Located on the crossroads between mainland Greece and the Peloponnese and between the Saronic Gulf and the Corinthian Gulf, just 84 km from Athens, Corinth was an important city in Greek, Hellenistic and Roman times. In 734 BC Corinthians founded the city of Syracuse, the most powerful Greek colony of the Mediterranean, which is located on the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, next to the Gulf of Syracuse beside the Ionian Sea. The influence of the Corinthians is obvious up until today since the city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture. The city of Corinth is filled with monuments, museums and historical sites:
Places of interest near Corinth
Itea (Greek: Ιτέα meaning willow), is a town and a former municipality in the southeastern part of Phocis, Greece. Built in the background of the Crissaean Gulf extends together with the neighbouring Kirra, along the coastline of the plain sharing the same name, the Crissaean Plain and it is the south ending up of the famous landscape of Delphi. It is a relatively new city, since it was founded in 1830 and it managed to become soon an important commercial and transit centre due to a series of favourable circumstances. The access to the city is easy, either by sea - it has a good port that serves the transport of both people and goods - or by land, as it is connected to the big road axis of Greece. It constitutes the way out to the sea not only for the Department - it is the port of Amfissa and Delphi - but also for the entire area of Central Greece.
Galaxidi or Galaxeidi is a town and a former municipality in the southern part of Phocis. Modern Galaxidi is built on the site of ancient Haleion, a city of western Locris. Traces of habitation are discernible since prehistoric times with a peak in the Early Helladic Period (Anemokambi, Pelekaris, Kefalari, islet of Apsifia). A significant Mycenaean settlement has been located at Villa; the hill of St. Athanasios also revealed a fortified Geometric settlement (ca. 700 BC). In the Archaic and Classical periods (7th-4th centuries BC) was developed the administrative and religious centre at the modern site of Agios Vlasis. It seems that in ca. 300 BC the present site was settled and surrounded by a fortification wall; it is the period of the expansion of power of the Aetolian League. Haleion flourished throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods until the 2nd century AD. In an old mansion of Galaxidi are situated two museums:
Corinth’s settlement dates to 5000 B.C. which was discovered in the Korakos region, a testament to Corinthos’ habitation since the Neolithic Age. In antiquity, Korinthos was one of the largest and most important cities in Greece which had a key-role during the Peloponnesian War. After 200 B.C. became the capital of the Achaean Confederation. Under Julius Caesar it was elevated to the capital of the Achaia province. During the middle Ages it was associated with its impressive fortifications at Akrokorinthos (Acrocorinth). A powerful earthquake destroyed the city in 1858, which was rebuilt with earthquake resistant specifications undera new town plan, 9 km to the north of the ancient city. The town of Palaia Corinthos is situated on the site of Ancient Corinthos.
Today, Corinth is located about 83 km west of Athens. The Municipality of Corinth had a population of 58,192, according to the 2011 census, the second most populous municipality in the Peloponnese Region, after Kalamata. It is surrounded by the coastal townlets of Lechaio, Isthmia, Kechries, and the inland townlet of Examilia and the archaeological site and village of ancient Corinth. Natural features around the city include the narrow coastal plain of Vocha, the Corinthian Gulf, the Isthmus of Corinth cut by its canal, the Saronic Gulf, the Oneia Mountains and the monolithic rock of Acrocorinth, where the medieval acropolis was built. Capital’s prefecture is the region’s prominent administrative, commercial, financial and cultural center. The city center has wide roads, parks, squares and a picturesque port with fishing boats. Beautiful pedestrian walkways entice the visitors for a stroll, coffee and shopping, with monuments, museums and historical sites surrounding the city.
Peloponnese is a beloved region in the south of Greece, which used to be a peninsula connected to the rest of Greece by the Isthmus of Corinth, in ancient times. Nowadays, the region is separated from the mainland by the narrow Corinth Canal, although there are many bridges connecting Peloponnese to Attica across the canal. It is a highly cultural and popular area, being celebrated by many tourists from all over the world, especially during the summer season.
In Peloponnese there are many natural beauties, such as mountains, forests, rivers and caves, surrounded by the sea and sandy beaches completed by monuments from every period of the eventful Peloponnesian history, breathtaking archaeological sites and gorgeous Byzantine churches making the Peloponnese region a highly sought-after holiday destination. Peloponnese has a dry climate on the east, cold, snow and rich vegetation in its central and mountainous parts and rain and heat on the west.
A sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times. The most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece lies in the beautiful valley of the Alpheios river. Dedicated to Zeus, the father of the gods, it sprawls over the southwest foot of Mount Kronios, at the confluence of the Alpheios and the Kladeos rivers, in a lush, green landscape. Although secluded near the west coast of the Peloponnese, Olympia became the most important religious and athletic centre in Greece. Its fame rests upon the Olympic Games, the greatest national festival and a highly prestigious one world-wide, which was held every four years to honour Zeus. The origin of the cult and of the festival went back many centuries. Local myths concerning the famous Pelops, the first ruler of the region, and the river Alpheios, betray the close ties between the sanctuary and both the East and West.
Remains of food and burnt offerings dating back to the 10th century BC give evidence of a long history of religious activity at the site. No buildings have survived from this earliest period of use. The first Olympic festival was organised on the site by the authorities of Elis in the 8th century BC – with tradition dating the first games at 776 BC. The classical period, between the 5th and 4th centuries BC, was the golden age of the site at Olympia. A wide range of new religious and secular buildings and structures were constructed. During the Roman period, the games were opened up to all citizens of the Roman Empire. The 3rd century saw the site suffer heavy damage from a series of earthquakes. Invading tribes in 267 AD led to the centre of the site being fortified with material robbed from its monuments. Despite the destruction, the Olympic festival continued to be held at the site until the last Olympiad in 393 AD, after which the Christian emperor Theodosius I implemented a ban.
The archaeological site is located withing walking distance of the modern village called Ancient Olympia and it includes ruins from Bronze Age to the Byzantine eras. The site covers an expanded area of ruins scattered among low trees, as well as the ancient stadium where the Olympics took place. An impressive array of artefacts, which were unearthed during excavations, is on exhibition at the nearby Olympia Museum. At the archaeological site one can admire: