We booked this trip through Viator and it cost us around 80 Euros each. We were picked up by a shuttle at 7.45am from the Dorian Inn Hotel, which was about 5 minutes walk from ours. The shuttle went to various hotels, picking up people for various day trips, most of them were a lot fancier than ours, unsurprisingly. We were dropped at a meeting point, where we got on small bus with only 8 other people, which was nice. The drive to Mycenae is about an hour and a half, with a small stop at Corinth to take photos of the canal, and buy food/drink and use the bathroom.
From there on, it was non stop to Mycenae. I’m not usually into tours – I find that there is too much talk and not enough time for exploring, but this was was fine. We had already spent the previous couple of days exploring on our own in Athens and Delphi, so it was nice to have a break and from that and be on a schedule. Only for that day though, or it probably would’ve driven me nuts!
We went through the museum at Mycenae first, which had some nice stuff, although a lot of it was copies of items that were in other museums, like the National Archaeological Museum in Athens and the British Museum.
Mycenae was excavated by Heinrich Schliemann in his quest to find Troy by reading Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad. Unfortunately the temples that were on the top of the hill and the statues in them were destroyed, but some things, like the jewellery he found during his excavations, and then gave to his wife were later donated to the museum.
It was another incredibly hot day, but it was worth the climb – the views are incredible.
We only had half an hour to look around, which was a shame, but it was well worth the trip out there.
Our next stop was just down the road – at the Treasury of Atreus, also known as the ‘Beehive Tomb’ because of its shape.
We were then taken to the Amalia hotel in Nauplia for lunch, which was rather expensive. Most of us had prepaid for about 15 Euro, and we did get a 4 course meal, which was quite nice. A cheese pie, then salad, meat and potatoes and ice cream with a chocolate brownie. For those that didn’t preorder lunch, they had to order from the menu, because we didn’t stop anywhere else for food. I would probably pick a different tour next time, or find a way to do it ourselves.
As we continued on, we passed a site where people from the German School of Athens were excavating. I would love to be a part of that! Archaeology was half of my degree, but I’ve never done anything relating to it, sadly.
We drove down the coast, which was, of course, beautiful. We passed through Nauplia properly, which is this picturesque tourist town, with a castle up on the hill above the town, and another one out in the bay.
Our last stop of the day was Epidaurus. It was considered to be the birthplace of the son of Apollo, Asclepius, and was a place of healing. The sanctuary and theatre are close to where the ancient city was located.
The theatre is one of the best preserved monuments of the ancient world, and is even still used for plays because of the amazing acoustics. The structure was built using mathematics and it can seat around 14,000 people! We climbed to the top and you really can hear what the people at the bottom are saying!
After the climb down, we stopped at the food stall on the way out to grab slushies. Well deserved, I think. Then it was about 2 hours before we were back in Athens, and they did drop us at the same place where we were originally picked up. It’s also right next to a convenience store that has beers for 1 Euro! Favourite place to visit after a long day.