Ancient Epidaurus is located in the northeastern part of Argolida. It is a popular sanctuary with an archaeological significance, a natural beauty and a tourist attraction. Amphitheater built on the ruins of the ancient homonymous city, is the harmonious combination between mountains and sea. This popular leisure destination has a population of about 2000 inhabitants, most of which deal successfully with the growing tourism in the region. The main occupation of the locals is the cultivation of land, the production of olive oil and citrus fruit and fishing.
Access to Epidaurus can be obtained by vehicle from Athens through Corinth (134 km), or from Nafplio through Ligourio (36 km).
The KTEL buses aslo has regular daily routes from Athens (2105134588) and Nafplio (2752027323).
A Glimpse of the Past
The city got its name from Epidaurus, the third king who was a hero of the region and the son of Argos and Evandis. Since antiquity, visitors from all parts of the world arrived at the port of Ancient Epidaurus in the hope of finding treatment in the Sanctuary of Asclepius. Also, during this period, the great development of trade and art made Greece one the most important cultural centers. The ruins found in Epidaurus as well as its surroundings prove life existed in the third Millennium BC. According to Homer, Epidaurus took part in the Trojan War having the two sons of Asclepius , Podalirius and Machaona, as leaders. Epidaurus was also involved in the Medic Wars and was an ally of Sparta in the Peloponnesian. During the 7th century BC, the town was subdued by the tyrant Procles and conflicts with the city of Argos, an ally of Athens, led to the Epidaurio war. Epidaurus was a member of the Peloponnesian League from the mid-6th century BC and later a member of the Achaean League. The official sanctuary of Ancient Epidaurus was the sanctuary of Asclepius, which was the largest and most famous in all of ancient Greece. The Sanctuary of Asklepios flourished until the early years of Roman occupation, and in 426 AD it was left to ruin.
In Ancient Epidaurus, orange and fruit trees fill the orchards and a perfumed scent lingers through the village. The production of citrus fruit and olive oil is excellent in quality and taste. The professional fishermen in the Gulf of Epidaurus and the Gulf Islands have fresh fish and seafood is definitely worth a taste. Visitors can also buy local sweets and tasty jams in different flavors.
Theater: Since the establishment of the ‘Athens-Epidaurus Festival’ in 1955, the ‘Festival Epidaurus’ has been held annually. Wishing to maintain the tradition of the area during the summer months of July and August, performances of ancient drama and modern works take place at the ancient theater of Epidaurus. Thousands of theater fans from around the world travel long distances to be part of this festival. Greek and foreign artists have the opportunity to present to the discerning audience of Epidaurus their personal approach to the masterpieces of art.
Music: Since 1995, The Small Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus has been organizing what is called the festival of "Musical July", which includes a variety of musical performances. The use of the small theatre was made possible through the collaboration of the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality and the Association “Friends of Music”. In 2002, ‘Musical July’ was brought under the aegis of the Hellenic Festival. The prestige of the festival, the sacred place and the beauty of the landscape makes the visit an unforgettable experience for everyone.
The festival of Agrotourism is organized every July at the port of Ancient Epidaurus where local products of the area are exhibited. The port is transformed into an open market where local producers are able to provide the public with cultivated goods and various handmade crafts made by the inhabitants. The festival started in 1998 by the Association of “Friends of Music" in cooperation with the City and now has become an important part of the events of "Musical July".
On July 20th, a great celebration is organized at the church of ‘Prophet Ilias’ in the upper part of Epidaurus, where you will enjoy roast pork, drinking and dancing to traditional songs.
The Cultural Association of Epidaurus is an important factor in the evolution of social and cultural activity of the site. It organizes recreational trips and prepares various events like musical performances, carnivals and voluntary donations.