Argolid Attractions Argolída
The Argolid, Homer's "horse-rearing Argolis", in the north-eastern Peloponnese, played a central part in the history of Greece. Already settled in Neolithic times, it was occupied by the Achaeans around 2000-1900 B.C., and in the Mycenaean period (1580-1100 B.C.) was the most densely populated part of Greece.
Mycenae, Tiryns and Argos, as well as such lesser cities as Mideia and Prosymna, were centers of power, of economic activity and of a rich culture. The excavations of Heinrich Schliemann from 1874 onwards led to the rediscovery of this forgotten world.Many of the Greek myths were associated with this region. Akrisios, king of Árgos in succession to Danaos and Lynkeus, drove out his twin brother Proitos, who fled to nearby Tiryns and had it fortified by Cyclopes from Asia Minor, and was succeeded by his son Megapenthes. Akrisios had a daughter called Danaë, who was visited by Zeus in the form of a shower of gold. Their son Perseus killed the Gorgon, freed Andromeda, accidentally killed his father while throwing the discus, handed over Árgos to his cousin Megapenthes in exchange for Tiryns, surrounded Mycenae and Mideia with walls and incorporated them in his dominions. Sthenelos, son of Perseus and Andromeda, married Nikippe, daughter of Pelops, and their son Eurystheus was the last of the Perseids. It was in his service that Herakles performed his famous labors. Eyrystheus later drove out the sons of Herakles, whose descendants in the fourth generation returned in the time of Oxylos. The intervening period was filled by the descendants of Pelops, the Pelopids or Atreids, among whom, at the time of the Trojan War, were Agamemnon, his wife Klytaimnestra and their children Orestes, Iphigeneia and Elektra. Orestes' son Tisamenos was the last Mycenaean king of Sparta, and his death was followed by the "return of the Heraclids" - i.e. the migration of the Dorians into the Peloponnese, the claim to descent from Herakles giving the newcomers an honorable ancestry.If the mythic tradition is considered with the archeological evidence and the historical course of events, the Perseid dynasty can be dated to about 1600 B.C. (shaft graves, Mycenae), the Pelopid dynasty to about 1400 B.C. (tholos tombs, Mycenae) and the Heraclids to the time of the Dorian migration (12th century B.C.). In the Dorian period Árgos became the most powerful city in the region, and the Heraion of Árgos gained increasing importance as its central shrine. There was also an important shrine dedicated to Zeus at Nemea in the north-western Argolid. Under Venetian rule Náfplion, then called Napoli di Levante ("Naples of the East"), became a powerful stronghold, taking in the hills of Akronáfplia and Palamídi.Nowadays the coastal resorts of Náfplion and Tolón, together with resorts farther east such as Ermióni and Pórto Khéli and the offshore islands of Spétsai and Hydra, are major centers of the tourist trade. The ancient sites still exert their fascination, however, on visitors interested in the past of this beautiful part of Greece.
The little port of Pórto Khéli lies in a large seaside holiday area near the southern tip of the Argolid peninsula, opposite the island of Spétsai. The holiday area begins at Sáladi, to the northwest, continues with Pórto Khéli, Kósta, Petrothálassa, Ermióni and Plépi, opposite the island of Hydra and extends round to Galatás on the north coast, opposite the island of Póros.Air services from Athens. Boats from Piraeus; hydrofoil service from Marina Zéa.
The name of Argolic Islands covers all the islands off the coasts of the Argolid and in the Argolic Gulf. They include Hydra, Dokós, Spétsai, the smaller islands of Tríkeri, Spetsopoúla, Psilí and Platía, and numerous isolated rocks. They form the most southerly and westerly group of the Saronic Islands.
Tolón, formerly a small fishing village in a bay on the Argolic Gulf, 12 km/7.5 mi southeast of Náfplion, has developed in recent years into a popular holiday resort, thanks to its beautiful situation and its sandy beach.
Near the village of Asíni, northwest of the town of Tolón, are the remains of ancient Asine, on a site which was occupied from the third millennium onwards. The remains include the massive walls of the acropolis, on which there are traces of other buildings.