Visiting the site

Getting there

 

Poros is an island on the eastern coast of the Argolid. You can get there from Piraeus either by boat (approximately two and a half hours) or aboard one of the ‘Flying Dolphins’( a little over an hour) or the Cats (an hour an twenty minutes). If you are thinking of driving to Poros, then you should follow the Athens-Korinthos motorway and make a left after the isthmus of Korinth to the direction of Epidavros. Once past Epidavros, follow the new road to Kalloni, and from there to Galatas, which is the village directly opposite the island of Poros. From Galatas the ferry will carry you and your car across in five minutes. You should allow approximately two hours for the car ride from Athens to Poros. Alternatively, you can take the coach from Stathmo Peloponnisou. There is a coach every half an hour or every hour on most days. For more information, you can visit.

 The island of Spheria with the town of Poros. D. Suy.The island of Spheria with the town of Poros. D. Suy.

All it takes to find the sanctuary of Poseidon is to follow the road that leads to the north of the island in the direction of the gulf of Vayionia. Nearing Vayionia, the road forks, and you should turn right and follow the road that keeps climbing the hill and brings you in front of the sanctuary. Alternatively, you could circle the island, past the beach of Askeli, and turn left where the road forks near the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, in a NE direction.

The Sanctuary is situated on top of the hill overlooking the gulf of Vayionia and offers a spectacular view of the Aegean sea. Looking north, you can discern Aigina. The site itself is very pleasant, especially in the summer when the pine growth offers shelter from the scorching sun, and the sea breeze cools the visitor.

Opening hours

8.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.

What you can see there

The remains of the sanctuary are plainly visible once on the site. The most prominent buildings are the ones you will encounter as you enter the enclosed space of the site. Despite popular perceptions, they were in fact auxiliary constructions to the temple itself, the site of which you can approach by walking in a northerly direction. The temple proper is completely missing, and completely is not an overstatement here, since the only visible indication that such a construction ever existed is a rectangular ditch on the ground where the foundations must have laid. The stones of the temple were carted off, possibly to be used in the construction of some monastery on Poros or a nearby island. The surviving wall was not part of the temple proper, but marked the limit of its courtyard.

The site of the sanctuary had been in use for centuries in the past. There were, however, much more modern uses. Past excavators have left visible traces of their presence in the area. See if you can locate the nearby stone buildings used by the team of the first Swedish excavator Samuel Wide, which gave the area its local name (tou Samouili). Within the site, you may find traces of a farmstead that was in use until the 1970s by a family of resin collectors. An interesting feature of the remains of the sanctuary is the graffiti, both ancient and modern, that can still be seen on some parts of the stone walls.

In the early summer months, the site offers the unique opportunity to encounter the full archaeological team at work. The interested visitor can watch archaeologists at work during May and a good part of June each year. The members of the team are approachable and more than happy to chat with the public. Please note that as the new excavation brings to light vulnerable material, the archaeologists have cordoned off some sensitive areas. We would encourage you to follow the signs on site in order to enjoy the findings from a safe distance.

YH