My brother and I were initially planning to leave Athens today, for him to go back to the US and me to continue to travel solo through Europe. With the ongoing pandemic, we saw an opportunity to change our stay and make a short three-day road trip to Sparti and Olympia.
We were able to change flights extend the car rental and find new Airbnb’s and hotels for a fraction of the costs it would have been prior to the pandemic. The other reason we took advantage of this is that every archaeological site we went to was practically empty. This was going to be the only time in our lives to take advantage of this.
Leaving Athens it is a short 2.5-hour drive (short for Americans) to Sparti.
Along the way, we decided to make a stop in Epidavros, adding another 1.5 hours of driving to the trip.
Day 1 – Epidaurus Theater 07.10.2021
We had the opportunity to explore the Epidaurus theater with practically no one around. The entrance fee was 12 euros, which I thought was a reasonable price considering the historical significance of the site. I’m not sure if you would need to book tickets in advance post-covid, here is the website with more information .
We spent about an hour and a half at the site, during which time I was able to visit several of the other attractions in addition to the theater itself. These included the Stadium at the Asclepieion of Epidaurus, the Temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus, and the Katagogion at the Asclepieion of Epidaurus. Each of these sites offered a unique glimpse into the history and culture of ancient Greece.
Of course, the main event was the theater itself, which was truly breathtaking. Built in 340 BC and in amazing condition with its massive stone walls and incredible acoustics (allegedly, we didn’t attend a concert), it was easy to imagine what it must have been like to attend a play or musical performance here thousands of years ago. The theater can seat up to 14,000 people, making it one of the largest ancient theaters in the world.
Despite the fact that I visited during the COVID pandemic, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds. It was actually quite nice to be able to explore the site without feeling rushed or crowded. Overall, my visit to Epidaurus theater was an unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in ancient history or architecture.
There is no need to spend more than a few hours here and if you’re fortunate enough to take in a concert, I will envy you.
The next stop is to Sparti to spend the night.
Day 1 – Sparti 07.10.2021
The first stop was to our hotel, Discouri Hotel . We picked the Discouri Hotel because it is located in the heart of Sparta, within walking distance of many of the city’s historic sites and cultural attractions. The hotel is also a short drive from the ancient city of Mystras, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important Byzantine archaeological sites in Greece. Which is where we are off to next to finish the evening, we paid 40 euros for the night.
We made the short drive to the Mystras Archaeological Site to explore the Acropolis and Fortification Castle of Mystras. After paying the entrance fee of 12 euros each, we started our hike up the cobblestone steps towards the top of the site. As we climbed higher, we were rewarded with breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding mountain landscape.
Once we reached the top, we were amazed by the impressive architecture of the castle and the sweeping vistas that stretched out before us. Overall, our visit to the Mystras Archaeological Site was a memorable experience that allowed us to connect with the rich history and natural beauty of Greece.
Day 2 – Sparti 07.11.2021
We didn’t spend too much time here in the morning as we wanted to head straight to our last stop, Olympia, but before we left Sparta we wanted to check out the Archaeological Site of Sparta.
Before entering you will pass the Statue of Leonidas, be sure to stop and check it out for 5 minutes.
I’m not sure what happened but this is the only location I cannot find my photos of the trip, which is okay because it wasn’t spacticualr by any means an I got some videos on snapchat. The theater was under construction as well and roped off.
Neat experience because there was no staff and we were the only people there, we spent about 45 minutes walking around the whole park before we headed off to Olympia.
Thanks for reading, I am planning to get my blog going again and I am going to shift my focus to providing some tips for the places I visited and recommendations. Be sure to follow, thanks for reading.
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