Ancient Corinth Half Day Tour

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  • Day Trip
  • Pickup Service
  • Private Tour
  • E-Ticket
  • 5 hr

Our tours and services are flexible and can be adapted to the customer’s needs. All our professional drivers have the required certifications and are fluent in English. Their experience will help you feel safe and at easy in one of our well maintained, comfortable vehicles. You will have the added benefit of visiting archaeological sites at different times from the large tour buses and groups of visitors, thus enabling you to experience the wonderful monuments and learn their history at a time of the day when they are not overcrowded. The cost of hiring our services is smaller than purchasing individual tickets from large tour and excursion companies.

Itinerary Details

Operated by: H.P.Tours - Hellenic Private Tours

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Corinth Canal

The half-day Ancient Corinth tour starts with a 45-mile drive along the National highway. We will reach the well-known Corinthian canal or else Isthmus canal that connects the Saronic Sea and the Corinthian Sea. The canal, though executed in the late 19th century, has been a 2000-year-old dream. Before its construction, ships in the Aegean Sea that wanted to cross to the Adriatic or anchor in Corinth, a rich shipping city, had to circle the Peloponnese, which would prolong their journey an extra 185 nautical miles. It is believed that Periander, the tyrant of Corinth (602 BC), was the first to conceive of the idea of digging the Corinth Canal. As the project was too complicated given the limited technical capabilities of the times, Periander constructed the diolkós, a stone road which allowed ships to be transferred on wheeled platforms. On 67 AD that Emperor Nero attempted the construction of the canal with a group of 6,000 slaves. But he was murdered before the plans were finalized. Finally, the construction of the canal came to an end at the last decade of the 19th century.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Ancient Corinth (Archaia Korinthos)

