Greek: Νεμέα (neh-may-uh)
In ancient lore, Nemea was famous as the home of the mythological Nemean Lion, killed by Hercules as the first of his twelve labors. Now, however, Nemea is best known as one of Greece’s premier wine growing regions–a different kind of dangerous! Walk along the specially designated “wine roads” and visit any number of wineries in the Napa Valley of Greece, and taste the product of the agiorgitiko, a variety of grape native to the Peloponnese region that gives Nemean wine its fruity quality. Most of these wineries and vineyards are far from the industrial operations that we might be used to seeing in the United States—here, you might talk to a real vintner, and learn some of the secrets of the Greek winemaking process thousands of years in the making!
If you have interest in Nemea beyond wine and lions, Ancient Nemea was the site of one of the four Panhellenic Games, the most famous of which was, of course, the Olympics! The center of the Nemean archaeological sites is the Stadion, the ancient stadium only recently excavated within the past fifty years, including, for the troublemakers and teenagers, some excellently preserved 2,500 year old graffiti of the ancients. One can also find the remains of an impressive Temple of Zeus, about which new discoveries are still being made, and a small museum filled with artifacts and other fascinating historical nuggets. All within a short drive, roughly an hour and a half, from Athens itself.
Stadion at Nemea