ARGOLIS - RICH HISTORICAL TRADITION
Argolida occupies the eastern tip of the Peloponnese, is the smallest prefecture of the Region and has a large coastline with beautiful beaches, cities, villages and fertile plains. The uniqueness of the prefecture is the narrow alleys, the neoclassical buildings, the historic squares, the old churches and the Turkish mosques. The place is particularly rich in archeological and cultural sites, castles, fortresses, newer monuments, places of special natural beauty and traditional settlements. It has a well-organized interconnection network that has been characterized as an ideal destination, offering many options throughout the year. Argolida is one of the most historic prefectures in Greece inhabited since the 8th millennium BC. while the capital of the Prefecture is Nafplio.
Nafplio is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Greece, with neoclassical buildings, narrow alleys and Venetian aura. Its port is bordered by the lighthouse and Bourtzi the second important fortress of Nafplio built on the island of Agios Theodoros where there is the homonymous Byzantine church. It got its name from the Turkish word bourtzi = fortress. On the east side, above the center, the castle of Palamidi stands on the hill. The fortress of Akronafplia, with three different castles, is the oldest in the city which offers panoramic views. The fortress has a strong wall and eight bastions, one of which was used as a prison for Kolokotronis. Today Palamidi is visitable for those who wish to see and admire its fortifications and the amazing view it offers.
The historic city stretches along the entire length of the north side with neoclassical, mansions, elegant balconies and picturesque cobbled streets characterizing it. In the park with the old train station is the imposing bronze statue of Theodoros Kolokotronis, a copy of which is in Athens in Klafthmonos Square. On the road to Akronafplia and at the beginning of the stone staircase of Palamidi is the land gate which was the only entrance to the city from the land. Just before Syntagma Square is the war museum, an imposing stone building from 1988. The Archaeological Museum, which was used as a repository of the Venetian fleet, is dominated by exhibits from the Paleolithic period to late antiquity and frescoes from Mycenae and Tiryns.
The so-called "Station" by the people of Nafplio, is one of the many beautiful parts of the city and defines the end or the beginning of the historic center. The square of the plane tree in the center of Nafplio, is surrounded by historic buildings such as the old parliament, the Palace of the first Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias, the old mosque, the church of Ag. Georgiou, and the Venetian building of Armeria that now houses the Museum and has exhibits from nearby archaeological sites. In Nafplio one can admire a series of sacred temples and the metropolitan church that has adorned since the 16th century. With Nafplio as a base, one can visit the nearby islands of the Saronic Gulf.
Argos 15 minutes from Nafplio is famous for its neoclassical buildings, while the visitor can easily go to the ancient theater of Argos and walk to the hill of Aspida. In the center of the city dominates the church of Agios Petros while the Archaeological Museum stands right next to the square. Panagia "Kefalariotissa" located on the east side of the village, at the foot of Mount Haon built inside the cave is dedicated to Panagia. A special monument is the pyramid of Elliniko, built in the 3rd century BC. near Kefalari Argos which served as a tomb or fortress. In the Ancient Agora one can see the ancient Conservatory, the "Palestra", the "Bouleuterion", the Sanctuaries of Aphrodite and the Lyceum of Apollo. One of the most beautiful neoclassical buildings in the city is the Konstantopoulos Palace, while the Municipal Neoclassical Market designed by Ziller in 1888 impresses with its size and symmetry.
A monument of world cultural heritage of Greece is Mycenae where the Mycenaean civilization flourished and some of the most famous myths of Greek mythology were born. The palace is located at the highest point of the Acropolis and was the symbol of the power of the rulers. The Cyclopean walls were built by the mythical Cyclops and were discovered in 1886. Great sights are the burial Circles and the cemetery of the Mycenaean period. The Lions' Gate is a huge entrance made of stones, at the top of which are carved lions as a sign of strength. The most important ruins include the famous vaulted tombs of Atreus and Clytemnestra, but also the underground Reservoir, which was created to provide water to the inhabitants. The Archaeological Museum in the archaeological site of Mycenae is designed to serve the preservation of the material. Heraion near Mycenae, was a place of worship dedicated to Hera.
