Epidavros / Palaia Epidavros

Palaia Epidavros: Harbour and town from the sea

Palaia Epidavros: Harbour and town from the sea

The main reason to pause your charter yacht in Palaia Epidavros is to see the impressive and well preserved Greek amphitheatre which dates from 4BC and is still used for performances in high season. However, town itself is pleasant enough and offers several restaurants and shops supplying basic provisions, as well as a couple of excellent bakeries and a small beach.  There is also a diving school.

There are no public showers but you may be able to persuade the hotel opposite the quay (behind the trees) to open a room for you. Mike/Maik’s restaurant on the front offers a good range of traditional Greek fare, as well as a nice spot for a beer as you watch the other yachts come in. There can be an uncomfortable swell running in to the bay during the afternoon but this generally subsides in the evening.

Palaia Epidavros: The Amphitheatre is in superb condition

Palaia Epidavros: The Amphitheatre is in superb condition

The amphitheatre is renowned as the source for the saying “you can hear a pin drop” – the acoustics are certainly remarkable. Take a walk up to the top of the theatre and get someone to speak or sing from the stage to fully appreciate the genius of the designers who achieved 2500 years ago what modern sound engineers still strive for.

There are other ruins around the site so you will want at least an hour there. These include the Temple of Asclepius, god of healing and son of Apollo, and a sports stadium and baths. Excavations are continuing to reveal more of the rich history of the site

The amphitheatre can be reached by taxi or you may be able to hire a moped in town. Some flotillas arrange coaches so you can also try to tack on to one of these groups – ask the Lead Crew. Taxis will take you up and collect you at a later agreed time.

Palaia Epidavros: Harbour and town seen from the beach

Palaia Epidavros: Harbour and town seen from the beach

I would suggest you go late afternoon or early morning when it’s less hot and when you will also avoid the many coach tours from Athens. There never seem to be many taxis around so if going in the morning I suggest you book one the night before – just ask one of the drivers. Opening hours are around 8am to 7pm but the taxi drivers usually know the current times. Entrance to the site is 6€. Expect to pay around 25€ for the taxi (round trip).

The only time you might want to avoid Palaia Epidavros is on Fridays and Saturdays in July and early August, when plays are put on at the amphitheatre. Some of the great and the good arrive by sea and less well connected visitors may be asked to leave. You can see the programme on the Greek festivals website, once the programme is announced each spring.

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