THE COUNTY OF CORINTHIA ( KORINTHIA ) - PELOPONNESE GREECE
The prefecture of Corinthia, joining Central Greece (Sterea Hellas) with the Peloponnese is the first prefecture that welcomes all visitors who are coming from Athens. It provides the first glimpses of the beauty, history, excitement and interest that can be found here in the Peloponnese.
The capital of Corinthia is Corinth. Repeatedly levelled by earthquakes, Corinth is a modern seaside resort, with a selection of shops, tavernas, bars and cafes.
Approximately 5km away from the town is the Corinth Canal. Originally intended as a shipping route, cutting the time of reaching the port of Piraeus in Athens by several days, it is today more of a landmark. Today's modern vessles are too wide for the canal, though small vessles and cruise ships still use the canal.
Work on the canal began in 1882 by a French company, and was completed approximately 11 years later by Greeks. It is 6.34km in length, and 23m wide. The canal is passed over by three bridges, the old national highway, the new national highway and the train bridge.
Though the canal was completed relatively recently, it had been the desire by many rulers in ancient times, including the Roman Emperor Nemo, to build a canal across the Isthmus (courtyard), though none were successful.
Ancient Corinth is one of the most visited ancient sites in the region. Located at the foot of the huge rock of Acrocorinth which towers at 500m above Ancient Corinth, you will find an abundance of ancient sites and ruins. The past glory of the city, which thrived from the 5th century BC to the 3rd AD are there for all to see and admire.
One of the highlights of the ancient site is the Temple of Apollo, which has seven of it's original 38 Doric columns intact. The temple, dating from the 6th century BC is truly a sight to behold.
Other ruins include the site of the Agora, the foundations of the huge Stoa and the ancient theatres. There is also the museum where you can see the displays of Roman mosaics and statues, as well as other important findings.
The dominating Acrocorinth rock is a splendid sight. With it's Byzantine fortress on top, the views from here are both magical and inspirational. The acropolis of Corinth stood here on top during the ancient and medieval times. The huge fortress shows signs of ancient Greek, Roman, Frankish and Turkish claims to it's supremacy.
At the summit of the Acrocorinth, there are a number of temples and shrines. Slightly lower down is the Upper Peirene Spring, which legend tells us was named after a woman named Peirene, who was transformed into the spring by the tears that she had cried over the death of her son, who had been killed by Artemis.
Loutraki in Corinthia is a very popular destination for Greeks and visitors from abroad, and offers a wealth of facilities and natural spas. It is a very cosmopolitan area, and is home to the famous Loutraki casino, which many people visit.
Just beyond Loutraki, heading out to the west is Lake Vouliagmeni, which, via a narrow channel, joins the sea.
Corinthia also offers visitors several other small towns which are worth visiting, such as Xylokastro, Perigiali, Vrahati and Assos. With several nice beaches, the Corinthia prefecture is a beautiful one to visit, and provides a warm welcome to the Peloponnese to those visitors arriving from Athens and mainland Greece.