Greek: Μυκήνες (Mee-kay-niss)
Visiting Mycenae is often high on the to-do list for fans of Homer and classical Greek mythology. One of the most powerful city-states in all of ancient Greece, Mycenae is less than two hours by car from central Athens, and from its highest point, one can look around and see across nearly the entire Argolid!
As those fans of Homer know well, Mycenae made its name in ancient lore as the home of Agamemnon, famous king and leader of the Trojan War. Naturally, then, a trip to Mycenae can include a visit to the so-called Tomb of Agamemnon, also known as the Treasury of Atreus, an ancient architectural masterpiece that for a thousand years stood as the largest man-made dome in the world.
When visiting Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage site, one may also come across the “Lion Gate,” the entrance to the ancient city, which has been standing for more than 3,200 years and whose sculptures are amongst the oldest still standing in the Greek world. The city is also famous for its “cyclopean” walls, so called because of the ancient belief that only the mythical Cyclops could have the strength to move the huge boulders used in their construction. A trip to Mycenae with lunch at any of the modern stops in the area, Nafplion or Nea Kios, for example, is a popular day trip choice.
Left: Lunch in Nea Kios