We depart from the harbor of Ancient Epidaurus heading to the small theater of Epidaurus which is only one kilometer away. Then, following the old national road, we cycle to the Ancient theater of Epidaurus through the village of Ligourio. We can stay there up to 30 min for those who would like to visit the archaeological place, or enjoy a coffee. On the way back, cyclists have two options. One is to take the short version which is the easy way back. The other is to follow the long version which is more difficult. The average speed for the long version will be approximately 20km/h on steep hills, and it is highly recommended not to be chosen by cyclists that do not have the qualifications. They will stay behind without a support car – the support car will accompany the short version cyclists
The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus is considered the greatest ancient Greek theater in terms of acoustics and aesthetics. Its capacity is 13,000 spectators and is located in the area of Epidaurus Asklepios, just 14 km from the village Lygourio. The theater, a strong element of the ancient Greek religion, was built in the late fourth century BC on the slopes of Kynortyou to entertain the patients of Asklepios. It operated for several centuries and in 395 AD Goths invasion of the Peloponnese caused serious damage to Asklepion. In 426 AD Theodosius the Great, prohibits the operation of Asklepios and the temple of Epidaurus finally closes after nearly 1,000 years. Natural disasters and human interventions complete devastation of the area. The ancient theater was revealed after excavations were conducted by archaeologist P. Kavadias, under the auspices of the Athens Archaeological Society during the period 1870-1926. A few years later, in 1938, the first performance (Electra of Sophocles) took place at the ancient theater of Epidaurus. The performances were ceased during the Second World War and in the early 50 s, the theater was restored and made to fit a large number of spectators. Finally, in 1955, the Epidaurus Festival, which includes performances every summer, was launched. It is worth mentioning that some of the greatest Greek and foreign actors have had the honor of performing at the ancient theater of Epidaurus. . Wandering inside the theater the visitors will be enchanted by the sights and monuments of the temple of Asklepios (375 BC) on the north slope of the hill, the temple of Apollo Maleata 4th century BC, the Enkoimeterion or Avaton , the patients hall, the mysterious circular structure Dome and the temples of Aphrodite, Artemis and Themis, most of which are under maintenance and restoration.
The Small Theater of Epidaurus or “shell of the Argosaronic Gulf”, was excavated in 1971 after 23 centuries of silence. It is located in the Acropolis of the ancient city of Epidaurus at the South-Western slope and it has a capacity of 2000 seats. It was built in the 4th century, with the sponsorship of prominent rulers and upper class people, in honor of the God Dionysus and underwent profound changes during the Roman occupation. A remarkable characteristic of the theatre are the inscriptions which consist a real-living museum. This is why it is called ‘the theatre that speaks’. Every July, significant musical and theatrical events take place in this small theatre. The most important is the program ‘Musical July’. Travelers can visit the theater by taking a lovely walk starting from the port of Epidaurus to the Peninsula Island and then follow the trail by crossing through the orange groves. Also, the small theater can be reached by road by directing yourself towards the area called Nissi.