Please sign in to post.

Corinth

I was extremely surprised not to find any mention of Corinth in the Rick Steves Greece book -- or maybe I just wasn't looking in the right place. In any case, I'm looking for recommendations on day trips to Corinth from Athens. Which is a better value: renting a car and driving or taking a guided bus tour?

David from Nashville

Posted by
993 posts

Rick does not cover Corinth, or Korinthias in Greek transliteration. There appears to be these 3 sites: The Corinth canal, the town of Korinthias, and Ancient Corinth. Isthmos, or Isthmia in English, is 4.6-4.7 miles southeast of Corinth. There may be an archaeological site at Isthmia, where the Isthmian games were held and where there is the Temple of Isthmia that was for the god Poseidon.

Rome2rio.com is a good site which suggests that there is a bus route from Athens to Isthmos.

I am having difficulty finding other information on bus routs. For the buses in greece, I discovered a pattern. look up Http://www.Ktel after the ktel part, type the transliteration of the greek name of one of the regional units of Greece. then .gr

for example www.ktelargolidas.gr

or www.ktelkorinthias.gr

A bus trip to the Corinth area you are thinking of, if such a bus trip exists, would cost around the equivalent of 8-20 US dollars. A rental car probably costs at least $60 per day. A chartered bus group day trip could cost up to equivalent of 150 or 200 US dollars??

If there is a guided tour that goes to Corinth and/or Isthmia round trip from Athens, on a charted tour bus, this would seem to me to be objectively or logistically easiest, followed by renting a car, the KTEL buses seeming the most difficult. I have never been to Greece, I don’t know what I will do. I am going to Greece in October. I think I will take the bus from Athens to Nafplio, sleep in Nafplio for two or more nights, and take buses to Mycenae, Corinth and/or Isthmia, an possibly other sites. I have a copy of the Rough Guide to Greece from 2012 that I borrowed from the lobrary; pages 126-127 has a good map of the peloponesse showing archaeological sites at Corinth south of the canal, Mycenae, Tiryns, Agive Heraion, Epidaurus, Nemia, where the nemian games were held, and other sites. There is not time to see everything.

Posted by
6619 posts

David -- The Rick Steves guidebooks don't try to be comprehensive, they focus on what he and his people consider the "best" places and things to see in a country, and how to organize a trip around them. He recognizes that others may differ and he encourages travelers to explore. We stopped to look down at the Corinth Canal on a drive from Athens to Nafplion, and a few days later spent a few hours in ancient Corinth while driving from Nafplion to Delphi.

I can't vouch for these tours, which I found on Google, but they'll give you a point of reference to compare with car rental costs, which you can also find through Google or a site like Auto Europe. Which is the better value is up to you. Driving a rental car gives you flexibility and more scheduling freedom, at the cost of traffic and parking hassles (especially in Athens). A guided tour lets you sit back and enjoy the trip, with a professional guide to explain what you're seeing and answer questions, but your timetable isn't your own and you're sharing the trip with others.

Posted by
1380 posts

A rental car would be your best bet. It provides you with lots of flexibility. At Corinth you can visit the canal. If you go to the far end of the canal there is a sinking bridge. we were fortunate enough to be driving by when a ship went through the canal so we got a ring side seat and watched as the bridge sank tot eh bottom and the ship sailed over it. Also there are two good archeological siites Ancient Corinth and Ancient Nemia. Nemia had sister games to Olympia and is an excellent compact site.
The car also gives you the opportunity to head south to the lovely seaside town of Nafplio. All of this can be done in a day trip although an overnight in Nafplio allows you to also take in Epidavros and Myceanea.
Here is what that trip looks like.

Nafplio and Peloponnese http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094108982/

Posted by
895 posts

I took a half day trip to Corinth when I was in Athens in October. I booked it online through Fantasy Travel in Athens. I got my confirmation, pick-up information etc. very quickly and when I changed hotels and informed the agency they promptly confirmed the new pick up. Once we left Athens we drove along the Gulf of Corinth, had a pit-stop for coffee overlooking the Canal and spent two hours at the site of of Old Corinth (as distinct from modern Corinth and Acro Corinth). I prefer wandering around sites without a guide, and very much enjoyed my two hours wandering (a map was provided identifying the various buildings and areas). The site was not busy which was a bonus. On the way back to Athens we had another pit-stop at a company that produced reproductions of statues etc. and were back in Athens in time for a late lunch. I think the cost was about 60 Euros and I considered it money well spent. Our guide was very good and it was interesting to see the outskirts of Athens and to realize how devastating effect the past few years has had on businesses - a lot of empty factories and office buildings, really brought it home in a way that Central Athens did not.

Posted by
1396 posts

The trip Lesley suggests would seem the best bet, if it takes in Acrocorinth. If not, then a car. The site at Acrocorinth is huge and the views are spectacular. If you walk to the top you can see both ends of the canal on a clear day.

I’ve visited the site a couple of times on public transport, but starting from Corinth. I speak reasonable Greek and, the second time, had a good idea of where I was going but it still wasn’t that straightforward. One problem is that Roman Corinth to Acrocorinth is almost an hour’s walk uphill. Both times we got a taxi for this part. There’s a taxi phone outside the lower site but the taxi you call comes out from Corinth and so you wait 20-30 minutes and pay accordingly.

If I was doing it from Athens I would get a KTEL bus to the Corinth bus station near the canal and then pick up a taxi there to Acrocorinth. You could then walk down and call a taxi from the lower site.

Altogether though this would probably cost more than a tour or hiring a car. So, as I said at the start, they are better bets.

Cheers
Alan

Posted by
4424 posts

We used Fantasy Travel in 2012 for airport pickup and a tour to Mycenae/Epidaurua/Nauplia. I highly recommend them.