Active Holidays in the Gulf of Corinth
The Gulf of Corinth connects the Ionian Sea off the west coast of Greece with the Aegean Sea. This natural waterway is framed on both sides by high mountains. At times it is as smooth as glass and at other times wild and swept by storms. The Isthmus of Corinth between the mainland and the Peloponnese, through which the 6.3 km / 4 mi. long Corinth Canal has stretched since 1893, is legendary. If you have the opportunity to pass through the famous canal by boat, you are guaranteed multiple goose-bump moments.
In and around the Gulf of Corinth, you will also find many ancient archaeological sites. For instance the ancient city of Corinth with its heavily fortified hill of Acrocorinth, which is visible from afar. Corinth is also the gateway to the Peloponnese. From here you can reach numerous other fantastic sights in a short time. Be it the wine country around Nemea, the medieval city of Nafplio, or the ‘Golden Mycenae’. Furthermore, on the mainland side of the Gulf of Corinth you can either visit the beautiful, densely forested Perachora Peninsula or the ancient site of Delphi.
The picturesque coastal towns of Galaxidi and Nafpaktos are also well worth a visit. Not a stone’s throw from Nafpaktos you will find another miracle of technology: the Rio-Antirrio Bridge, which connects the Greek mainland with the Peloponnese close to the port city of Patras.
All this makes the Gulf of Corinth a worthwhile travel destination all year round. However, it is particularly enticing in winter due to its close proximity to some of the best ski resorts in Greece. If cooler temperatures are no reason for you to hide away and hibernate inside, then the Gulf of Corinth offers you the perfect conditions for a wide range of outdoor activities, even in the low season.
How do I get to the Gulf of Corinth?
The best way to reach the Gulf of Corinth is via Athens. Athens Airport is about 70 km / 43 mi. from the city of Corinth. There are regular bus services from Athens Bus Station to Corinth and Patras, which also stop at other towns along the north coast of the Peloponnese.
You can also reach other mainland towns such as Itea, Galaxidi, and Nafpaktos by public bus. However, if you want to see a lot and travel freely, we recommend renting a car. This gives you the opportunity to drive all the way around the Gulf of Corinth and see and experience much along the way.
What can I do/see in the Gulf of Corinth?
The Gulf of Corinth offers almost everything an outdoor enthusiast could wish for. The mountains of the mainland and the Peloponnese, which directly border the gulf, are ideal hiking and mountain biking terrain. The hilly landscapes near the coast are extremely fertile and nationally renowned wine-growing regions.
Some of Greece’s largest ski resorts are also in the immediate vicinity. These places are welcoming you in winter to enjoy ski tours and downhill skiing on groomed slopes of all difficulty levels. Even rafting is possible: the crystal-clear Evinos River near Nafpaktos promises a wonderful nature experience on a guided rafting tour!
If you are a swimming enthusiasts can also rejoice as most of the beaches are not too crowded. If you are interested in culture, you will also get your money’s worth at the numerous excavation sites and museums.
What is the weather like in the Gulf of Corinth?
The Gulf of Corinth is characterised by a Mediterranean climate. The average annual temperature is 17 °C / 63 °F. The warmest month is July with an average of 27 °C / 80 °F. The coldest month is January with an average of 7 °C / 44 °F. There is hardly any rain during the summer months. The months with the most rainy days are those from December to February. In the neighbouring mountain regions, there is an 80% chance of snow from January to March.
What is the Corinth Canal?
The famous Corinth Canal is a man-made sea lane that separates mainland Greece from the Peloponnese Peninsula. The canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf. Although the idea to build this canal dates back more than 2,500 years, it was not until 1891 – 1893 that the massive construction project succeeded.
The 6.3 km / 4 mi. long canal is only 24 m / 78 ft. wide at the water’s surface and just 8 m / 26 ft. deep. The towering rock walls reach up to 85 m / 279 ft. in height. If you’re looking for the ultimate adrenaline rush, you can even bungee jump from one of the bridges that cross the canal. As the canal needs frequent maintenance, ships have to pay to pass through: 10 euros per metre (per 3 ft.) of ship’s length.
Are there boat trips through the Corinth Canal?
A boat passage through the Corinth Canal is only possible as part of a package tour with smaller cruise ships or motor yachts, or with your own sailing boat or yacht.
Where can I find beautiful beaches in the Gulf of Corinth?
There are countless bays in the Gulf of Corinth. Many of which have mostly unfrequented, beautiful sandy beaches. The seaside resort of Loutraki has a very clean, long pebble beach, where there is also a thermal bath. We particularly recommend the beaches on the beautiful Perachora Peninsula, which is only a 20-minute drive from Corinth.