Epidavros, amidst the blue of the Saronic Gulf, well protected by its own smaller gulf of Epidavros, with the scent from the valley’s orange blossoms meeting the sea breeze, with pine trees descending its slopes to offer their shade to its beautiful beaches, Epidavros, traditional yet modern, both tranquil and cosmopolitan, is always ready to welcome travelers whatever the season.
Its sheltered location and natural surroundings, the beauty of the landscape and fertility of the soil attracted not only men but also gods. It was here that Asclepios, the hero and god of medicine in Ancient Greek religion and mythology, set his most splendid sanctuary. Here the important nucleus of ancient Greek civilisation was created, a renowned sanctuary, to which the physically and mentally sick resorted for 1000 years to seek a therapy, is situated amidst olive, pine and citrus trees.
Today Epidavros awaits its visitors to alleviate their weary souls from the stress of everyday life. The choice of Epidavros as the site where the main healing sanctuary of the God Asclepios would be established was not a random one. The natural beauty and tranquility of the place exerted, as it still does, a beneficial influence on every human being. In ancient times, numerous pilgrims arrived in the area mainly via the port of Epidavros, where hundreds of visitors from all over the world still arrive today, though not for therapeutic purposes but for cultural reasons. While Epidavros was widely visited in the past by those making a pilgrimage to the healing sanctuary, its visitors nowadays should view their coming to this once venerated precinct as a tribute to culture and art. The famed festival of Epidavros was instituted in the 1950’s thus reviving ancient Greek drama and breathing life into the Theatre of Ancient Epidavros near Asklepios’ sanctuary.
The small theater known as the ”Shell of the Saronic” emerged out of silence with its musical festivals more recently. However, Epidavros does not merely stand for ancient history, drama and culture, it is also a resort offering recreational holidays and an agricultural region. Agro-tourism has developed considerably in recent years and the most characteristic event is the market of local products held in the port of Palaia Epidavros in the summer.
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