- Vouliagmeni Lake, placed in the heart of the Athenian Riviera, is the hidden treasure of Attica’s nature. Situated on an idyllic landscape, this rare geological phenomenon is waiting to be discovered. The lake’s brackish waters which are continuously replenished both by the sea and the underground thermal springs offer a natural and unique thermal spa experience. The imposing rock, thermal waters, the labyrinthine underwater tunnels and the lush vegetation create a unique geological phenomenon. The lake’s present form was created after the roof of the cave fell because of erosion caused by the high temperature of the running water running.
The view is amazing and deep silent, the water of the lake is green and clear, inviting to swim and the fairly large surface is just fine for a relaxed swim, surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. The water is populated by the small Garra rufa fishes, known as “pedicure fish” and they will start tickle your feet when you stop swimming and touch the bottom of the lake.
- The Corinth Canal is a waterway that crosses the narrow isthmus of Corinth to link the Gulf of Corinth to the Saronic Gulf, separating the Greek mainland from the Peloponnese, turning it into an island. Executed in the late 19th century, has been a 2000-year-old dream. Before its construction, ships in the Aegean Sea that wanted to cross to the Adriatic or anchor in Corinth, a rich shipping city, had to circle the Peloponnese, which would prolong their journey an extra 185 nautical miles. It is believed that Periander, the tyrant of Corinth (602 BC), was the first to conceive of the idea of digging the Corinth Canal, but he project was too complicated given the limited technical capabilities of the times.
Because the canal is quite narrow (21,5 meters wide), it requires regular closures to allow for repairs. And while modern ships cannot use it, tourists can; several companies offer a cruise through the canal with a departure from Piraeus port. Also for adventurers, the bridge connecting the peninsula to the mainland is ideal for bungee jumping.
- The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, my favorite, is placed in the Greek city of Epidaurus, close to Nafplio, and located on the southeast end of the sanctuary dedicated to ancient Greek God of medicine, Asclepius. It is considered to be the most perfect ancient Greek theater with regard to acoustics and aesthetics. At a maximum capacity of 13,000 to 14,000 spectators, the theater hosted music, singing and dramatic games that were included in the worship of Asclepius. It was also used as a means to heal patients, since there was a belief that the observation of dramatic shows had positive effects on mental and physical health.
Today, the UNESCO monument attracts a large number of Greek and foreign visitors and is used for the performance of ancient drama plays, the first modern performance conducted at the theater was Sophocles’ tragedy Electra, in 1938. The arrangement of the stepped seating rows acts as an acoustic filter that deadens low-frequency background sounds, such as the murmurs of the audience, while amplifying the high-frequency sounds from the stage. Once again in use today, the ancient monument floods with theater devotees during the annual summer Festival of Epidaurus.
Photo credits: personal archive Ruxandra Chiurtu, Lake Vouliagmeni PR