If you are interested in ancient Greek history and mythology, a day trip to Mycenae from Athens is an excellent way to explore one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Mycenae was a major center of Greek civilization in the Bronze Age and is known for its impressive fortifications, the famous Lion Gate, and the Treasury of Atreus, a monumental tomb from the 13th century BC.
Getting to Mycenae from Athens
Mycenae is located about 120 km southwest of Athens and can be easily reached by car or public transportation. The most convenient way to get there is by booking a guided tour that includes transportation and a knowledgeable guide who can provide you with interesting information about the site and its history.
What to Expect at Mycenae
When you arrive at Mycenae, you will be greeted by the imposing Lion Gate, a massive stone structure that dates back to the 13th century BC and is considered one of the finest examples of Mycenaean architecture. Beyond the gate, you will enter the fortified city, which is divided into two sections: the Lower Citadel and the Upper Citadel.
Exploring the Lower Citadel
The Lower Citadel was the main residential area of Mycenae and is surrounded by impressive walls that are up to 8 meters thick. Here you will find several ruins, including the Palace of Nestor, the Megaron of the Queen, and the House of Columns, which are all believed to have been important administrative and religious buildings in the ancient city.
Discovering the Upper Citadel
The Upper Citadel was the political and military center of Mycenae and is dominated by the imposing citadel wall, which is 12 meters high in some places. Here you can visit the Treasury of Atreus, a magnificent beehive-shaped tomb that was once used to bury Mycenaean royalty. You can also explore the ruins of the palace of King Agamemnon, who is said to have led the Greeks in the Trojan War.
Tips for Visiting Mycenae
- Wear comfortable shoes, as the site involves a lot of walking and climbing
- Bring sunscreen and a hat, as there is little shade on the site
- Visit early in the day or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and the heat
- Hire a licensed guide to get the most out of your visit and learn about the history and mythology of the site
A day trip to Mycenae from Athens is a must-do for anyone interested in ancient Greek history and mythology. With its impressive fortifications, monumental tombs, and fascinating ruins, Mycenae is a testament to the grandeur and sophistication of one of the world's oldest civilizations. So pack your bags and get ready to step back in time to the golden age of Greece.