A popular request in my recent survey was for information on lesser-known places to visit in the Saronic and Argolic Gulfs. The first one that I will tell you about is the Sunken City of Epidauros. (Epidaurus is pronounced Epidavros – ‘u’ following ‘a’ in Greek makes a ‘v’ sound).
You’ll find the Sunken City off the Kalymnios beach, just south of Palaia Epidaurus.
There are two towns in the gulf called Epidaurus, Palaia Epidavros and Nea Epidavros, and both have ports. Palaia Epidaurus is the larger, better known port. There is a peninsula south of the town and on the other side is a big bay in which you can anchor overnight in calm weather. This is where you will find the Sunken City.
If weather conditions are unsuitable for anchoring you can walk south from the town. You’ll pass the mini Acropolis of Epidavros on the way and it’s well worth stopping for a visit. The bay you want is 1500m south of the town.
Here is the location on a photograph courtesy of Petros of the Posiedon Hotel.
You’ll find the start of the sunken city about 50m off-shore. It lies in about 10m of water, although some places are more shallow. You can snorkel over the remains of both square and round buildings of the ancient city. Please remember that it is illegal to remove any artefacts from the bottom of the sea in Greece.
If you decide to spend the night in Palaia Epidauros, you can arrange a taxi trip up into the hills behind the port to visit the fanous ancient site. It’s in a small valley and has a temple to Asklepios, the god of medicine and a wonderful theatre, which is considered one of the purest masterpeices of Greek architecture. It’s still used for plays and concerts during the annual Epidavros festival in July and August each year. If you’re sailing in this area when the festival is on, it’s worth getting tickets – but take a cushion to sit on as modern bottoms are not used to spending a long time on stone benches 🙂
As well as being able to anchor in the bay where you’ll find the Sunken City there’s another nice bay for swimming / lunch / calm evenings just to the north of Palaia Epidavros.
My next post will be on a little known anchorage on the north of Hydra island – I’ll send it soon.
Best regards and happy snorkeling
PS: If you want to sail on our autumn milebuilder to the Cyclades we have just a couple of places left. 6+ days of sailing on two 50ft yachts, lots of fun and good company! Email me now for details or to book your place.