12 must-see things to do in Corinth

What are we going to do in Corinth? Here’s our mini-guide to 12 must-do things to do when visiting Corinth!

A Peloponnesian city located a few kilometers from the Greek mainland and world-famous for its homonymous canal, Corinth – Kórinthos in ancient and modern Greek – is a major port city in Greece. Populated by some 30,000 souls, Corinth was the third most influential city in ancient Greece after Athens and Sparta. It was built inland at the foot of its acropolis, the Acrocorinth, home to the famous temple of Aphrodite, and was rebuilt in the 19th century on its present seafront site. Overlooking the sea at the end of the Gulf of Corinth, the town is an essential stopover on the road between Athens and Patras.

What to do in Corinth? It’s the beauty of the hinterland, the surrounding villages and the Gallo-Roman remains that attract visitors to Corinth, rather than the city itself. Here’s our presentation of 12 must-see things to do when visiting Corinth.

Book your excursion to Corinth from Athens

1. The modern city of Corinth

Apart from a few museums and restaurants where you can sample Greek specialties, there’s little to see in the new town of Corinth. The modern town is the city that was rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1858, 3 kilometers from the old town. What to do in the new town of Corinth? The Corinth Folklore Museum traces the history of the town, and exhibits clothing, jewelry, ancient embroidery and traditional tools. There’s not much to do in Corinth, but strolling along the little port and the terraces of typical cafés has its own charm.

2. The Diolkos

For over 700 years, from 600 B.C. to the first century A.D., sailors used this paved path to bring their ships overland from the Ionian Sea to the Aegean Sea. At the time, the Corinth Canal had not yet been dug, and this path, 6 to 8 kilometers long, saved them a dangerous trip around the Peloponnese peninsula. For sailing ships, the Diolkos offereda much shorter route to Athens. Crossing the isthmus also played a crucial role in ancient naval battles.

3. The Corinth Canal

Canal de Corinthe

Photo credit: Flickr – John6536

What to do in Corinth? Visit the Corinth Canal, an artificial waterway dug through the Isthmus of Corinth to link the two gulfs (Gulf of Corinth and Saronic Gulf).

Sunk between 1882 and 1893, the canal turned the Peloponnese into an island at the end of the 19th century, but the project already existed under Nero in the 1st century AD. Today, the canal pierces two steep cliffs 52 meters high, with a water depth of 8 meters, over 6.343 kilometers and 24.6 meters wide. Some 11,000 tourist vessels pass through it every year.

4. A boat trip

Corinthe

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Andrew Mayovskyy

Another way to visit the Corinth Canal, and the Gulf as a whole, is to rent a boat! Renting a boat in Corinth will allow you to get away from it all for a day, sailing on turquoise waters.

You’ll be able to take advantage of a serene environment to discover the whole Gulf and its many shades of color. What’s more, you’ll be able to drop anchor right in the middle of the Mediterranean, and improvise a snorkeling session that will provide you with wonderful memories.

Find a boat to rent in Corinth

5. The Hexamilion wall

What to do in Corinth? The Hexamilion wall, not far from the Corinth Canal, still stands above ground: a fortification dating from the end of the Roman Empire, a wall that barred the isthmus of Corinth, and was used in the 5th century to defend the trade route between the Peloponnese and mainland Greece. Built between 408 and 450, it included up to 153 defensive turrets during the reign of Emperor Justinian (482-527-565). Here you can see the facings and details of the foundations still standing.

6. The Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth

Here’s a must-see when visiting Corinth: the ancient city’s archaeological museum! Built in 1931 on the site of ancient Corinth, the museum is entirely dedicated to the archaeological discoveries made on the Acrocorinth, and to the objects excavated from the subsoil of the ancient city. Ceramics, mosaics, amphorae and sculptures are all on display. Some objects, over 2,000 years old, have not lost their vivid colors! Exhibitions cover three rooms around the central courtyard, tracing the history of the Corinthians since the Neolithic period. Not far from the museum, don’t miss the Temple of Apollo. Built in the 6th century, it featured 38 columns, only 7 of which are still standing today. Gallo-Roman remains bear witness to the wealth and renown enjoyed by Corinth in ancient Greece.

7. Le Pirène

Another not-to-be-missed vestige of the ancient site of Corinth is the Pirene, a must-see if you don’t know what to do in Corinth. This Greek fountain was first built in the 7th century BC. It is said to have undergone up to 9 renovations over the course of its history. The current version dates back to Herod Atticus (101-177). So it wasn’t built yesterday!

