Holiday winter sun – Go to Corinth and see the wonders of Greece

by Michael Gimm Holdensen

Are you looking for a place to escape the cold weather? And would you like to enjoy the sun while experiencing amazing things? Then you should go to Greece for holiday winter sun. If you stay in the Corinth area, you can even go to many exciting places nearby. We did so this November.

Go to Corinth for holiday winter sun and see the wonders of Greece

Greece is located in the southernmost part of Europe and is one of the best winter sun destinations. The Gulf of Corinth lies at the north of the Peloponnese. Here you will find many of the most exciting places in ancient Greece.

If you are looking for both relaxation and adventures, Greece offers a lot of both. And Corinth is an excellent winter sun destination. In October and early November, you can still swim in the Gulf of Corinth. The water is very calm, and the temperature is still 17-21 degrees.
Actually, we brought our own SUP board and enjoyed a lot of hours on the water. Especially Liva and Emma.

Corinth Canal is a great winter sun destination

Liva and Emma are enjoying the scenery of the Corinth Canal. Around 11,000 ships, mainly tourists ships, pass through the canal every year.

Facts about Corinth and Greece

Greece borders some very different countries to the north. From east to west, Albania, northern Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. All these countries have had a significant influence throughout history on Greece as we know it today. That’s why there are pretty substantial differences between the Greeks in the north and the south.

Greece consists of 13 regions. The two closest to the Corinth Canal are Peloponnese and Attica.
Our base was on the Peloponnese side, from where we visited many exciting places in the area.

The Corinth Canal is man-made and was an ongoing project for many years. The first attempt was Greek in the 7th century (BCE). The next attempt was during the Roman Empire around 67 AD. After that, the project stood still until the 1800s, when there were various attempts to complete it. However, the project was aborted each time due to poor finances.

It was not until 1882 that it was restarted and then completed in 1893, to the great benefit of cargo ships and cruise liners.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see any ships crossing the Corinth Canal while staying there, but it is supposed to be amazing to see. The canal is no more than 25 metres wide and 8 metres deep, so it’s pretty bad if the ship gets stuck.

However, by sailing through the Corinth Canal, ships can be spared a distance of about 320 km on their way to Athens instead of going around Peloponnese.

A great terrace for caching some winter sun

Our view from the living room of the house we stayed in November 2021. An absolutely stunning view and a lovely terrace.

Our first winter holiday in the sun of Peloponnes in Greece

After searching for a winter sun destination, we booked our Airbnb in Corinth because we wanted a warm place to stay before heading to Bulgaria for the skiing season. We booked it during our 45 days in Poland, because we could see that winter was coming…

It was the first time we visited Greece with our children and dived into ancient Greek history.

This place is so cool and full of exciting myths and tales. The Greeks (or those who call themselves Greeks today) invented so many things. Many of which characterises Western civilisation today.

We worried about taking our kids to see the many archaeological sites. Many are not more than piles of rocks. Still, it went pretty well, and they were into learning about the ancient Greeks. As we travel full-time, it is essential to us that the history lessons take place where we are. And Greece is a perfect place for exactly that.

Lion Gate at Mycenae

The children sit at “The Lion Gate”, which is the entrance to the ancient city of Mycenae.

Mycenae – the first Greek civilization

While enjoying the winter sun on your holiday in Corinth, you should also visit Mycenae, one of the oldest sites in what is now called Greece. At this archaeological site, numerous sensational findings were made.

You enter the archaeological site of Mycenae through a large stone door called the Lion Gate. It was built around 1300 BC and is quite impressive. The top stone in the gateway weighs around 20 tons, and all the other stones of the wall are so large that they weigh a ton each. How anyone placed them up there more than 3,300 years ago is hard to fathom. The descendants of the Mycenaeans thought they were Cyclopes. Those giants with one eye. A pretty good guess 🙂

Most of the treasures found, that wasn’t stolen, are in the museum at the same place. It gives you a good idea of what the Mycenaeans were capable of at that time. There were lots of gold jewellery, masks, vases and jars, and various metal weapons.

Agamemnon – king of kings

Mycenae was a flourishing civilisation and a great power from 1600 to 1050 BC. But sometime between 1200-1100 BC, it collapsed. After the collapse, it disappeared, but no one knows how for sure.

Legend has is that Mycenae was Agamemnon’s capital when he ruled. You may know him from the movie Troy, as the king of kings and the one who quarrels a lot with Achilles (Brad Pitt).
One of the tombs in Mycenae is said to be his, although the timeline doesn’t quite add up.

This is actually one of the fun characteristics of Greek history because they often merge the gods, heroes and history. It’s often difficult to sort out what are facts and what are legends.

Athens and Acropolis from Lycabettus Hill

A great view from the top of Lycabettus Hill. To the right, you can see the Acropolis.

