Ancient myths - were there connections with volcanoes?
The myth of the hero Theseus, who set out to defeat the Minotaur's monster in Crete, should be familiar to most.
But very few visitors to Greece know his home. And the region of the Saronic Gulf and the adjoining area, the Troezenia country, are actually one of the most important historical regions in Greece. Only in the last few decades, significant, prehistoric finds have confirmed that the origins of the first European civilizations can be found in the region of the Eastern Peloponnese.
But nature has also done a lot to make this region attractive to the first people. A diverse landscape with mountains, forests, springs and a manageable sea were the source of the wealth.
Nevertheless, this region was also exposed to the elemental forces of volcanism. Not only the active volcanoes of Methana, but also the effects of distant volcanic islands affected the Troizean country and found their way into local myths.
So what could be more exciting than hiking this region with an expert and discovering many hidden, archaeological remains, hiking volcanoes and photographing rare animals and plants?
Tobias Schorr has lived on Methana for a long time and knows his area like no other. After a tour with him you will understand his love for Methana and the Troizen region!
The trips are run & promoted also through Tom Pfeiffer on VolcanoAdventures.
Day 1: Arrival at Athens airport and transfer to Methana
After your arrival and the baggage claim, your guide Tobias Schorr will be waiting for you in the arrival area ("Schengen"). (May be we will have to wait for other guests* ). From the airport Athens, it takes about 2.5-3 hours in a small rental bus or rental car to Methana. On the way you may have a view of many interesting landscapes and we have breaks, possibly also photo opportunities (if the arrival is not too late and it gets already dark).
Accommodation: Hotel in Methana (dinner there)
* If the time is too long, luggage storage is possible. Then it may be an idea to do a trip by taxi / public bus to the Athen´s city center. For safety reasons, you should calculate about 1 hour for each route (2 h + time in Athens).
Day 2: Hiking tour to Methanas mountains and to a caldera
This hike starts at a small chapel in the mountains, passes a farm and leads up to plateaus. There are numerous points of archaeological and geological interest that Tobias Schorr knows perfectly. One of the highest points in Methana contains interesting archaeological remains, of which there are mythological mentions. It then slowly goes down through small mountain forests into a beautiful crater valley ("caldera"), which is reminiscent of the volcano Kelut that erupted in Java/Indonesia in 2007. It goes down to the main town via an ancient path or on the little-used road (if it is wet).
Day 3: Round trip to the island of Poros and the ancient Troezen
Also the neighboring island of Poros, like Aegina and Methana, is one of the volcanoes of the Saronic Gulf. It will be our goal with its beautiful houses and alleys. To understand a little more of the archaeological importance of the region, we also visit the small museum in Poros. Finds from Methana, Poros, Troezen and Galatá can be found there. Even the ancient stone head that Tobias Schorr discovered with a friend in 1996 is there. Later we drive to the ancient city of Troezen and to the Diavologefiro valley. This was the home of the mythical hero Theseus. (If the Mycenaean Acropolis near Galatá is accessible, it will also be on the program).
Day 4: Visit of the exciting lava dome at Kameni Chora
Today we go to a small village in the north of the peninsula, from where we hike to the relatively young lava dome, which dates from around 270 BC. It is one of the most scenic lava domes of its kind in Europe and is the destination of numerous photographers and geologists. After visiting the former crater center, we relax in a small village tavern.
Day 5: North-Methana and the lava dome of Profitis Ilias mountain top
On a drive with a view of a beautiful landscape, we soon reach a valley where the hiking trail leads to the summit of the Profitis Ilias volcano and a small chapel. In the time of the pirate attacks, the summit was a protection of the farmers of the surrounding villages and you can still find cisterns from that time. Later we may drive down to a little settlement at the sea shore for a snack.
Day 6:Day trip to the ancient theaters of Epidaurus
Yes - you read correctly! We visit the two ancient theaters of Epidaurus. One of them is in the ancient port of Palia Epidavros and one is in the village of Lingourio, which is now called "Asklepion". We'll both visit theaters. One impresses with its calm and location and the other with its size. On the drive to both theaters you can enjoy great views of the Saronic Gulf and the volcanic peninsula of Methana.
Day 7: Prehistoric sanctuary and signs of active volcanism
On this hike you will visit the Mycenaean sanctuary from around 1200-1400 BC. Tobias Schorr will show you numerous building remains and a Megaron. Later you will hike down into Thiafi bay, where there are other ancient remains of a Roman bath, as well as volcanic gas exhausts, called Mofetta. How far does everything have to do with each other? Your guide will explain his theory to you!
Day 8: Departure from Methana and drive to Athens airport
Depending on when the time of the return flights of all guests are starting (we will orientate on the first departure!), We will take the overland route to Athens Airport in the early morning.
If you want to stay longer on Methana or want to go on sightseeing in Athens afterwards, we should know this when booking. A spontaneous extension on site is only possible if your return flight allows a change and a room is available. In this case, no tour guide can be promised to be with you and you have to take care of your transfer to the airport yourself. We will help you with information how to do so.