UP TO 14 GUESTS
Swim with the Gods Full Day Private Tour
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Poseidonia submersible bridge & Diolkos
The Swimming with the Gods tour in Heraion of Corinth is a great opportunity to combine the magnificent landscape of the Saronic Gulf and a hidden treasure, the archaeological sites of Hera in Perachora, Corinth along with some swimming either next to the ancient ruins or at the nearby lake.
The tour begins with a drive along a coastal road. During the ride, you will see some Greek seaside villages and the island of Salamis (where the historical naval battle took place between the Athenians and the Persians).
Our first stop is the Heraion Sanctuary, the entrance of which is free of charge. The archaeological site can be divided by an imaginary line to the upper site (on the hillside) and the lower site (by the sea). The chapel of Agios Ioannis is located between the two. In addition to a temple of Hera of unusual construction and antiquity, the remains of a number of other structures such as a cistern, a dining room, an altar have also been found. The ruins of the ancient sanctuary are all around and go further down to the sea.
Next we will visit the Lake of Perachora. The lake is surrounded by natural pine forest and is considered to be one of the most beautiful lagoons in Greece. With its waters much saltier than the open sea, they are considered particularly warm and allow swimming until late in the autumn. On the perimeter of the lake you can either find some taverns for food and coffee or relax and swim.
Next we will visit the town of Loutraki. Today is a living town where you can have lunch or enjoy swimming, along the inviting four kilometres of beaches, stretching from one end of the town to the other. Since 1987 Loutraki has been awarded with the blue flag for clean seas and beaches.
After lunch we will drive to the west end of Corinth Canal at Poseidonia to see the traces of the Diolkos that was a miracle of mechanics back in the 6th century B.C.
Our last stop the bridge of incredible Corinth Canal. A task since the antiquity, opened in 1892 separating the Peloponnese peninsula from the rest of Greece and connecting the Saronic Gulf with the Corinthian Sea. You will have the pleasure of walking across on a pedestrian bridge to admire the canal closer, for the adventurous on some days bungee jumping, is an option.
Inclusions - Exclusions
Private Tours are personal and flexible just for you and your party.
Professional Drivers with Deep knowledge of history. [Not licensed to accompany you in any site.]
- There are no entrance fees for the sites (Heraion & Diolkos)
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Transport by private vehicle
- Bottled water
- Airport Pick Up and drop-off (Additional cost)
- Licensed Tour guide upon request depending on availability [Additional cost – 300 €]
- Food & Drinks
The Heraion of Perachora is a sanctuary of the goddess Hera situated in a small cove of the Corinthian gulf. In addition to a temple of Hera of unusual construction and antiquity, the remains of a number of other structures have also been found. The ruins of the ancient temple are all around and go further down to the sea. The sanctuary was probably under the control of Corinth, as it faced the harbors of that powerful city across the Corinthian gulf. Cult activity at the site continued from perhaps the 9th century BCE to 146 BCE, when the Roman general Mummius sacked Corinth during the war with the Achaean League. In the Roman period, domestic structures were built on the site, indicating that the area was no longer a sanctuary. This site is significant for the study of the origins of Greek temple architecture and rural cults.
Back in ancient times, Loutraki was known as Thermai Artemis, which found fame through its natural, therapeutic thermal springs. Mythology has it that, Artemis (Diana), goddess of forests and hills, while travelling through ancient Greece, made a stop in this mystical place.
Today is a living town where you can have lunch or enjoy swimming, along the inviting four kilometres of beaches, stretching from one end of the town to the other. Since 1987 Loutraki has been awarded with the blue flag for clean seas and beaches.
The Diolkos ( dia “across” and holkos “portage machine”) was a paved trackway near Corinth in Ancient Greece which enabled boats to be moved overland across the Isthmus of Corinth. The shortcut allowed ancient vessels to avoid the long and dangerous circumnavigation of the Peloponnese peninsula.
The main function of the Diolkos was the transfer of goods, although in times of war it also became a preferred means of speeding up naval campaigns. The 6 km (3.7 mi) to 8.5 km (5.3 mi) long roadway was a rudimentary form of railway, and operated from c. 600 BC until the middle of the 1st century AD. The scale on which the Diolkos combined the two principles of the railway and the overland transport of ships remained unique in antiquity.
