On our second trip to Athens, we wanted to take an off the beaten track excursion. I looked into hiring a private guide for a day trip outside the city. The time in port was limited so we opted to take a safer option, a shore excursion that took us to the Corinth Canal.
From the port, we drove along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf to the Corinth Canal. Before we boarded our boat at the Isthmia Pier, we stopped to take pictures on a bridge. This perspective was very different from the one that we had aboard the tourist boat.
This waterway passes through the Isthmus of Corinth in Greece. The canal connects the Gulf of Corinth in the northwest with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It separates the Peloponnesian Peninsula from the Greek mainland The canal was opened in 1893. It is 3.9 miles long with a width that varies between 69 and 82 feet. It has a depth of 26 feet.
As we went through the canal, we experienced the narrowness of the passageway.
At certain points, the passageway widened a bit.
The limestone walls towered above us. They are 300 feet above sea level at an 80 degree angle. It was easy to see why the walls experienced frequent landslides during the construction phase and shortly thereafter.
Although this engineering feat saves a 430 mile journey, the canal is not used for commerce. It is too narrow for modern ships. Today, the canal is used mostly by tourist vessels and small boats. This sailboat illustrates the narrowness of the passageway.
If you are in Athens and are looking for something off the beaten track consider the Corinth Canal. It is a leisurely way to learn about a small piece of Greek history.