis; the chance to attend a performance at Epidavros during the summer months; a visit to the nearby town of Ligourio for local gastronomic specialties.
For more information on Ancient Epidavros: http://www.epidavros.cc/
For more information on the ancient ruins of Mycenae: http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=941