The Diolkos saved ships sailing from the Ionian Sea to the Aegean Sea a dangerous sea journey round the Peloponnese, whose headlands had a reputation for gales. By contrast, both the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf were relatively sheltered waters. In addition, the overland passage of the Isthmus, a neck of land 6.4 km (4.0 mi) wide at its narrowest, offered a much shorter route to Athens for ships sailing to and from the Ionian coast of Greece.
Excavated letters and associated pottery found at the site indicate a construction date at the end of the 7th or beginning of the 6th century BC, that is around the time when Periander was tyrant of Corinth.
The Diolkos remained reportedly in regular service until at least the middle of the 1st century AD, after which no more written references appear. Possibly the trackway was put out of use by Nero’s abortive canal works in 67 AD. Much later transports of warships across the Isthmus in the late 9th century, and around 1150, are assumed to have used a route other than the Diolkos, due to the extensive time lag.
Isthmus / Corinth Canal:
The famous Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former an island. The canal is 6.4 kilometers in length and only 21.3 meters wide at its base. Earth cliffs flanking either side of the canal reach a maximum height of 63 meters. Aside from a few modest-sized cruise ships, the Corinth Canal is unserviceable to most modern ships. The Corinth Canal, though only completed in the late 19th century, was an idea and dream that dates back over 2000 thousand years.
Before it was built, ships sailing between the Aegean and Adriatic had to circumnavigate the Peloponnese adding about 185 nautical miles to their journey. The first to decide to dig the Corinth Canal was Periander, the tyrant of Corinth (602 BCE). Such a giant project was above the technical capabilities of ancient times so Periander carried out another great project, the diolkós, a stone road, on which the ships were transferred on wheeled platforms from one sea to the other. Dimitrios Poliorkitis, king of Macedon (c. 300 BCE), was the second who tried, but his engineers insisted that if the seas where connected, the more northerly Adriatic, mistakenly thought to be higher, would flood the more southern Aegean. At the time, it was also thought that Poseidon, god of the sea, opposed joining the Aegean and the Adriatic. The same fear also stopped Julius Caesar and Emperors Hadrian and Caligula. The most serious try was that of Emperor Nero (67 CE). He had 6,000 slaves for the job. He started the work himself, digging with a golden hoe, while music was played. However, he was killed before the work could be completed.
In the modern era, the first who thought seriously to carry out the project was Kapodistrias (c. 1830), first governor of Greece after the liberation from the Ottoman Turks. But the budget, estimated at 40 million French francs, was too much for the Greek state. Finally, in 1869, the Parliament authorized the Government to grant a private company (Austrian General Etiene Tyrr) the privilege to construct the Canal of Corinth. Work began on Mar 29, 1882, but Tyrr’s capital of 30 million francs proved to be insufficient. The work was restarted in 1890, by a new Greek company (Andreas Syggros), with a capital of 5 million francs. The job was finally completed and regular use of the Canal started on Oct 28, 1893. Due to the canal’s narrowness, navigational problems and periodic closures to repair landslips from its steep walls, it failed to attract the level of traffic anticipated by its operators. It is now used mainly for tourist traffic. The bridge above is perfect for bungee jumping.
All cancellations must be confirmed by Olive Sea Travel.
Regarding the Day Tours:
Cancellations up to 24 hours before your service date are 100% refundable.
- Licensed Tour Guides and Hotels are external co-operators & they have their own cancellation policy.
- Apart from the above cancellation limits, NO refunds will be made. If though, you fail to make your appointment for reasons that are out of your hands, that would be, in connection with the operation of your airline or cruise ship or strikes, extreme weather conditions or mechanical failure, you will be refunded 100% of the paid amount.
- If your cancellation date is over TWO (2) months away from your reservation date, It has been known for third-party providers such as credit card companies, PayPal, etc. to charge a levy fee usually somewhere between 2-4%.
- Olive Sea Travel reserves the right to cancel your booking at any time, when reasons beyond our control arise, such as strikes, prevailing weather conditions, mechanical failures, etc. occur. In this unfortunate case, you shall be immediately notified via the email address you used when making your reservation and your payment WILL be refunded 100%.