In July 2020, we visited the archaeological site of Epidaurus. Epidaurus is a UNESCO World Heritage site, famous for two outstanding features. The first is an incredible theater, the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. The second feature is the Asclepios sanctuary.
Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus
In Epidaurus, kids can learn more about Asclepius, the important healer God in Ancient Greece. Epidaurus was the healing center of the Classical world, ill people would go there to be cured. They would once travel from hundreds of miles around to this place to be healed from their ailments, and there were even guesthouses available over 2000 years ago for patients. Patients would stay in the so-called Enkoimetria – a big sleeping space and wait for the god to appear in their dreams to advise them on how to get better.
Children can still see the remains of this healing complex: the Sanctuary of Epidaurus, the Temples of Artemis and Asclepius and the so-called Tholos.
During our visit, we also saw the hotel, baths and hospital areas. Next to the Asclepieion, there is the stadium: this place was built to honor Asclepius for his healing powers and its father Apollo. Festivities and athletic games were organized every four years.
Our tour guide brought the site to life with stories and myths. I would definitely recommend a guided tour to Epidaurus, especially with kids. There is a lot to see and your guide will keep your kids focussed and teach them more about Ancient Greece and the Greek gods.
Ancient Theater of Epidaurus
The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus is unique in its kind. It represents the most well-preserved ancient theater in Greece and is the greatest example of ancient Greek architecture. The theater of Epidaurus was constructed to host performances and ceremonies to honor the gods. The theater of Epidaurus is world-famous for its acoustics.
Ask your kids to climb to the top of the stone stairs at the top of the theater and drop a coin. As it is said, the acoustics of the theater allows for a coin to be heard from the highest seat.
Archaeological Museum of Asclepion Epidaurus
The museum of Epidaurus is as impressive as the archaeological site. The collection displays ancient medical instruments, beautiful sculptures, and much information about the ancient site and the archaeological excavations.
In summer, it is recommended to choose the morning hours for a visit. To avoid waiting at the entrance, you could opt for a guided tour with skip the lines tickets. Further, a tour guide will get your children engaged with fascinating stories. Bring lots of water, sunscreen, and hats.
How to get to Epidaurus
The archaeological site of the Epidaurus is located on the northeastern side of Peloponnese and is only a couple of hours’ drive from Athens. Epidaurus (or Epidavros or Epidavrus) was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 as it is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece.
Epidaurus Day Trips from Athens
There are several organized excursions available that offer a transfer from Athens (or Nafplion) and a tour guide at the site. Most of these tours combine a visit to the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus with Mycenae and/or Nafplion.
This tour is ideal for families who want to combine Ancient Greece with modern Greek history. The tour includes Nafplion, the first capital of Greece with its famous Palamidi castle, and the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus. Click here for more information and for booking this Full Day Trip to Nafplio and Ancient Epidaurus
This private tour includes transportation and a guide to Ancient Mycenae, the tomb of Agamemnon and the tomb of Clytemnestra, the Archaeological Museum of Mycenae, and the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus. There is also a stop at the Corinth Canal for photos. Click here for more information and booking of this tour
A great tour to the highlights of the Argolis region in the Peloponnese including the beautiful first capital of Greece, Nafplion. I would recommend this tour for families with older children. Click here for more information and booking this bus tour to Epidaurus, Mycenae and Nafplion
This tour is ideal for families based in Nafplion. Explore the ruins of Mycenae and Epidaurus and learn about their rich history with the help of a local guide. Transport from Nafplion is included. Click here for more information and booking this bus tour from Nafplio to Mycenae and Epidaurus
Disclaimer: We visited the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus with Travel Bloggers Greece. Please note that this post includes affiliate links. This means that if a product is purchased via that link, we receive a small commission.
Celeste was born and raised in the Netherlands but lives in Greece for 25 years. She studied at the Dutch Institute of Athens underneath the Acropolis and currently lives with her family in an Athenian suburb. Celeste is the founder of Family Experiences Blog. Whether you and your family live in Greece or are visiting, this blog will show you the very best ways in which to celebrate family life here.