According to myth, the first kings of Corinth were descendants of Sisyphus, the man who was punished by the Gods for his hubris by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down again when they came near the top, repeating this action for eternity. Thanks to traffic and trade over the Isthmus, the narrow strip of land that connects the Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece and Attica, this ancient city, whose foundation dates back to the 10th century BC, could easily compete in terms of wealth and fame with Athens and Thebes. Until the middle of the 6th century BC Corinth's main export product were the black-figured vases, many of which made their way to several colonies in Magna Greece. The great temple on its Acropolis (the Acrocorinth) was dedicated to Aphrodite. Corinth was one of the most important cult centers for the Goddess of Love throughout its history. According to some sources, there were more than a thousand temple maidens serving at the Sanctuary of Aphrodite. Corinth was also famous for hosting Games similar to those in Olympia. They took place in Isthmian, hence the name Isthmian Games. Around 730 BC the city started to found colonies like on the island of Kerkyra (Corfu) and like the city of Syracuse in Sicily. In 664 BC Corinth and Kerkyra clashed in what is now known as the first Greek naval battle in history. In the 7th century BC, when Corinth was ruled by the tyrants Kypselos and Periander, the city sent out more colonists to found cities, such as Poteidaia on the Chalkidiki peninsula, Ambrakia, Apollonia, and Anaktorion, and together with its colony Kerkyra the cities of Leuka and Epidamnos. The city was an important participant in the Persian Wars, as it joined Athens in the Battle of Salamis with the second largest fleet contingent. Also in the Battle of Plataie (479 BC) the city participated with a large contingent. But it soon came to a rift with Athens when in 462 BC the Athenian Kimon with his troops crossed the Corinthian territory without permission. It came to an open war in which Corinth defeated in league with Epidaurus the Athenians at Halieis, but later lost an important naval battle in the Saronic Gulf. Only some ten years later, in 451 BC, a ceasefire and later on a peace treaty were agreed upon with Athens. However, the dispute continued to smolder and eventually became one of the key factors that led to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. When Corinth got involved in the internal political turmoil of the Kerkyrian colony of Epidamnos, its fleet first suffered a serious defeat. But in 433 BC Corinth managed to win the naval battle near the Sybota islands just off the coast of Epeiros, which made Kerkyra turn to Athens with a request for help. As a consequence, Corinth joined the side of Sparta. After the end of the Peloponnesian War, in the face of the increasing hegemony of Sparta, the city's government decided to switch sides and move closer to the Athenians. This resulted in the outbreak of the Corinthian War in 394 BC in which Corinth and Athens once again fought together with Thebes and Argos against Sparta. Two years later Corinth witnessed a revolution and became for the first time in its long history a democracy. The new government managed to establish a political union with the city state of Argos. In 390 BC internal political turmoil plunged the city almost into a civil war when a large number of its citizens fought with each other outside the walls. But in 386 BC Sparta managed to restore its hegemony over the other Greek city states. The political union between Corinth and Argos was abolished and an aristocratic oligarchy, favorable to the politics of Sparta, was installed. In 337 BC Corinth fell under the rule of the Macedonians. After the murder on king Philip II of Macedonia in 336 BC the Federal Assembly in Corinth chose his son Alexander the Great as the commanding general of the military campaign against Persia, which had already been planned by Philip. In the subsequent period, the city was under the rule of Macedonian noblemen. During this time, Corinth became the most populous city in Greece and was known far and wide for its thriving economic and cultural life. In 243 BCE the city was attacked and captured by the strategist of the Achaean League called Aratos. Under the reign of this important statesman Corinth joined this league, but when its citizens, dissatisfied with his government, turned to the Spartan king Kleomenes III with a request for help, Aratos handed over the rule of Corinth to the Macedonian king Antigonos III in 224 BCE. The victory of the Romans in the Battle of Kynoskephalai in 197 BCE brought the Corinthians liberation from the Macedonian tutelage, because the Romans forced the Macedonian garrison to withdraw. But after the expulsion of the Macedonians Corinth joined once again the Achaean League and now ran a very anti-Roman policy. When the Achaean League declared war on Sparta in 146 BCE, a military clash with the Roman armies became unavoidable. The victorious Romans under the command of the general Lucius Mummius besieged Corinth, destroyed it, and murdered or enslaved all surviving inhabitants. The area fell partly to Sikyon, the predominant part was declared "ager publicus" and handed over to Roman colonists. Although there is archaeological evidence for a small revival after the destruction of Corinth in 146 BCE, it took more than a century before the city was re-founded in 44 BCE by Gaius Iulius Caesar as a Roman colony under the name "Colonia Laus Iulia Corinthiensis". According to the Roman historian Appianus, the settlers were freedmen from Rome. Under the Romans, Corinth became the administrative seat of the province of Achaea in southern Greece, and for several decades the city was a Latin-speaking island in the midst of a Greek environment. As early as the 2nd century CE, Corinth became the seat of a diocese, at the latest in the 4th century, the seat of a metropolitan bishopric, and it remained in that position until the rise of Athens at the beginning of the 9th century. In 267 CE the city was destroyed by the invasion of the Goths and Herulians, but quickly rebuilt. For more than a hundred years, Corinth was able to experience a late flowering, before it was plundered and sacked by Alaric I in 395 CE during the invasion of the Visigoths in Greece. Many of its citizens were sold into slavery. Nevertheless, Corinth could recover once again. In 521 CE the city was heavily damaged as a result of a severe earthquake, but rebuilt by the Emperor Iustinianus I. A few decades