The ancient theater of Thorikos is the oldest still existing stone theater in Greece, built at the end of the 6th century BC. Thorikos was an important ancient coastal city of southeast Attica, which controlled the neighboring mines of Lavrio, from which lead and silver were mined in antiquity.
Other similar important coastal towns of Ancient Athenians were the Ramnous Fort and the Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon site. However, what is unique about the ancient theatre of Thorikos is that is not circular like the later ancient theatres, but ellipsoidal with a rectangular orchestra and 21 rows of seats.
In this post we visit the ancient theater of Thorikos in a bit more detail, I provide information on how to get there from Athens and what are the other important sites that you shouldn’t miss. The idea is to make a great itinerary for an enjoyable trip from Athens.
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The Ancient Theater of Thorikos
The ancient theater of Thorikos was used not only for performances but also for the meetings of the citizens of the Demos (a different way to say ‘municipality’) with a capacity of 2-3,000 spectators. Nearby you will also see the remains of a silver mine and a wash plant that has been restored right next to the ancient theater.
As soon as you get to the Thorikos site you can park right outside the entrance. This is not at all an organized historical site; it is free, and there is no staff or booklets to buy. There is only an information board that gives you a bit of an orientation.
When I visited, it was early March and it was quite chilly and windy. However, the plains around me were full of wildflowers which were so beautiful to walk past them.
And no surprise, a few kitties were about, I had some dry food – as always when I visit places around Greece – and they had a snack. I was told that they are neutered and the guards feed them, which was a relief.
As you walk the short distance from the entrance, you see on your right-hand side the theatre and on the left the remains of various sites.
Right across from the theatre of Thorikos stands perhaps one of the oldest ore “washers” of the 6th century BC. The “washers” are special constructions of the ancient miners, to which the ores were transferred after mining, crushing, and sifting, for their enrichment.
In the plain south of the settlement, a large marble Doric building in the shape of a double stoa, of the 5th century BC, which has become known as the “Temple of Demeter and Daughter” from an inscription found in the area, is preserved.
The most famous Demeter Sanctuary is in Elefsina, one of the sacred ancient Greek cities where the Eleusinian Mysteries were taking place.
In the background, Makronisos island rises its rocks, defining the Aegean Sea. A ship with its stern to the north slowly crosses the narrow passage between Lavrio and Makronisos island. It is a really lovely spot to sit and watch the beautiful serene nature around you and the boats back and forth in the Aegean.
The Mycenean Tombs in Thorikos Theater
Traces of Mycenaean settlement have been discovered in the area, including five vaulted tombs belonging to the period 1600 – 1100 BC. On the eastern side of the hill of Thorikos is the largest vaulted tomb of the Mycenaean period and near the top of the hill are the ruins of the other tombs.
As mentioned, you park right across the industrial facilities and start walking uphill toward the Mycenean Tombs.
The hill has a couple of points that are very steep but if you take your time, you can make it. However, if it is a very warm day it may be difficult to get to the top, as there is absolutely no shade.
After 15 minutes of hiking, we reached the first Tomb.
After another 10-15 minutes you get to a small settlement and the second Mycenean tomb that really needs immediate attention from the authorities.
There are 3 more tombs on the top of the hill but we didn’t make it as it started raining really heavily and had to rush back to the car. Next time I will go to the rest of the site, I promise!
As we were running downhill I could see the neighboring peninsula of Agios Nikolaos with the small bays of Fragolimano and Porto Mantri. This was the port of ancient Thorikos, which was fortified during the Peloponnesian War (see Google map). It will be a nice stroll from the church and see what remains of the port today.
Related Post on Mycenean Site: The Palace of Nestor in the Peloponnese
Where Best to Stay in Lavrio
You can stay overnight in a nice apartment such as MK Apartment. You can explore Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon, Thorikos theater and the mining monuments of Lavrion. The next day you can hop to your Greek favorite islands such as Kea, Kythnos, Folegandros, Ios, and Milos!
Check out FerryScanner or FerryHopper to see which timetable suits you best from Lavrion and book your seat.
How to Get to the Ancient Theater of Thorikos
The distance between Athens center (Acropolis) and the ancient Theater of Thorikos is 82 km. There are buses that can get you there please visit http://www.ktelattikis.gr/en/ for more info.
However, the best way to get to the ancient theater of Thorikos is through the Athens Riviera by private or rental car because that way you will get to see:
- Every suburb, beach, and seaside resort of the beautiful Athens Riviera
- You can stop at the Thermal Spa of Vouliagmeni Lake and have a swim or a cafe or have fresh fish at Lambros restaurant right across from Lake (see Google map)
- You can visit the stunning archaeological site of Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. Drive from Cape Sounion for another 11.7 km and you get to the ancient theatre of Thorikos
- After Thorikos drive in the same direction for another km until you find the industrial facilities of Ravazzo Lavrion on your right side. Park across the road and start walking uphill to the Mycenean Acropolis and the 5 tombs there, see more details on the post.
Sailing and Hiking Kea, Kythnos, Syros, and Serifos
Sail to the most unknown corners of the stunning Cyclades Islands such as Kea, Kythnos, Syros, and Serifos. Walk in the footsteps of the ancients along beautiful trails and visit ancient sites, chapels, remote beaches, and stunning natural scenery.
Check out availability and prices on the GetYourGuide website.
How to get to Piraeus port from Athens Airport
- Bus: If you are arriving at Athens International Airport you can travel straight to the port by taking the X96 express bus (€5.5, children <6 yo, free entrance), which departs every 40 minutes and the average trip lasts 1 hour – runs 24/7.
- Metro: (€9 ) is easily found across airport arrivals (blue line – M3) going directly to Piraeus port. The average trip to Piraeus lasts 1 hour.
- Taxis are available in front of the airport (around €40 to Athens, €55-60 to Piraeus (depending on the traffic in Kifisos), and take up to 3 or 4 people with small luggage)
- Rent a car with Discover cars to rent reliable new cars at affordable prices
- You don’t like driving but love hassle-free solutions? Book a Private transfer with an English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries, or anywhere else in Greece
- Check out here a full post on Lavrio Port in Athens
Did you visit the Ancient Theater of Thorikos? Let me know what you think about visiting Thorikos Theater in the comments, I’d love to hear whether I managed to get it onto your bucket list! Till next time, Evgenia❤️
Plan Your Next Trip to Greece With These Guides
- Greece Packing List – What to pack for a 10-day trip to Greece
- First Time to Greece – Most Important FAQ
- Mamma Mia Greece Locations – All the mainland and island shooting areas in Greece
- Athens Hotels Near Acropolis
- Apartments Near Acropolis
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- ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Greek: “Ya sou” and “Efharisto”
- All-Inclusive Resorts in Greece
- FerryScanner to book ferries to the Greek Islands
- Rent an Affordable Car in Greece
- Athens Metro Website (timetables and tickets info)
- Map of Athens Metro
- Trains (Hellenic Train)
- Public Buses KTEL
- Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals on both hotels and apartments, free cancellations, and great prices!
- Get Your Guide: For all your day or multi-day tours and city guide needs, I use Get Your Guide
- COVID Info for Greece: Ministry of Tourism Official Website
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