Athens

One of the great benefits of going on holiday for winter sun on a destination like Corinth in Greece is visiting Athens without melting. In the summer it is too hot, and there are too many tourists. In November, it’s much better. Also, the price of visiting museums is much lower. Typically half price.

To get to Athens from Corinth is a 75-minute drive by car. It is easy to get to Athens by the highway but slightly more challenging to drive around the city. There are many small streets, and the traffic is brutal.

We went there in our VW California to spend the night in front of the Acropolis. We were lucky to find a spot in a parking lot right in front of the Acropolis. It wasn’t very cheap to stay there for the night, but it was worth it. We could see the Acropolis lit up at night and look at it in the morning when we woke up.

Acropolis in Athens at night

We stayed in our VW California, in the parking lot just below the Acropolis. From here we could enjoy the Acropolis in the evening light.

Acropolis

In ancient Greece, the cities were called “polis”, and Acropolis means a city located on high ground. In Athens, the Acropolis is high above the rest of the city and can be admired from many places by Athens’ 3.8 million inhabitants.

When you see pictures of the Acropolis, the only building you notice is the one called the Parthenon. It’s magnificent, and its construction is so architecturally perfect that you wouldn’t believe it’s almost 2,500 years old.

It was built along with several other temples on the Acropolis as part of a larger plan drawn up by Pericles, who was the ruler of Athens at the time. It is believed that the Parthenon was used as some kind of central bank, as Athens was rich at that time and collected large amounts of wealth (taxes) from the surrounding areas.

The other temples are also fascinating to see. There is a temple in honour of the goddess of war, Athena, who gave name to the city, and the goddess of victory, Nike (Nai-kee).

Nike had wings and would be seen on the battlefield after a victory. She is probably known to most people from the world of sports. But did you also know that Nikes logo symbolises the goddess Nike’s wings?

Ancient Theatre at the Asclepieion of Epidaurus

Liva and Rie do handstands in front of 14,000 imaginary spectators.

Ancient Theatre at the Asclepieion of Epidaurus

In ancient Greece, people went to Epidaurus if they were sick and wanted to be healed. We were neither sick nor in need of healing but wanted to experience the place anyway.

Most of it was rubbles, but the great theatre was still standing. This even though it was built in the late 400’s BC.

It is said to be the perfect theatre when evaluated on sound and aesthetics. It had a capacity of 14,000, and all spectators could experience near-perfect sound, no matter where they sat.
The theatre has actually been used in more recent times for various shows, including musicals and operas.

In addition to the theatre, accommodation, sports facilities and other recreational facilities had also been built. All to help people get well again.

The catalyst for the place was the healer Asclepius. A person, first referred to as mortal, but later elevated to a god and referred to as the son of Apollo. He was the main reason for visiting the place, as he could heal people.

The healing took place as people would sleep in a temple on-site, where snakes would come out of the ground at night during sleep. The snakes’ ability to change skin symbolised a life-renewing power that healed patients while they slept.

Asclepius is portrayed in all pictures with a staff entwined by snakes. A sign of ancient medicine used to this day. If you google medicine, many of the images that come up contain a staff with one or two snakes.

city of Epidavros by the sea

My lovely wife, Rie, enjoyed the scenery the following day after spending the night in our Cali.

A night at the sea by the small city of Epidavros

Instead of going back to our house in Loutraki-Perachora at the Corinth Canal, we spent the night by the sea in Epidavros. We had found a small parking lot with Park4night where some other campers also parked. We could park right on the beach and wake up to sunrise the following day, followed by a fresh morning swim.

It was the last sleep outdoors on our winter sun destination in 2021, before winter and our upcoming ski holiday in Bansko, Bulgaria. In Bulgaria, we will stay in a small town called Bansko for three months.

Greece – we will be back!

That’s Greece for now, but we’ll be back in March, starting in Crete and the Cyclades.

If you have any questions or comments on this post, please feel free to post them below. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram, where we share our experiences more day-to-day.

Peloponnes October 2021

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4 comments

Lykke 18 December 2021 - 07:59

Dejligt at følge med jer – vi glæder os til at høre mere om Bansko

Reply
Michael Gimm Holdensen 18 December 2021 - 10:18

Dejligt I følger med 😀
Der er meget godt at fortælle om Bansko, plus en lille “begivenhed” vi også fortæller mere om næste gang 😉

Reply
Trine Foss Andersen 18 December 2021 - 09:47

Sikke en go historietime, og tak for de gode tip.
Rigtig glædelig jul til jer alle, det ser skønt ud i jule winther wonder land ⛷♥️

Reply
Michael Gimm Holdensen 18 December 2021 - 10:15

Hej Trine, ja Grækenland indeholder ret meget spændende historie 😀
Glædelig jul til jer også – jeg hører der er en lille chance for en hvid en af slagsen i DK ⛄

Reply

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