The historic city of Epidaurus is flooded with people as its theater and cultural events are an artistic event. It is a popular sanctuary of archaeological importance, natural beauty and tourist interest. Built amphitheatrically on the ruins of the ancient city of the same name, it harmoniously combines mountain and sea. The stands, the seats, the orchestra and the stage compose the most beautiful open ancient theater in the world, the place where entertainment was born. It is one of the most important monuments of ancient Greece with perfect acoustics, elegance and symmetrical proportions. Nearby there are beautiful beaches such as that of Vagionia behind the church of Agios Nikolaos. For sports lovers in Old Epidavros there is an organized paragliding track and many hiking trails in the mountain of Akros, as well as ancient trails, but also the possibility for diving. The wider archeological site has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tolo is a beautiful seaside village that attracts many visitors and at the same time picturesque, romantic and idyllic that has in front of it three beautiful islands Koronisi, Romvi and Daskalio.
Tolo was and is a fishing village so it is famous for its fresh fish and delicious seafood. It has played an important role in history from ancient times until today while in Byzantine times it was an auxiliary port of Nafplio. On the south coast is Porto Heli built on the ruins of the ancient city, which is a popular Greek Riviera. Its cosmopolitan character has been deservedly acquired thanks to the full utilization of its natural resources. Boats, fishing trawls, small and large sailing boats, are some of its unique features while it is an ideal destination for sports such as water skiing, diving, sailing to hiking and horseback riding. In the area there are luxury villas and quiet beaches with clear waters.
The most famous beach, Kounoupi in front of the settlement of Agios Emilianos is characterized by shallow waters and fine pebbles. For sports fans, Hinitsa is recommended with its tennis / mini soccer courts, as well as the water sports options it offers. Ververonda combines bathing and eating, while according to local legend, its waters cure rheumatism and diseases, influenced by the volcanic activity of Methana. Nearby are the islands of Hydra, Spetses which can be visited. Neighboring settlements of particular interest are Fourni, the Valley and Didima. In the beautiful village of Didyma with the endless meadows of wild tulip, every April the "feast of the tulip" takes place in which the unique for the Greek data the plant and the geological phenomenon, the "Dolines of Didyma" is deified. Kranidi, which is also the administrative center, is characterized by its beautiful neoclassical buildings.
Ermioni, which owes its name to the mythical hero Ermioni, who founded the ancient city of Ermioni, is known for its picturesque taverns, its predominantly commercial center, and Mandrakia, a region famous for its nightlife. In addition to its turquoise waters and green slopes, in Ermioni, the visitor can take walks in the Bisti forest on the edge of the settlement. It is a small paradise in the settlement that allows you to walk in the pines by the sea. The site is also of archaeological interest, since glorious temples of antiquity were built here. The Katafyki gorge, which according to mythology was the entrance to Hades, composes a landscape of unique beauty that is worth crossing. Inside the settlement of Ermioni there is no coast while outside the settlement, there are many beaches such as Lepitsa, Petrothalassa, Dardiza, Kouverta, etc.
The habitats and the natural environment of the prefecture of Argolida have been recognized with their integration in the national and the community protection framework. The designation of the area as a Natura 2000 area preserves the natural habitats as well as the Wild Fauna and Flora .. In addition to tourism, the inhabitants are engaged in agriculture, fishing and animal husbandry. The crown of these is the Argolida orange, but also tangerines, lemons, apricots, pomegranates, argitic melon, watermelon, etc .. Popular all over the world as of exceptional quality with unique color and taste is the Argolida oil. Iria artichoke also stands out, with special taste, flavor and nutritional value. High quality dairy products whose reputation crosses the borders of the domestic market such as spicy feta, gruyere, kefalograviera, yogurt in bags etc. Respecting the tradition, the pastas from pure products stand out. The local gastronomy includes delicacies of fine meats and appetizers of herbs, legumes, fish, vegetables, etc.