later, the Slavic invasions in Greece, starting around 580 CE, made almost all life in the ancient city impossible. Only after decades did it come back to a modest economic rise. In 1147 the Gulf of Corinth became the operational base of Norman Roger II against the region of Arta. Roger soon occupied Corinth himself and resettled all native silk weavers to Palermo. However, soon the city was re-incorporated by Byzantium. In 1202, a high Byzantine official, Leon Sguros, managed to become master of the city, but only two years later his rule was ended by the participants of the Fourth Crusade who took the city by force. In 1210, Corinth became part of the newly created Principality of Achaia and thus part of the Latin Empire. In the following years, the city had several rulers, who made it the scene of bloody battles over influence in southern Greece. From 1421 to 1458 it was in Byzantine possession. In 1458 the Ottomans took power in Corinth, which had already become a completely insignificant city by that time. In 1611, the Knights of the Order of Malta made a raid on Corinth, which damaged the city even more. From 1687 to 1715, the Venetians ruled the place, in which only 1500 inhabitants lived. The period of Ottoman rule ended in 1829/1830, and Corinth became Greek again. At the beginning of the Greek War of Independence, it had been considered for a time that Corinth should become the capital of the free Hellenic state. On the 21sf of February 1858, the ancient city of Corinth was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt six kilometres to the northeast. Today, immediately adjacent to and for a big part right on top of the ancient settlement area is the village of Archaia Korinthos. Since the start of tourism in Greece in the 19th century, the ruins of Ancient Corinth with its temples, fountains, theatre, agora, shops, and paved streets have attracted many visitors. Temple of Apollo in Cornith Temple of Apollo The Temple of Apollon, built in the middle of the 6th century BCE, is probably the most famous testimony of the splendour of the ancient city. A particular feature of the temple is the use of monolithic columns rather than the more commonly used column drums. Seven columns remain standing today. Although only a small part of the ruins of the city has been excavated and so much has been destroyed during many invasions and wars, some remains of the buildings as they are today, together with their 2D and 3D archaeological reconstructions, still manage to give the visitor an idea of what Corinth must have looked like during the time when it was one of the most important Roman cities in the Eastern Mediterranean. Temple of Apollo in Corinth Temple of Apollo Noteworthy is the great agora, which probably dates back to the 4th century BCE and would not have changed much during the following centuries. To the east of the agora the remains of the Basilica Iulia can be seen, a courthouse built by the Emperor Claudius in 44 CE. In the middle of the agora can be found the so-called "bèma" or "rostrum" - a platform where important juridical and political decisions where announced to the citizens of Corinth. It is being claimed by Christians as the place where the proselytiser Paul was questioned by Gallio, proconsul of the Roman province of Achaia. However, archaeological and historical research has proven this claim to be unsubstantial. Even the very presence of Paul in Corinth as well as his activities there have become more than doubtful. In the Middle Ages this place was overbuilt by a church. Lechaion Road, Corinth Lechaion Street In the north of the agora, an elaborately decorated arched gateway of the 1st century CE formed the beginning of the magnificent Lechaion Street, which was preserved in its original state until the 10th century. Even today, the paved street that was bordered by galleries featuring shops with all kinds of products from all over the Roman Empire and beyond, is still very impressive to walk on. The Lechaion Street was a kind of "shopping mile" where almost all public life took place. There is also a well-preserved latrine to admire. During the 11th and 12th centuries the area around the Lechaion Street was where the Byzantine aristocracy of the city built its rich houses. In the 17th century, the palace of the Ottoman Bey, governor of the city, of which hardly anything remains today, was built north of it. In the south, the agora is bordered by the 154 m long Stoa, which was built by Philip II of Macedonia after 338 BCE as a guest house for the deputies of the Corinthian Confederation. At the back of it there were numerous shops. During the period of Roman rule, the southern part of the Stoa functioned as the administrative seat of the Isthmian Games. Fountain of Peirene, Corinth Fountain of Peirene Next to the arched gateway that leads onto the Lechaion Street lies the well house of the spring of Peirene, which was famous for its clear water. It was lavishly decorated and its arcades were once equipped with several statues. Poets came to drink from its water in search for inspiration, as the spring had been linked to swift-winged Pegasos. Roman Odeion, Corinth Roman Odeion Also worthy of mention are two impressive buildings lying to the north-west of the parking and entrance of the archaeological site and museum. The Odeion (or concert hall), dating from the 1st century CE, was substantially enlarged during the 2nd century by none other than Herodes Attikos, known from the Odeion in Athens. And the large Greek-period theatre (from the 4th century BCE, but with many later alterations), was replaced in the Roman period by an arena-equipped building, where even the performance of naval battles, the so-called Naumachiai, was possible.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At:

Acrocorinth "Upper Corinth", the Acropolis of Ancient Corinth, is a monolithic rock overseeing the ancient city of Corinth, Greece. In the estimation of George Forrest: “It is the most impressive of the Acropolis of mainland Greece”. Acrocorinth was continuously occupied from archaic times to the early 19th century. Currently, Acrocorinth is one of the most important medieval castle sites of Greece.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At:

Departing Ancient Corinth and after lunch you have the possibility to visit the remains of the ancient port of Kechries. It was one of the two ports of Corinth and served the eastern trade routes via Saronic Gulf. Apostle Paul arrived at Kechries during his second missionary.

Duration: 15 minutes
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