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Ancient Nemea excursion
1) Ancient Nemea
Nemea is an ancient site in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese. Nemea was famous in Greek myth as the home of the Nemean Lion, which was killed by the hero Heracles, and as the place where the infant Opheltes, lying on a bed of parsley, was killed by a serpent while his nurse fetched water for the Seven on their way from Argos to Thebes. The Seven founded the Nemean Games in his memory, according to its aition, or founding myth, accounting for the crown of victory being made of parsley or the wild form of celery and for the black robes of the judges, interpreted as a sign of mourning. The Nemean Games were documented from 573 BC, or earlier, at the sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea.
Three limestone columns of the Temple of Nemean Zeus of about 330 BC have stood since their construction, and two more were reconstructed in 2002. As of late 2007, four more are being re-erected. Three orders of architecture were employed at this temple, which stands at the end of the Classic period and presages this and other developments of Hellenistic architecture, such as the slenderness (a height of 6.34 column diameters) of the Doric columns of the exterior. The site around the temple has been excavated in annual campaigns since 1973: the great open-air altar, baths, and ancient accommodations for visitors have been unearthed. The temple stands on the site of an Archaic period temple, of which only a foundation wall is still visible.The stadion has recently been discovered. It is notable for its well-preserved vaulted entrance tunnel, dated to about 320 BC, with ancient graffiti on the walls. The material discovered in the excavations is on display in an on-site museum.
What would you see here: The Zeus temple, the stadium, the museum +++
Mycenae is an archaeological site, located about 90 kilometres southwest of Athens. From the hill on which the palace was located, one can see across the Argolid to the Saronic Gulf. In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the major centres of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece. The period of Greek history from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae. At its peak in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares.
The first excavations at Mycenae were carried out by Greek archaeologist Kyriakos Pittakis in 1841 where he found and restored the Lion Gate. In 1874, Heinrich Schliemann excavated deep shafts all over the acropolis without permission; in August 1876, a complete excavation of the site by Schliemann commenced with the permission of the Archaeological Society of Athens (ASA) and the supervision of one of its members, Panayiotis Stamatakis. Schliemann believed in the historical truth of the Homeric stories and interpreted the site accordingly. He found the ancient shaft graves with their royal skeletons and spectacular grave goods. Upon discovering a human skull beneath a gold death mask in one of the tombs, he declared: "I have gazed upon the face of Agamemnon"
What would you see here: The Lions Gate, the Tomb of Agamemnon and the museum.
Nafplio is a seaport town in the Peloponnese that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was an important seaport held under a succession of royal houses in the Middle Ages as part of the lordship of Argos and Nauplia, held initially by the de la Roche following the Fourth Crusade before coming under the Republic of Venice and, lastly, the Ottoman Empire. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic and of the Kingdom of Greece, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834.
Acronauplia is the oldest part of the city though a modern hotel has been built on it. Until the thirteenth century, it was a town on its own. The arrival of the Venetians and the Franks transformed it into part of the town fortifications. Other fortifications of the city include the Palamidi and Bourtzi, which is located in the middle of the harbour.
Nafplion maintains a traditional architectural style with many traditional-style colourful buildings and houses, partly influenced by the Venetians, because of the domination of 1338-1540. Also, modern-era neoclassical buildings are also preserved, while the building of the National Bank of Greece is an example of Mycenaean Revival architecture.
Around the city can be found several sculptures and statues. They are related mostly with the modern history of Nafplion, such as the statues of Ioannis Kapodistrias, Otto of Greece and Theodoros Kolokotronis.
What would you see here: Acronauplia, several sculptures and statues, neoclassical buildings, Bourtzi island
Palamidi is a fortress to the east of the Acronauplia in the town of Nafplio. Nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill, the fortress was built by the Venetians during their second occupation of the area (1686-1715).
The fortress was a very large and ambitious project, but was finished within a relatively short period from 1711 until 1714. It is a typical baroque fortress based on the plans of the engineers Giaxich and Lasalle. In 1715 it was captured by the Turks and remained under their control until 1822, when it was captured by the Greeks.
The eight bastions of the fortress were originally named after the Venetian provveditori. However, when it fell to the Ottoman Empire, the bastions were given Turkish names. Lastly, when the Greeks overthrew the Turks the bastions were renamed after ancient Greek leaders and heroes (Epaminondas, Miltiades, Leonidas, Phocion, Achilles, Themistocles. The two remaining bastions were named after St. Andrew (Agios Andreas) and the French Philhellene Robert who died in battle on the Acropolis of Athens. The "Miltiades," was used as a prison and among its walls was also held Theodoros Kolokotronis, hero of the Greek Revolution.
The fortress commands an impressive view over the Argolic Gulf, the city of Náfplio and the surrounding country. There are 913 steps in the winding stair from the town to the fortress. However, to reach the top of the fortress there are over one thousand. Locals in the town of Nafplion will say there are 999 steps to the top of the castle, and specials can be found on menus that incorporate this number to catch a tourist's eye.
5) Epidaurus theatre
The theater was designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC. The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. As is usual for Greek theatres (and as opposed to Roman ones), the view on a lush landscape behind the skênê is an integral part of the theatre itself and is not to be obscured. It seats up to 14,000 people. The theatre is admired for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken words from the proscenium or skēnē to all 14,000 spectators, regardless of their seating. Famously, tour guides have their groups scattered in the stands and show them how they can easily hear the sound of a match struck at center-stage. A 2007 study by Nico F. Declercq and Cindy Dekeyser of the Georgia Institute of Technology indicates that the astonishing acoustic properties may be the result of the advanced design: the rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and amplify high-frequency sounds from the stage
6) "Palivou estate" wine tasting
Discovering wine tourism...
Palivou Estate, inaugurating a new era, focused on discovering this experience, which will offer the visitor a completely different aspect in his tourist wandering. Thus, it invites you to its hospitable winery, in Ancient Nemea.
Only 127km-an hour's drive from Athens, on the way from Korithos to Nafplio and Tripoli, in the area of Nemea, lies the biggest vineyard of the Balkans, the "Bordeaux of Southeast Europe", with vineyards of 25.000 stremmas.
800 meters from the imposing archaeological site of Ancient Nemea lies Palivou Estate, a small and hospitable winery, built in the family owned vineyard. The best way to get accustomed with the process of producing the famous wines of Nemea is to follow us on a trip through the vineyard and the vine culture, where everything begins and continues into the aging cellar of the Estate, where the 300 French and American oak barrels are located.
Vineyards and Winery Tour
Tasting of Wines
Tasting of Special Editions and different vintages
Wine tasting Seminar
Lunch inside the winery accompanied with wine
Special discount in buying wines from the winery
Tasting room open
Seven days a week 08:30-16:30
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Note for our costumers from Athens:
We recommend using the suburban train (PROASTIAKOS) for your transportation from Athens to Corinth as well as for your return. In that way you'll save enough money. We can wait for you at the station of Corinth to take you anywhere you wish. The suburban trains are fast, clean, comfortable and affordable. The trains depart every 1 hour and the trip lasts about an hour.
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