8. The Acrocorinth site

Site de l'Acrocorinthe

Photo credit: Wikipedia – MM

We continue this Gallo-Roman pilgrimage with a must-see for those visiting Corinth in 2019: theAcrocorinth is the acropolis of ancient Corinth, a fortress built on a rocky outcrop in the 6th century BC. Located 10 kilometers from the modern city, the edifice is encircled by walls measuring 2 kilometers.

It may not be the Great Wall of China, but the monument bears witness to the power of ancient builders! Here you’ll find the ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite, Roman, Turkish, Byzantine and Ottoman remains, including two ancient mosques. Don’t like ancient stones? At least enjoy the splendid view of the surrounding area! A hike around the Acrocorinth takes about two hours.

9. The town of Lechaio

Lechaio Plage, Corinthe

Photo credit: Instagram – nicolasfreude

A visit to Corinth isn’t just about the ruins of a bygone era: it’s also about a paradise of turquoise blue, crystal-clear waters and fine sandy beaches. The beach at Lechaio, a few kilometers west of Corinth, is well worth a visit. Mind you, it’s also a very popular spot, as pretty as it is touristy.

10. The city of Isthmia

Cité d'Isthmia, Corinthe

Photo credit: Flickr – Troels Myrup

We return to the Corinth Canal area, to visit Isthmia, the municipality located to the south at the mouth of the canal. Why visit Isthmia? To stroll through the quiet streets of this small seaside resort, take a cruise on the Corinth Canal and/or visit Isthmia’s archaeological museum!

In the 4th century BC, a ship from Egypt docked in the port of Kenchreai on a day when the sea was so rough that it sank in the harbour. Archaeological discoveries in modern times have brought priceless treasures back to the surface: colorful architectural paintings, ivory and glass mosaics. These can be seen today at the Isthmia Archaeological Museum.

11. The temple of Isthmia

Temple d'Isthmia, Corinthe

Photo credit: Flickr – Troels Myrup

Since 582 BC, Isthmia has been the site of the Isthmian Games (games organized by Corinth between the ancient Greek cities), in honor of the god Poseidon. Archaeologists discovered a temple built there in the 7th century BC: the Temple of Poseidon. Forgotten by tourists, it’s a peaceful place to visit Greek ruins. Destroyed and rebuilt in the 5th century BC, burnt down in 390 BC, it was gradually razed to the ground, revealing only its foundations to the public.

12. The monastery of Saint Patapios

Fancy a hike? If you set off in the morning – it can be very hot here – visit thechurch of Saint Patapios, north-east of Corinth on the Greek mainland. The trail starts from the town of Loutraki, on the Periferiski Odos Loutraki , and at the top you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the Isthmus of Corinth.

How do I get to Corinth?

How do I get to Corinth? As Corinth has no airport, you’ll need to fly to Athens from France to reach your destination. With regular air traffic to Greece, you’ll have no trouble finding a flight from France to Athens: but be sure to buy your tickets early, as prices tend to rise sharply with the seasons… This is Greece! While you’re looking, check out the website of our partner and specialist Ulysses to find the best price for your flight.

Once in Athens, Corinth is only 80 kilometers away. To get there, you have several options:

  • The car

Greater freedom of movement, the ability to do what you want when you want, the price of petrol… The reasons for having your own car during your trip are numerous and advantageous.

If you rent a car as soon as you arrive at the airport – the best way to visit the whole Peloponnese – take the E94 freeway out of Athens, towards Corinth.

  • The bus

To get to Athens by bus, you’ll need to go to Terminal A in Athens: there are buses here every 30 minutes, from 5.30am to 10.30pm.

  • The train

Finally, a train line serves Corinth from Athens airport: a good option if you’re flying in from France to visit Corinth!

Where to stay in Corinth?

If you’re visiting Corinth, you need to find somewhere to stay! In Corinth and the surrounding towns, you’ll find plenty of hotels to stay in (and you’ll find the best rates on this hotel comparison site): Loutraki, Isthmia and Lechaion are the places to stay. You can also opt for a campsite, an Airbnb, a B&B or a guesthouse. It all depends on the length of your stay and the comfort or experience you’re looking for! To help you make the right choice, take a look at our article « Where to stay in Corinth « !

Map of hotels and accommodation – Corinth,gr