It should be easy to find a canal that’s 79m high and 24.6m wide. About an hour and a half from Athens airport just north of the highway we missed it.
I could try blaming the Greek road system, but the highway was excellent and there were signposts. We just lost track of where we were and hadn’t done enough research before our trip. So instead of stopping at the canal we visited Ancient Corinth first.
Then, over a frappé, we consulted the map and headed to the canal, going through parts of the modern city of Corinth. We needed the map of the Peloponnese purchased at the airport, the hire car one didn’t give enough detail of the roads in the area or the landmarks.
Driving across Corinth on the bridge was so exciting, we parked on the other side near a few tavernas. They were all quiet and looked as if they’d seen better days. Hopefully the season will pick up and coach parties will arrive for them soon.
There’s a footpath either side of the traffic bridge, we headed for the nearest one looking down towards Isthmia.
In case your confused Isthmus which you’ll see on signs and in guidebooks means Canal and Isthmia is the ancient settlement at the end of the southern end of the canal where it enters the Saronic Gulf.
I was so impressed by the sheer size of the canal, deeper than expected. The history behind this place is just as staggering. It was opened in 1893 but started 2,500 years earlier and has to be one of the longest construction projects in the world?
To cross and view the other side you need to negotiate a busy road, though it does reduce down to one lane either way on the bridge. A large family group were heading across and the traffic soon stopped to let us walk over.
Looking down the other side, towards the Gulf of Corinth, we could see the bungee platform below the bridge. The office was closed when we were there. They don’t seem to open much out of the busiest tourist times. If you’re interested check out Zulu Bungee for their open times, its €60 per person. A very long way down, I don’t know if I could jump, could you?
We decided to do the the selfie for the family instead. It’s important as we travel around to remember to take pictures for our mums.
There’s also a trip you can make on the canal itself, it would be amazing to travel the length of it. We didn’t have time but it’s on our list for the future. There was one boat advertising trips. called the Catarman Argo, they seem to do the journey each day one way and then the other but the times vary. Their Facebook page has up to date information.
The canal has several other bridges, at either end they sink down to the bottom of the canal and allow marine traffic through. On our way back from our trip into the Peloponnese a few days later we headed to the Isthmus end of the canal. As we arrived the alarms and lights sounded and the gate came down. The bridge quickly sinking down making way for canal traffic.
This gave us time to park up the hire car and watch two very different ships pass through the canal. The larger pulled by a tug as is the law of the canal, loomed over everything and seemed to completely fill the canal.
Then we saw the bridge return, it was quite an exciting site…
I didn’t see any fish as we drove over it moments later!
We then headed across the mountains for our holiday in the Peloponnese, there will be more posts about the rest of our trip coming soon.